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Grassroots Leadership Award

In 1987, NDTOA established the Mr. Township Award which was dedicated to the founder of our organization - Hank Weber of Casselton, North Dakota.  The name of the award was later changed to the Grassroots Leadership Award to recognize the many female township officers in our state.

This award was presented to a township officer who, through his or her actions, had served their township, their community and/or their state with exceptional service.

The first recipient was Jim Braaten from Crary, Ramsey County, in 1987. Click here to see all past Mr. Township/Grassroots Leadership Award recipients.

2018 Grassroots Leadership Award:
Nobody Named for the 2018 Grassroots Leadership Award!

Somebody was definitely more qualified, dedicated and served the Township in some outstanding way; but Somebody didn’t get nominated. Perhaps we should have printed the form and reminder earlier and more often, we will try to do better on that. The form will be printed in the summer and fall Grassroots Report; it is now also available on the website.
There is a lot of room on the form to list qualifications, fill in what you can. It doesn’t have to be completely filled in but the more information you can provide the better chance your candidate will have. The nominations have to be in our hands by November 15 each year but the earlier the better.


Legislator of the Year Award

Legislative success requires friends in the legislative arena. This award program was established to reward, on an annual basis, one of those legislators who have been of great help to the NDTOA.

These awards are given at the annual meeting awards banquet. Each winner has a chance to be recognized in the presence of as many township officers as are assembled at the annual meeting and convention. The award recipient is given a plaque and are invited to address the NDTOA membership.

The qualifications to receive this award depend on if the legislator has been a repeated sponsor, co-sponsor or defended in committee or on the floor of their house, township endorsed bills.

Senator David O’Connell, a township officer from the Lansford area, was the first award winner. Click here to see all past Legislator of the Year recipients.

Legislator of the Year:
2018 Representative Don Vigessa Legislator of the Year
The North Dakota Township Officer Association (NDTOA) honored Representative Don Vigessa with the Legislator of the Year award.

“NDTOA appreciates Representative Vigessa’s long history of supporting Townships and his constant concern for rural issues,” said NDTOA executive secretary Larry Syverson.

Vigessa owns and operates, VW Motors of Cooperstown, and represents District 23. Vigessa has served in the House of Representatives since 2003, serving as the Assistant Majority Leader for the last several sessions and is currently the Chairman of the House Appropriations Government Operations Sub Committee.

The award was given at the NDTOA 52nd Annual Convention in December.


NDTOA President's Award

In 2016, the NDTOA Board of Directors created the President's Award as a way to recognize exemplary contribution by individuals that are not elected officials.  Willie Huot, Grand Forks, was the first award winner. Click here to see all past Presidents Award recipients.

President's Award:
2018: Jim Hennessy President’s Award
Jim Hennessy Receives President’s Award for 2018
The President’s Award is given for meritorious service to ND Townships by someone that is not a Township Officer.

Jim Hennessy is a 1987 graduate of NDSU. He began work as the Mountrail County Extension Agent in April of 1993 and in 2014 he created and transferred to the Mountrail County Ag Agency. He continues serving as their agent.

He has always been a “truly a civic minded and a good person” according to Troy Coons, Lowland Township Chairman. Troy continued; ”He is very active in anything for Townships and ag related items and especially youth activities; Jim does a lot with 4H, horsemanship, shooting sports, etc.”

Besides his service to the Townships of Mountrail County he is the secretary of the Ag improvement association and county weed control officer.


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