TRAVERSE CITY – Traverse Connect presented longtime community volunteer Jan Warren with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award on Wednesday.
The award is one of the oldest civic awards in the region and has been awarded annually since 1929. Previous winners are R. Floyd Clinch, Con Foster, Dr EL Thirlby, Les Biedermans, Art Schmuckal, Helen Osterlin and Elnora Milliken.
âMy heart is full,â Warren told the assembled crowd. âLooking around this room, I am literally in awe of your presence today. Dear friends, wonderful colleagues, colleagues and collaborators, community champions, regional leaders: you are my role models and my mentors.
Warren received the award from 2019 winner Steve H. Perdue during a lunch at the Park Place Hotel and Conference Center.
She thanked the career guidance of Bryan Crough, who served as Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority for 23 years.
âThrough his example,â said Warren, âI learned to do my homework, I learned to listen carefully, to put my ego aside and always try to find common ground.â
Warren currently sits on the boards of directors of the Traverse City Opera House, the Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation and the United Way Citizen Advisory Committee.
She was the program director for Northwest Michigan Works! for seven years, then for Networks Northwest as a management support specialist. Warren previously worked for Planned Parenthood and established the Traverse City affiliate office.
His five decades of volunteer service with nonprofits and government commissions and boards includes 19 years on the City of Traverse Planning Commission and six years on the Joint Planning Commission for Grand Traverse Commons.
She has served as president of the National Cherry Festival, the Women’s Resource Center, the Grand Traverse Community Collaborative, and the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area.
Warren holds a BA in Sociology from Michigan State University and an MBA from Lake Superior State University. She received the 2004 Athena Award and the 2016 Frank Purvis Stewardship Award from the Grand Traverse County Planning Commission.
The Distinguished Service Award lunch is normally held in January, but has been delayed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.