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The Friend of Kearney Award was created in 1987 by the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Envoys and is designed to honor a Kearney area individual or couple who has been a Friend of Kearney through his or her community leadership and contributions. This award recognizes the potential of all area residents as valued members and leaders of the Kearney area.

Congratulations to Dr. Joel Johnson for receiving the 2020 Friend of Kearney award!

Dr. Joel Johnson has been involved throughout the Kearney community for many years. Kearney has served as the hometown profile of Dr. Joel throughout his medical career. It started off with serving our country in the United States Navy as a general surgeon. Following his military service, he established his medical practice by serving as a surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital and the Kearney Clinic. Dr. Joel also lead various areas of development for an Advanced Cardiac Life Support program and the Flight for Life in Nebraska.

As an educator and business leader during his term in the Nebraska Legislature, Dr. Joel served on the Banking, Commerce & Insurance, Health and Human Services Committees. He was asked to complete Senator Douglas Kristensen's term as a State Senator for Nebraska in which Dr. Joel brought his medical knowledge to the legislature. He is the first and only medical doctor to serve in the Nebraska Unicameral. During his time as State Senator, Dr. Joel played an instrumental role in advocating for Kearney's East I-80 exit along with spearheading the passage of the "Nebraska Clean Air Act."

Dr. Joel continues to be a community partner and supports projects at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He believes in giving back to his community and aiding in the establishment of UNK's campus developments.

Congratulations Dr. Joel Johnson on receiving the 2020 Friend of Kearney award!


Past Award Winners: 2019 Gene Beerbohn | 2018 Ron Bielenberg | 2017 Ken & Bonnie Mumm | 2016 Carolyn Menke | 2015 Jan Rodehorst | 2014 Tom & Mary Henning | 2013 Stan Dart | 2012 Gail Lowenberg | 2011 Tom Tye | 2010 Sherry Morrow | 2009 Paul Younes | 2008 Brad Kernick | 2007 Jackie Purdy | 2006 Earl Rademacher | 2005 Pete & Jane Kotsiopulos

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