Posted by Chuck Lubbers

Carmen Hansen of the Rushmore Rotary Club was presented the “Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award” at the 2023 District Conference in Yankton. Started in 2016, the Kozak award is the top honor given to a Rotarian in District 5610 and is given in recognition of exceptional service to Rotarians in Rotary District 5610.

In making the presentation, John Schneider, Immediate Past District Governor, noted that, “this year’s recipient, like most of those who have been honored in the past, probably doesn’t think they deserve this award. This person believes in ‘Service Above Self’ and is a living, walking, breathing example of it.”

Hansen was recognized for her service both in the community and in Rotary District 5610.

Professionally, Hansen worked as the executive assistant to John T. Vucurevich until his passing. She then worked as Grants Director for the Foundation until her retirement in 2016. To date the Foundation has awarded more than $94 million in grants.

Hansen was involved in the inception of the John T. Vucurevich Foundation Speaker Series in 1993 and has served as the coordinator since 2006. In that capacity, Hansen was actively involved with arranging the visits to Rapid City of such notable speakers as Margaret Thatcher, Sandra Day O’Connor, Colin Powell, Jane Goodall, and Carl Sagan.

A past president of the Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club, Hansen has been serving District 5610 as Membership Chair since 2016 and has helped numerous clubs and District 5610 to develop membership recruitment and retention plans.

About the Kozak Service Above Self Award:

The Kozak service award honors the memory of Roger L. Kozak, long-time member of the Vermillion Rotary Club. Roger was our District Governor during the 2009-2010 Rotary year. He proved himself an exceptional servant leader.

Roger Kozak’s wife, Pat Kozak, said, “I think the Kozak Award should go to someone who lives the Rotary motto of Service Above Self, and applies The Four Way Test to all aspects of the dealings in life. The person should have rendered exceptional service to the community lived in and to the Rotarians in Rotary District 5610.”