Several community members and City employees were awarded for their efforts to serve the Allen community over the past year at the Annual Board Appreciation Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
Held on December 2, the Annual Board Appreciation Dinner and Awards Ceremony provided an opportunity for Allen City Council to recognize the City’s boards and commissions for their work in making Allen the place it is today.
During the event, Mayor Ken Fulk also presented the Mayor’s Distinguished Service Award to six individuals who each made valuable contributions to the community through volunteer service in a wide variety of categories, such as recreation, library, arts, environment, education, public safety, civic and human services.
Recipients of the 2022 Mayor’s Distinguished Service Award
Ross Obermeyer was honored for his decades-long history of public service in Allen. He served on Allen City Council for 15 years beginning in 2002, was a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission for eight years, served on the Parks and Recreation Board in 1992 and is a founding trustee of the Allen Parks Foundation Board. In all his roles, Obermeyer has focused on ensuring that City resources such as parks, open space and future planning were key items included in Allen's strategic vision. Today, Obermeyer serves as Director for the Connemara Conservatory Board of Trustees.
A true champion for history, Paula Ross has spent more than 20 years preserving and protecting Allen's history and historic areas. Ross serves as President of the Allen Heritage Guild, which is responsible for the growth and restoration of the Allen Heritage Village, which now includes a steam locomotive engine and a historic barn. Ross and the Allen Heritage Guild's commitment to preserving Allen's history as a growing prairie town has resulted in several notable projects and additions around the city, including the restoration and preservation of the Allen Station Dam, placement of historical markers around Allen and the renovation of the historic St. Mary Baptist Church.
Over the course of nearly 50 years, Eileen Tollett has helped shape the Allen community into what it is today. In 1976, Tollett became the first woman elected to Allen City Council. She also served on the Library Advisory Board through the mid-1970s and has remained a devoted advocate for Allen Public Library, serving as the 2022 Allen Library Endowment Fund Board President and as a Manager Emeritus. Tollett also currently serves as a trustee for the Connemara Conservancy and as Chair of the Allen Public Library expansion steering committee. Tollett's continued commitment and service to Allen have been invaluable to our community.
Kurt Kizer has served the Allen community since 2001, when he was elected president of Leadership Allen Class 13. He was then appointed to the Keep Allen Beautiful Board and served on the Allen Economic Development Corporation and the Planning and Zoning Commission. Kizer was elected to Allen City Council in 2021 and served for nine years, overseeing the Finance/Audit Committee, Nominating Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission and Public Art Committee. Kizer is also a member of the Allen Kiwanis Club, a previous trustee on the Allen Parks Foundation board and has served as a board member and coach for the Allen Delegation of Special Olympics.
Steve Massey joined the City of Allen’s team in 2000, after serving 27 years in the United States Army. As Allen’s first Director of Community Services, Massey took the department from a small public works team to an award-winning full-service department that oversees the maintenance of streets, alleys and sidewalks, water and sewer lines, drainage systems, trash and recycling service and efforts related to water conservation and environmental education. In addition, Massey oversaw the planning and operation of the Municipal Service Center – the City of Allen’s first-in-class facility for front-line and field operations workers.
Serving the Allen community for over 22 years, Jane Bennett is a long-time supporter of both Allen Public Library and public art. Bennett has been a member of Friends of the Allen Public Library since 2000 and has served as president of the organization during that time. In 2007, Bennett helped created the ALLen Reads program, which has continued to grow and receive community support. Her involvement was instrumental to the 2000 bond campaign to construct the current Library. A believer in the benefits of a robust art program, Bennett joined the Public Art Committee in 2006 and has overseen the development and growth of Allen’s vibrant public art scene.
About Boards and Commission Service
The various workings of the city include service by residents that volunteer on 12 of boards and commission. These include Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, Central Business District Design Review Committee, Community Development Corporation, Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board, Economic Development Corporation, Keep Allen Beautiful, Library Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Planning and Zoning Commission, Public Art Committee, Community Engagement Advisory Board and the Board of Adjustment, Sign Control and Building and Standards Commission.
All qualified voters with one year of residency in the City of Allen are eligible to apply for positions with any of the council-appointed boards. Learn more about the application process.