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Geneva Chamber names Past Iowa Jaycees President Kilburg as Wood Award recipient

GENEVA - Kane County Chronicle By Brenda Schory -  A 'servant leader' November 13, 2017. 


For years, Dean Kilburg has been known in Geneva for his selfless volunteering spirit.


Kilburg served 12 years on the school board – half as president – and currently is a 3rd Ward Alderman. Kilburg was president of the Geneva Sports Boosters; serves on the Geneva Community Chest; and serves on the Citizens Advisory Board at Fermilab. For the last 27 years, Kilburg also helped move the chains at Viking home football games.


Because of his selfless devotion to the community, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce named Kilburg the recipient of its 2017 Wood Community Service Award on Nov. 9 at a dinner held at the Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva.


An astonished Kilburg was nearly speechless as he accepted the award.


“Thank you,” Kilburg said. “I’m at a loss for words."But Kilburg soon found his stride.“


There’s one person I need to thank first and that’s my wife, Linda,” Kilburg said. “Linda’s been a tremendous partner over the last several years. She’s been such a supporter and given me the opportunity to do so many things in my life.”


Scott Lebin, chairman of the Geneva Chamber Board, described Kilburg as the “quintessential servant leader.”


“The servant leader thinks of other people first and helps both people, organizations and communities achieve their goals,” Lebin said. “A person who is a leader because of position or power whether in government or business begins from a different philosophy than the servant leader. It takes a special person to dedicate himself to help others achieve success.


”Kilburg was born in 1949, the youngest of three brothers, and grew up on a farm in eastern Iowa in a small town of 2,400, Lebin said.


Kilburg married his high school sweetheart, Linda, attended Loras College, and became a teacher, before leaving that profession to work in agribusiness, Lebin said.“I’ve heard it said by presidents of very large corporations [that] if you hired someone from Iowa, you knew the odds of gaining a good employee [were] very strong," Lebin said. "Because they often grew up with strong values and would represent the organization well.”


After they were married, they had four children.


In 1977, Kilburg was quoted in a Bellevue, Iowa, newspaper stating, “Washington D.C. isn’t going to solve all our problems. Some have to be solved by people in their own community.


”Lebin said Kilburg changed jobs to agribusiness, eventually moving to Geneva where he and his wife raised their four children.


Quoting Kilburg, Lebin said, “All that you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.”


Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns also praised Kilburg's commitment to the city.“


A genuine good guy, Dean selflessly invests his considerable talents for the betterment of everyone who calls Geneva home and reminds us that good citizenship is first and foremost about doing good for others,” Burns said.


Community Chest member Cookie Olson said Kilburg was “someone who believes in giving back to the community, not for personal gain or benefit, but because that’s what community members should do.”


“He has a good heart and the desire to help others,” Olson said.


Other ways Kilburg has served the community include 10 years volunteering for Proud Retired and other Individuals Dedicated to Education – PRIDE – a program where seniors serve as a teacher’s extra pair of hands or to be a tutor, mentor or role model for students in Geneva schools.


Kilburg is a past member of Kane County Citizens Advisory Board, the Geneva Strategic Planning Design Team, Geneva Academic Foundation, United States Jaycees and Iowa Jaycees.


“Through his service on the school board, city council and various other organizations, my father has made contributions to our community that I believe have positively impacted every resident and visitor of Geneva over the past three decades,” Kilburg’s son, Aaron Kilburg, said. “I’m proud of all of these accomplishments.


”The Wood award is presented to an individual who has made significant community contributions in the areas of business, education, youth involvement, civic organizations, art, recreation, charity or government. 

Primghar Jaycees President Kellie Einck is the 2017 American Star in Agricultural Placement

FFA New Horizons - Indianapolis – When Kellie Einck was a youngster, she found horsepower and torque far more interesting than playing dress up. The Paullina, Iowa, resident’s fascination with engine mechanics eventually led her to take agriculture and power in addition to other technical courses while she was in FFA. And the combination helped fuel her desire to become an engineer.


For her supervised agricultural experience (SAE), Einck worked at a small car garage as a general mechanic and service technician in her hometown of Primghar, Iowa. Then she went to diesel tech school at a community college in town. There she enjoyed the hands-on work of mechanical engineering. 


Einck’s experience with agriculture was limited while she was growing up, but most everyone in her family drove trucks. “They hauled livestock, so to an extent it was agriculture, but getting in this field has broadened my horizon. There’s crops, animals and custom work on top of it,” she says.


Einck decided to look into a career that focused on mechanics, perhaps mechanical engineering. She began taking classes for a two-year degree in diesel technology Now she works as a general mechanic and service technician for Randy’s Services and ICON Ag and Turf.


Einck says FFA helped her with her communication skills and her ability to promote herself and her work in what is typically a male-dominated field. She mentions that other obstacles she has had to overcome included physical feats based on the size and weight of machinery and other mechanical components.


She says she has gained an immeasurable amount of mechanical knowledge as a result of working on more than 30 different models, all systems of a tractor and engine and serviceable parts of a combine.


“I say if you heart’s in it, go for it,” Einck says. “Each step I took had its own challenges, but each success gave me a giant boost of confidence to go on to the next thing. It takes courage, perseverance and optimism to keep pushing on. 


”Her dedication to the profession has earned her the honor of being named a 2017 finalist for the American Star in Agricultural Placement.


Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with American Star Awards for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education.


The American Star Awards, including American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of an SAE. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows students to learn by doing, by either owning or operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.


Sixteen American Star Award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated by a panel of judges who then interview the finalists during the national convention and expo. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award. Case IH, Elanco Animal Health and Syngenta sponsor the awards. 

Outstanding Young Iowan Award 2017

There are individuals in all our communities who quietly go about the business of making a difference with no thought to recognition. Now is the time to provide that recognition. The Iowa Jaycees are pleased to announce we are accepting nominations for the Outstanding Young Iowan (OYI) Award, recognizing people ages 21 to 40 making an impact in a variety of fields, including business, political, academic achievement and humanitarian efforts. This is the highest award given by the state organization to a community individual, not necessarily a member of the Jaycees. 


This annual award is designed to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated a unique impact to the community. By nominating an individual from your community, you have the chance to say “thank you” for making the community a better place, to network for future collaborations, and to inspire other communities with incredible ideas. 


OYI nominations are due September 1, 2017 and the nominator will be notified by September 6, 2017 with instructions to inform the individual and information to collect by September 10. Awardees will be recognized September 30 as part of the evening banquet at the upcoming all-state convention in Waterloo, September 30th, 2017.Through an intense judging process, up to 3 individuals will be honored as recipients of the Outstanding Young Iowan award.


Those receiving the recognition are truly accomplished in their fields and/or in giving back to their communities.  These individuals represent the best of the best and individuals we should strive to emulate in our everyday actions. Each Honoree has shown a commitment to hope, reminding all Americans that no problem is too difficult when handled with grace, ingenuity, courage, and determination. 

Continuing our efforts to support Veterans

Throughout 2015, the Iowa Jaycees have been working with various community partners to learn how we can better support Veterans in our communities. On this Veterans Day, we are excited to announce that this effort will continue in 2016 through a pilot program with Paws & Effect, a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and others.“The development of a statewide relationship between the Jaycees and Paws & Effect is one that will yield many benefits to both organizations,” said Raymond Ropa, a Cedar Rapids Jaycees member, himself a veteran. “Now, veterans have another resource to welcome them as a service dog team, helping remove the obstacles to access and making for a smooth integration into the community.”


Local Jaycee chapters will work directly with service dog recipients, providing support through the “Passport to Civic Leadership” program, empowering each veteran to take an active role in both improving themselves and their communities. Additionally, funds raised through Paws & Effects’ annual July fund-raiser, “Tables & Tails,” will be used to provide community classes about service dogs and access rights. During the event, business owners contribute a portion of one day’s proceeds.“Business owners, managers, and employees are often at the front lines of protecting the rights of service animal handlers,” said Erin Flage, 2016 State President-Elect. “When you see a trained animal working in a restaurant, retail business, or office space, you can rest assured the business knows the law.”Read the full Press Release

Self-Assessment for the Year

 The end of the year is a great time to take a look back at how you performed during the previous year. Did you meet most of your personal and professional goals? What did you do that worked out well and what could be improved upon? Using this information can help your prepare for the upcoming year and help you better understand how to most effectively use your valuable time. Here are a few tips that will help you focus and get the most out of your self-assessment.

  1. Study your successes. If you’re like most folks, you’ve already done some analysis on the goals that you didn’t accomplish. Instead of drowning yourself in what you could have done differently, spend more time looking at what you did right. It will help you in the next step.
  2. Have a plan for your evaluation. It’s not enough to simply make a list and check off what you did well versus what could be improved. Make notes about the specific successes and look for patterns and processes you can apply to upcoming projects.
  3. Admit your mistakes. To avoid repeating past difficulties you have to understand what you can improve on. Having a sense of the mistakes you made during the year will assist you in analysing and planning better solutions if these challenges arise again during 2015.
  4. Be objective about yourself. Remember, you are the only person who will be reading this self-assessment – unless you choose to share it. Thus, there’s no value in embellishing your accomplishments. Be honest about your progress and you will begin with a truer overall evaluation.
  5. Look for new connections. Think about local expertise in the areas you need to improve, then go out and make the connections. You set yourself up to learn some new skills, and you directly address your biggest areas of need.

Taking the time to review 2014 from your perspective can go a long way to ensuring an even better 2015. Using December as a time period to review the previous year will help you prepare in advance for the New Year, and help you hit the ground running in January.Do you have any suggestions to share regarding self-assessment? Your idea could help your fellow Jaycees – so share them! Our Facebook and Twitter pages are always open.