DASSEL, MN Museum Director Carolyn Holje was recognized during last Monday’s Dassel City Council meeting for having received the Minnesota Women in City Government award.
Council Member Sara Nelson said she had the honor of being present when Holje accepted the award at the League of Minnesota Cities annual conference in June.
Nelson read the letter of recommendation that was submitted nominating Holje for the leadership award.
The letter mentioned her contributions to the community, including her start as editor of the local newspaper; and her work with the Dassel History Center, beginning in 2008.
The letter described Holje as a pioneer, noting “Her leadership and never-ending enthusiasm allowed her to become one of the first woman members of the Cokato-Dassel Rotary Club in 1995.”
It also noted “The history center has become one of the community’s most treasured assets, and Carolyn has been the driving force in its success.”
The history center has hosted two Smithsonian exhibits, the letter states, which is virtually unheard of in a town with a population of less than 1,500.
“Without Carolyn’s perseverance and dedication, these exhibits would not have been presented in Dassel,” the letter stated.
It went on to state Carolyn’s most endearing qualities are her interpersonal skills and enthusiasm.
“The energy levels rise the minute she walks into the room.
“. . . Her positive outlook and engaging personality are infectious and inspire others around her to greatness,” the letter states.
After Nelson read the letter, Mayor Jeff Putnam presented Holje with a collection of gifts with a corn theme, as a tribute to the seed corn exhibit that recently opened at the history center.
The gifts included a coffee mug made from 100 percent US corn plastic, a jar of homemade corncob jelly, a pen that resembles a corncob, and a T-shirt proclaiming “corn star.”
Holje expressed her appreciation for the award, and, in typical fashion, noted that she did not accomplish these things on her own, but with the help of volunteers.
“You know, it’s all about working together in partnerships,” Holje said. “You know that, don’t you? I’ve mentioned that before,” she concluded with a smile.