Minnesota Jaycees, a leadership development organization, has been acknowledging 10 individuals each year for their dedication to the community since 1950.
Steve Rogers of Anchor Plastics Inc. in Golden Valley is one of the 10 chosen individuals for this year’s award.
Rogers originally joined the Hopkins Jaycees chapter in 2000.
“I was talked into visiting the Raspberry Festival,” he said. “I met a group of eclectic people.”
They asked Rogers to help pour beer at the organization’s stand and soon after he became a member.
“Next thing I know I was Vice President of membership,” he said with a chuckle. “It was a great opportunity to meet people.”
Rogers spent four years dedicating his time and energy for others in the community through the Jaycees organization before he married (his wife was also a Jaycee member) and had children.
As Rogers said, life got busy. He left the organization in 2004.
In 2010 after his children had grown older and Rogers had more free time he rejoined the Hopkins Jaycees chapter.
Volunteering was nothing new for Rogers as an adult.
“My family has always been very big on civic duties,” he said.
He grew up in a family that often volunteered and his parents continue to give back to this day.
“You could say I was kind of raised that way,” he said. “Being appreciative of what we have and what we can do.”
In college Rogers was a member of a fraternity that held several fundraisers and continues to be a member of Pi Sigma Epsilon, a national professional fraternal organization in sales, marketing and management.
Much like his family growing up, Rogers and his wife aim to instill the same values of giving back as they grew up with years ago. His wife volunteers for their children’s school district and area humane society.
Rogers was beyond shocked and honored to hear he had been nominated for this year’s 10 Outstanding Young Minnesotans.
“I looked at the people that were nominated against me and I feel like they’re in a complete different category,” he said. “It means a lot. It means that there’s a group of people that thought that highly of me. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to (give back).”
Rogers encourages others to spend some time volunteering.
“There are a lot of people that need help,” he said. “If you really want to succeed in life it’s not only about what you do in your professional life but what you do in your personal life. It’s about giving back. Take one day a month and go do something.”
Rogers admits he’s hired people to work for his plastics company through the Jaycees organization.
“It’s a really great organization,” he said. “It’s a great group of people.”
About the award
In 1950 Minnesota Jaycees started its Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans award –an award given to 10 individuals ages 18-40 who have devoted themselves to their community.
“The program acknowledges the efforts and accomplishments of young adults who have contributed to our state through their service, thought and influence, community involvement or entrepreneurship.”
Awardees can be nominated by either Jaycees chapters or individuals. In Rogers’ case, Hopkins Jaycees chapter nominated him.
Winners are chosen by longtime Jaycees members and past recipients of the award.
Since 1950 the organization has recognized 400 young leaders with this award. Past recipients have included Paul Douglas and Jason DeRusha.
Those that receive the state recognition are then under consideration for recognition at the national level and finally worldwide recognition.
Past national recipients have included Elvis Presley and Bill Clinton.
Recipients will be recognized Dec. 7 at an awards celebration in Bloomington.
Also being recognized are this year’s Outstanding Young Farmers which will be awarded to three individuals.
To get involved: mnjaycees.org or 952-890-8000.
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]