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Alden Kollman receives Citizen of the Year Award

The chamber announced its award winners at its annual awards banquet Thursday, Jan. 19, at Harold Newman Arena

Museum Peggy Lee album cover Alden n Carla.jpg
Alden Kollman holds a Peggy Lee record album that features her original name and promotes the Jamestown area in this photo from 2020. Kollman was named the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun file photo
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JAMESTOWN – The recipient of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award said he was “surprised” and “blown away” to receive the award and hopes to live up to the honor.

“I’m sure that most people that get the award have the same feeling that there’s a lot of other people that deserve it more than I do,” Alden Kollman said. “They just aren’t as visible. I’ve had the benefit of being out in plain sight where people could see what I was doing.”

Kollman, of Jamestown, said it’s difficult to think of himself being in the same group as past recipients of the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award.

“I don’t know if anybody ever feels like they’ve done enough,” he said. “If people say you have you just say, ‘Thank you,’ and move along.”

The chamber announced its award winners at its annual awards banquet Thursday, Jan. 19, at Harold Newman Arena. The Above and Beyond winner was Ben Smith with Jamestown Public Schools, Shannon Klatt with the Central Valley Health District was named the Young Professional of the Year, and R.M. Stoudt was named the Business of the Year. The chamber’s beautification committee recognized the Two Rivers Activity Center with its Continuing Beautification Award, Frontier Village with the Spot of Beauty Award and First Community Credit Union with the Best Landscaping Award.

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Kollman said he grew up in Kensal, North Dakota, and has lived in Jamestown since 1985.

Kollman said he didn’t expect to be nominated for the award. He is also a past recipient of the Above & Beyond Award.

“I figured that would be good enough,” he said.

Alden Kollman MUG 2022.jpg
Alden Kollman
Contributed / Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Bollingberg, who nominated Kollman for the award, said a group of Jamestown Rotary Club members were adamant that he was nominated for the award. She said Kollman being named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year is “rightfully deserved.”

“Alden Kollman is an asset to the community of Jamestown and I believe he should be strongly considered for the Outstanding Citizen of the Year,” she wrote in the letter of nomination for the award. “Never would Alden Kollman desire to be honored, but I believe he is the exact type of individual our community should be aware of and try to honor and emulate.”

Amy Walters, executive director of Jamestown Parks and Recreation, said it’s great that Kollman was named the recipient of the award. She said he learned about Kollman because she is a member of the Jamestown Rotary Club.

“Just knowing Alden as an active community member and learning about his contributions at the Stutsman County Museum, I just thought that he would be great for consideration,” she said.

Bollingberg said the Rotary Club had an opportunity to work with Kollman on a project at the Stutsman County Memorial Museum. Together they repaired the floor and painted the gazebo located north of the museum.

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“Alden’s skills as a carpenter were incredibly evident in the many hours he donated to make the gazebo beautiful again,” she wrote in her nomination letter. “He was very appreciative of the club’s help, but in his normal spirit, took very little accolades for the large part he performed.”

She said he was a joy to work with as he is a selfless individual when it comes to anything with Jamestown and Stutsman County.

Kollman said he has an interest in history and preserving the local heritage. He said he helped get all items in the Stutsman County Memorial Museum documented and put in a searchable database. He has served on the Stutsman County Memorial Museum Board of Directors for 30 years, not all consecutively though.

In the nomination letter, Bollingberg wrote that Kollman is a “driving force” in preserving the history of Stutsman County.

“Through his leadership at the museum, the Lutz home has become a gem for tourism,” she wrote. “He is a wonderful speaker during the Front Porch Chat series hosted during the summer months. He has designed and built the new computerized inventory system at the museum as well. He has spent countless hours researching, documenting, analyzing, and logging years of historical information for the benefit of the county, community, and people of our region.”

Bollingberg said Kollman has been a speaker at Rotary Club meetings several times. She said his knowledge of local history is impressive.

He said he’s been involved with the Hillcrest Men’s Golf Association where he helps with tournaments. He has also served on the Jamestown Tourism Board of Directors.

Just because Kollman received the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award, he does not plan on stopping his involvement in the community.

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“Once you don’t do anything, it seems like people don’t last as long,” he said. “Keep swimming or die. That’s what I plan to keep doing: keep swimming.”

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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