The Missourian Progress Awards recognize the people who help make Columbia a great place to live and move us forward every year.
This is our fourth annual awards program designed to lift up people who are engaged in our community and who may not be recognized for their contributions otherwise.
Award categories range from civic engagement to sustainability to arts — there's a category for everyone in our community.
Winners and nominees will be recognized in a virtual event and special section in November.
- Progress in Education: Recognizes an individual educator, administrator or support staff member or a program at an educational institution who has made an impact on his/her/their school or community at large through innovative approaches to teaching, programs, community outreach or mentorship.
- Progress in Health Care: Recognizes a health care provider who has made an impact in Columbia by delivering high quality and innovative care, supporting public health through outreach and education, and modeling responsible health practices and medical ethics.
- Progress in Social Justice: Recognizes a community member or program that has made an impact in advancing the values of equity, diversity and inclusion in Columbia.
- Progress in the Arts: Recognizes a community member who has made an impact by advancing the role of art and artists in Columbia. The arts can include music, theater, poetry, prose, paint, photography, sculpture or any other creative art form.
- Progress in Sustainability: Recognizes a community member who has made an impact on environmental sustainability through innovative practices, education and continuous improvement.
- Progress in Entrepreneurship: Recognizes a business owner or business owners who have successfully launched a startup or small business based in Columbia for at least a year. The recipient ought to reflect a commitment to their community and support fellow entrepreneurs.
- Progress in Community Nonprofits: Recognizes a nonprofit organization that demonstrates progress in meeting needs in Columbia and Boone County through advocacy or long-term strategies, investment of resources, community dialogue and partnership.
- Progress in Civic Engagement: Recognizes an individual who holds a volunteer, elected, appointed or staff role in government or civic organization and demonstrates a commitment to being engaged with citizens and upholds the ideals of open, fair and transparent local government.
- The Sherman Brown Award: Recognizes a community member who, like its namesake, serves his or her neighbors, patrons or customers with the highest esteem and commitment to treating each and every person “like gold.”
- Corporate Citizenship: Recognizes a firm with a presence in Columbia that demonstrates a commitment to community service and involvement by supporting efforts in education, the arts, sustainability, social justice or entrepreneurship.
How to nominate
You may nominate as many people as you'd like for as many categories as you'd like. Our nomination form will open on Sept. 1. The nomination deadline is Oct. 2.
The best nominations are a strong, single submission. Multiple nominations for the same person are considered but don't necessarily carry more weight. It's better to submit a nomination with input from others on the initial nomination letter.
All nominees will be notified, but nominators will be kept confidential. The winners will be announced at a virtual event and featured in a special section in November.
Need inspiration? Here are our winners from previous years:
Arts: Farah Nieuwenhuizen
Education: Eryca Neville
Social Justice: Susan Hart
Civic Engagement: Randy Cole
Sustainability: Kerry Poage
Nonprofit: City of Refuge
Health care: Verna Laboy
Entrepreneurship: Amanda Quick
Corporate Responsibility: Veterans United
Sherman Brown Jr.: Arminta Phelps
Arts: Emily Edgington Andrews
Education: Tojan Rahhal
Social Justice: Don Day
Civic Engagement: Rose Wibbenmeyer
Sustainability: Patricia Weisenfelder
Philanthropy: Adam Saunders
Health care: Bridget Gruender
Entrepreneurship: Fontella and Lloyd Henry
Corporate Responsibility: Shelter Insurance
Sherman Brown Jr.: David Johnson
Arts: Ed Hanson
Education: Angela Drake
Social Justice: Scott Dean
Civic Engagement: Brian Neuner
Sustainability: Quinn Cunningham
Philanthropy: Paul Prevo
Health care: Debra Howenstine
Entrepreneurship: Chrystal Graves
Corporate Responsibility: Central Bank of Boone County
Sherman Brown Jr.: Tom Oleski
Contact Director of Community Outreach Elizabeth Stephens at 573-882-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping us honor those who move Columbia forward!