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Citizen of the Year gets by little help from his friends

You can’t go it alone. Not if you expect to accomplish much, at least.

That’s what Woodbury resident Jack Lanners said he’s learned when it comes to helping a community move forward.

Members of the Woodbury community returned the favor earlier this month when Lanners was named the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce 2013 Citizen of the Year.

“It’s a humbling – and terrific – award,” Lanners said. “But we all know that it’s because of so many other people and, more often than not, family and business associates that helped you do whatever you’ve done.

“And it sure makes me feel good and proud that so many people helped me get this award.”

Chamber President Barbara Tuccitto Warren said “a plethora” of community members stepped forward to nominate Lanners for the award.

“Jack had an overwhelming number of nominations that pointed out all the many things that he has done for the Woodbury community,” she said.

That made the decision easier for the committee tasked with naming the Citizen of the Year, Tuccitto Warren said last week.

“The committee felt that Jack was well deserving of receiving the award,” she said.

In a nomination letter from former HealthEast executive and Woodbury resident Roger Green, Lanners was lauded for his deep community involvement.

“I can’t imagine anyone else in Woodbury who is more involved and more dedicated to assuring Woodbury is a great community,” Green wrote.

Lanners has been a Woodbury resident since he and his wife Norma Jean set down roots here in 1983. They are the parents to two adult daughters and four grandchildren.

The 60-year-old owns and operates MGM Wine & Spirits.

Lanners spreads his time among several local organizations, including the Woodbury Lions Club, of which he is a past president. He is vice chairman of the Woodbury Community Foundation Board, a member of the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Friends of St. Paul Libraries.

Lanners continues to serve on the board of the Center for the American Experiment think tank and was an eight-year Metropolitan Airports Commission member.

He said that working the service business has informed his passion for community outreach.

“You get used to doing service for others,” he said. “It’s to make things better – whatever you’re working on for the future – and leaving things better than you found them.

“And Woodbury is full of community service leaders who do that. That’s what makes a town of 65,000 people seem smaller and closer.”

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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