Dirk Siedlecki Named “2013 Jacksonville Person of the Year”

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve talked about the incredible volunteers making Jacksonville a wonderful place to live. At the Review, I’m fond of saying, “the ‘V’ in Jacksonville is for “volunteer!”

On February 18, I was thrilled when Mayor Paul Becker presented Dirk Siedlecki with the 2013 “Person of the Year” award. This is the first-ever mayoral award of its kind and one I hope future mayors will present. It’s a privilege knowing and working with Dirk, an incredibly active person who serves on the Jacksonville Cemetery Commission, State Cemetery Commission and Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery board. He’s a key player in the Boosters Club and helps produce the “Meet the Pioneers” and “History Saturday” programs. His enthusiasm is invigorating, his energy is seemingly limitless. Above all, Dirk is a role model to many, including me.

Commenting on the award, Mayor Becker said, “The idea came to me several months ago… I decided to more or less proceed with choosing Dirk as the first recipient. Not surprisingly, everyone with whom I spoke was in agreement… everyone knows about Dirk’s contributions and truly admires him for all he does.”

The mayor added, “Through sheer will and dedication, Dirk has developed a regional reputation and appreciation for the historical significance associated with the Jacksonville Cemetery. Jacksonville may not have historical figures like Annie Oakley or Buffalo Bill, but it has grown as a major tourist attraction, coming in right behind the Britt Music Festival… all through the efforts of Dirk.”

Congratulations Dirk Siedlecki on this well-deserved award and thanks for everything you do for Our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!

Posted February 26, 2014