In his acceptance speech Friday night, Jan. 10, the newly awarded Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce citizen of the year used the opportunity to shine a light on "the side of Woodbury that many of us just don't see."
"We've got 250 families in Woodbury who are using the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf every month. We've got 170 homeless students from Woodbury in our schools. We've got nearly 550 Woodbury families who receive food stamps or SNAP benefits. And we've got more than 600 people age 25 or older in Woodbury who have an education less than grades 9 through 12, and have no diploma," said Roger Green during the chamber's annual award gala at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel off McKnight Road in St. Paul.
He added: "There's a saying in the Bible, 'To whom much is given, much will be required.' May all of us who have been given much find it in our hearts to make Woodbury a great place to live, work and play for everyone."
Green's service record is extensive, including Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Thrives and the Washington County Community Development Agency Board of Commissioners. He also has been involved with the Housing Task Force, Community Land Trust, Economic Development Committee, Chamber of Commerce, Woodbury Athletic Association, American Cancer Society and Transfiguration Catholic Church to name a few.
He was previously vice president of HealthEast Care Systems.
In 2016 Green received a Lifetime Volunteer Award from Community Thread, a Stillwater-based organization that connects volunteers to causes in the St. Croix Valley area.
Culver's of Woodbury, the recipient of the chamber's business of the year award, was also recognized for giving back to the community with more than $21,000 in donations raised in 2019 for local schools and youth sports organizations.
Restaurant general manager Aaron Sundgaard dedicated the award to the business's 40 employees.
"Everyone from the kitchen staff, to up front, to all the managers and people in the dining room, this is truly their award," he said.
The sold-out gala featured live music by Cassandra Cole, wine pull and auctions, including a dessert auction stocked by area bakeries.
RiverTown Multimedia was among the event sponsors.
Here's the list of award winners and nominees for 2019:
Business of the Year
- Culver's of Woodbury
Nominees: Angelina's Kitchen, Oak Marsh Golf Course, Saint Therese of Woodbury, That's My Idea Marketing
Citizen of the Year
- Roger Green
Nominees: Paul Alsides, Claudia Millington, Ralph Olsen, Steve Whillock
Educator of the Year
- Louise Erickson, New Life Academy
Nominees: Sara Hjelmeland, Middleton Elementary; Gina Kortuem, New Life Academy; Stephanie McGrane, Red Rock Elementary; Kyra Reis, St. Ambrose ECEC; Nancy Washburn, New Life Academy
Public Safety Worker of the Year
- Kris Mienert, Woodbury Assistant Public Safety Director/Assistant Police Chief and Greg Rinzel, Cottage Grove Police Captain
Nonprofit of the Year
- Woodbury Senior Living
Nominees: Saint Therese of Woodbury, Woodbury Lions Club, YMCA
Ambassador of the Year
- Tom Dunn, Tom Dunn Photography