Community Champion

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies community leadership through actions that reflect the America in Bloom mission. The award recipient, who must be from a community that has participated or is currently participating in the program, will have demonstrated a vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward.

Click here to nominate someone for this prestigious award. The deadline to nominate someone is July 31. It will be presented during the AIB Symposium & Awards Celebration, September 29-October 1 in St. Louis. 

About the Award

The award was renamed in 2019 to the Dwight Lund (pictured left) Community Champion Award to honor Dwight’s long-time volunteer service to AIB and for his tireless support and commitment to communities.

America in Bloom originally created the award in 2009 in memory of John R. Holmes, a former board member.

Past Winners
Rod Barnes

2021 | EDMONSTON, MARYLAND

“He is a humble servant giving his all to make our community great. Through Rod’s leadership, the Town has transformed into an environmentally friendly community that has resulted in creating an inviting environment for residents to live, work and play.”

Pam Newton

2020 | HAWTHORN WOODS, ILLINOIS

“Pam is an accomplished, strong, effective leader. She expects excellence and holds true to always raising the bar. She guides her team with extensive experience, an inexhaustible work ethic, kindness, compassion, and humor. Every employee, board member, and volunteer would follow Pam anywhere. A community could not ask for more. She is a true Community Champion.”

Doug Versaw

2019 | MANSFIELD, OHIO

“Doug has the moxie to get people fired up and involved in transforming our community. His enthusiasm comes naturally and helps foster the relationships required to be successful. Doug has the connections and vision to drive improvements, making our community a better place to live, work, and play.”

Connie Hench

2018 | CLYDE, OHIO

“Connie demonstrates extraordinary enthusiasm toward beautifying our city. She lives and breathes her mission to attract visitors to our city to view our flowers. Because of Connie, we have a beautiful downtown enhanced with flower pots, hanging baskets, and flower beds planted on every square inch of available land. Our hometown is now so beautiful thanks to Connie.”

Bobbi Bishop

2017 | LOGAN, OHIO

“Bobbi is a perfect example of what a community champion should be because of her numerous contributions to the community that will have a lasting effect on generations to come. She is Logan’s treasure, loved by all and held in high esteem for her many and ongoing contributions. Bobbi knows that it “take a village” and is a role model for others to volunteer and give of themselves for the betterment of our community.”

Tim Kant

2016 | FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA

“Kant was hired as the city’s first horticulturist, becoming the first individual in the state to hold such a title for a municipality. He launched the city’s beautification program that rebranded Fairhope as a vibrant, colorful, postcard-worthy destination and set the standard as a flourishing, locally supported community.”

Mary Hertel

2015 | ARROYO GRANDE, CALIFORNIA

“Arroyo Grande’s largest projects over the years have been designed and inspired by Mary. Volunteers enjoy working with Mary since she is both knowledgeable and cheerful. She sets an admirable leadership example, and volunteers are able to learn from working with Mary on projects.”

Nancy Chennault

2014 | CASTLE ROCK, WASHINGTON

“Nancy has a unique talent for recruiting Castle Rock, Washington volunteers and making them feel appreciated. Her selfless and energetic promotion of local volunteerism has created a positive can-do attitude in our community.”

Beverly Dunkle

2013 | GALLIPOLIS, OHIO

“She is dedicated to the goals of improving our community – not only by the beautification through flowers, but also by encouraging the interaction of businesses and city government to include environmental improvements and implementation of new ideas to all sectors of the city.”

Marilyn Heifner

2012 | FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS

Marilyn Heifner has been involved with Fayetteville in Bloom since its inception in 2002 and continues to be very active in the city and AIB judging and events to this day. She and others have positioned Fayetteville to be nationally recognized as one of the best places to live. She has been inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame. As President of Heritage Trail Partners, she oversaw the establishment of the trail system and is a strong advocate of preserving the environment and history in northwest Arkansas. An avid Razorbacks supporter and a graduate of U of A she has made a tremendous positive difference to all of Fayetteville and has worked hard to improve the quality of life for its citizens and visitors.

Vivian Lund

2011 | WARRENVILLE, ILLINOIS

Vivian is respected and admired by the community for her dedicated service, visionary eye, example of servant leadership, and caring for her neighborhoods. Vivian has demonstrated that one person can make a difference by just doing what one can do to be a positive influence within your hometown. We are grateful for her attitude of “can do” and positive hard work. Always aware of ways to enhance the neighborhoods improve the living conditions of its citizens in Warrenville, while Mayor, she began a program of memorial trees planted around the city. This legacy has resulted in over 145 trees being planted in memory of Warrenville citizens.

Bob Lund

2010 | ARROYO GRANDE, CALIFORNIA

Bob is the driving force, cheerleader, and father figure that has brought more than 90 volunteers into our local chapter of America in Bloom and kept us there for the past 4 years. Not only is Bob Lund the quintessential organizer, but he gets out every week and digs, and sweats and prunes and weeds and plants and picks up trash alongside the rest of us. If every community had an energetic, selfless champion and role model like Bob Lund, every neighborhood in America would be lovely.

Rick Webb

2009 | LOGAN, OHIO

Rick’s major attribute is his endless energy and enthusiasm. He is Logan’s energizer bunny. He is now on the Chamber Board, Tourism Board, Tree Commission, President of the Logan Town Center, and attends city council. Rick has become involved in all the aspects of the operation of the city. (Government, Business, and Community) He has been recognized by the community with the Barton Holl Community Service Award. Rick has spoken to several other towns about the benefits of the AIB program. He is always ready to share our progress in Logan due to AIB.