Robert Bonner Distinguished Service Award

At the conclusion of Robert (Bob) Bonner’s stellar and stalwart service on the Laura Baker Services Association Board of Trustees, including 9 years as board president, the board chose to honor Bob with a Distinguished Service Award, which they named in his honor. Bob has been a staunch supporter, while also always encouraging LBSA to improve. His reach in the LBSA community has been immeasurable.

Award Recipients

Each year, the award honors people who have been constant in their association with LBSA and who have made consistent and personally significant contributions of their time, energy and resources during that time.

Ruthie & Dave Neuger (2019)+

Ruth and Dave Neuger have been involved with the Association for a number of years, as donors, volunteers, and service vendors.  Ruth is a member of the board of trustees and serves on the trusteeship committee.  She introduces people to the Association regularly and encourages them to become involved.  Several current and former board members serve because Ruth recruited them.  “No” is not an answer Ruthie accepts easily.   She continues to gently and kindly encourage and explain why someone’s support is necessary, and how involvement will benefit them.  There’s no hard sell.  Ruthie is also a mentor for new board members, making sure they get acclimated and their questions get answered.

Together, Dave and Ruthie are generous donors and community members.  They introduce staff members, family members, and others to the Association.  Their associates are far and wide; they find innovative ideas for engaging people.   If one idea doesn’t open an interest, additional avenues are explored.  There’s not a lot of flash in what they do; there’s a lot of substance.

Chris and Sheila Kennelly (2018)+

Generously lending their time, talents and resources to LBSA, Chris and Sheila are invaluable members of our community. As owner of Northfield Construction Company, Chris first became involved with LBSA when he was hired as the general contractor for our campus renovations. Since then, he has been an integral part of conversations around housing development and housing affordability issues. In addition to insight and expertise, Northfield Construction Company has given LBSA tremendous support through donations and sponsorships of our events. Graciously dedicating her time to LBSA, Sheila has served on our Gala Auction Committee for several years. Together, Chris and Sheila have championed LBSA to their friends and business associates, helping to bring attention and additional resources to our cause. Our community is fortunate and honored to have the steadfast support of Chris and Sheila.

Cheryl Buck (2017)+

Cheryl has kept a pulse on the changing needs of our community and then works to tackle these issues by asking how LBSA can help. She has been a passionate advocate for public policies that support people with disabilities. Cheryl has served on the LBSA Board of Trustees since 2004. During her four years as president of the board, she prioritized advancing the mission, vision and values of LBSA.

Annette Nierobisz and Rob Morrow (2016)+

Annette and Rob are committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities. They have generously lent their talents and expertise to LBSA over the years. Rob has artfully captured the Laura Baker Services story through his photography. Annette, a professor of sociology at Carleton College, has helped to give LBSA invaluable insight about our community by partnering with LBSA.

Charlie and Lorraine Sewich (2015)+

Charlie and Lorraine have remained steadfast in their support of LBSA for many years and have encouraged others to get actively involved as well. Charlie served on the LBSA Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2015 and chaired a successful capital campaign to raise $1.3 million to support the construction of new living facilities for our clients. Lorraine served for several years on the Gala Committee working to get new people involved and to secure auction items that helped raise thousands of dollars for the organization.

Ed and Anne Lundstrom (2014)+

Ed and Anne have served on a variety of LBSA advisory and development committees over the years, dedicating their time and resources to ensure LBSA remains a vibrant and viable entity long into the future. Ed served on the Board of Trustees for several years, and Ed and Anne have been exceptional role models in the act of service. The Lundstroms have given generously to the Laura Baker community and have been strong vocal advocates for our clients.

Bob and Marilyn Matta (2013)+

Bob and Marilyn have been ambassadors of the Laura Baker mission for over 35 years. They have given LBSA their endless support through the many committees they have served on. As a board member for over 15 years, Marilyn devoted countless hours to LBSA, a community that holds a significant place in their hearts. In the late 1980s, the Mattas worked tirelessly to create an environment for their daughter that could meet her needs, keep her safe and allow her to grow.

Mike Hero (2012)+

Mike served on the LBSA Board of Trustees for over 25 years, including 8 years as President. During his substantial board service, he was committed to improving the financial outlook and overall organizational health of LBSA and increasing community engagement. In his generous efforts to support the association, Mike has always kept LBSA’s mission, vision and values at the forefront of his work. The Resident Need Fund was renamed the Mike Hero Resident Need Fund in honor of his service.

Steve Kelly (2011)+

Steve served on the LBSA Board of Trustees for eight years. Steve has been passionate about the opportunities LBSA offers its clients. As a professor of music at Carleton College, he recognizes the importance of our music therapy program. With his expertise and generosity, Steve has helped to support this meaningful service and make certain that it continues to benefit our clients.

Bill Cowles (2010)+

At a time when LBSA was struggling to find its footing and needed guidance most, Bill was asked to join the Board of Trustees. He generously brought his financial expertise and business acumen to the board for 16 years. By asking the right questions and helping us find the answers, Bill’s time on the board was indispensable. In addition, Bill has been a great ambassador, having spent countless hours sharing LBSA’s story, connecting friends and colleagues to the organization and chairing LBSA’s capital campaign.

Pam Schiele (2010)+

Pam moved to Northfield to enjoy her retirement in a close-knit community. Having had a family member at LBSA, she dove right in and began volunteering. In addition to the behind-the-scene tasks of hand-addressing Gala invitations and annual giving mailings, she could always be found helping at our fundraising events, quietly and efficiently making a difference. Pam never sought any type of recognition for her service but was pleased to have her sister accept the award on her behalf when she was not physically able to do so herself. Shortly after being honored for her dedication to LBSA, Pam passed away from a brief but fierce battle with pancreatic cancer. She is greatly missed.