Geoff and Mary Larson hold up their Citizen of the Year Award from the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy photo / Alaskan Brewing Company)

Geoff and Mary Larson hold up their Citizen of the Year Award from the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy photo / Alaskan Brewing Company)

Chamber names Alaskan Brewing’s Larsons Citizens of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented as well

The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce presented its Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards in a digital award ceremony Thursday held via Zoom.

Lifetime Achievement awards were given to Neil Atkinson, president of the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club and the late attorney Kathy Ruddy, whose daughter accepted the award on her behalf.

“I’m shocked. I don’t know what to say. Thank you,” Atkinson said during the ceremony which was livestreamed. “I couldn’t have done this without the support of all the lions club members throughout the state.”

Atkinson was given the award for his longtime philanthropic efforts with the Lions Club such as raising money to combat diabetes and spearheading a paper recycling program, presenters Ron Flint and Ted Quin said.

“It was all done all out of love,” Atkinson said of his work.

[Chamber names Citizen of the Year, gives Lifetime Achievement Award]

The other Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Ruddy, whose local philanthropic work included working to bring the whale statue to Mayor Bill Overstreet Park, said presenter Ben Browing.

“My mother was an amazing person and an inspiration to all of her children,” said Lydia Ruddy, accepting the award for her mother. “She was always great about teaching.”

The chamber has given the annual awards since 1977, according to its website, to honor Juneau residents for their outstanding service to the community. Recipients of these awards are typically announced at the chamber’s annual banquet held in October at Centennial Hall, but were postponed and held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The chamber doesn’t present the Lifetime Achievement award every year, the chamber’s executive director, Craig Dahl, told the Empire Friday in a phone interview, so to present two awards in one year was a very special event, he said. It was important to the chamber to maintain the tradition of presenting the awards even during the pandemic, Dahl said.

Since the event was held via Zoom, Dahl said attendees from as far away as Montana and Italy were able to join to speak about the recipients.

Citizen of the Year Awards were presented to Geoff and Marcy Larson, owners and founders of the Alaskan Brewing Co.

The Larsons are both unique and talented individuals, said presenter Sioux Douglas, and their success has made Juneau famous. Another presenter, Andy Kline, said the Larsons have been part of telling the story of Juneau to a national audience.

“Listening to all of those remarks and comments, it really means a lot. There’s not a lot you can say, because it’s so amazing,” Marcy Larson said at the ceremony.

“Our town, our community, is made up of wonderful people,” Geoff Larson said. “That’s what makes Juneau, and Alaska, so special. It’s the people that make this town.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

More in News

Goldbelt Transportation and Allen Marine Tours will contract with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to provide ferry service through the Southeast for the remainder of the winter, according to a news release. (Courtesy photo / Goldbelt Transportation)
Goldbelt, Allen Marine pick up winter ferry contracts

Contracts were signed this January for several winter runs to Southeast communities.

Donated blood is prepared for storage and eventual transport at the Blood Bank of Alaska's Juneau location. There is a statewide shortage of donated blood. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
‘National blood crisis’ presents challenges in Alaska

Donation centers contend with COVID, weather and other disruptions as they work to stock hospitals.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This picture shows recent editions of the Juneau Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pathfinder to Point Louisa, Auke Recreation Area on Jan. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto).
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

In this satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, and released by the agency, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. (Japan Meteorology Agency)
Update: Tsunami advisory canceled for Southeast Alaska

It applies to Southeast from the BC border to Cape Fairweather.

Most Read