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Renton Volunteers Honored as Citizen of the Year and Outstanding Citizens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 6, 2009

For more information contact:

Kellie Jordan, Renton Chamber of Commerce 425-226-4560
Preeti Shridhar, City of Renton 425-430-6569

2009 Citizen of the Year – Jim Medzegian
Outstanding Citizens – Linda Middlebrooks and Larry Sleeth

RENTON: The City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Renton will honor Jim Medzegian as the 2009 Citizen of the Year and Linda Middlebrooks and Larry Sleeth as Outstanding Citizens. These awards recognize their unwavering dedication and far-reaching contributions to the Renton community. The award ceremony will take place at the annual Citizen of the Year Banquet on Thursday, October 29, 2009, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Renton Senior Activity Center.

Numerous organizations and thousands of individuals benefit from the combined volunteer efforts of Jim Medzegian, Linda Middlebrooks and Larry Sleeth. Their volunteer service focuses on a variety of areas, including human services, education, community involvement, business, and arts.

“It is my honor and privilege to recognize Jim Medzegian as the 2009 Citizen of the Year and Linda Middlebrooks and Larry Sleeth as Outstanding Citizens," said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “I am pleased to recognize their dedication and passion for this city and our community. These awards are just one small way to say “thank you” to individuals who dedicate their lives to making a difference, and help make our city a better place to live, work, and grow.”

“Our community is blessed to have the tireless contribution of people like Jim, Linda and Larry,” said Bill Taylor, president of the Renton Chamber of Commerce. “I’m so pleased that they are receiving the recognition they wholeheartedly deserve.”

“Jim, Linda and Larry are wonderful people who are tremendously worthy of this honor,” said Dan Kellogg, president of the Rotary Club of Renton. “They all have put in so much time to make our community better, and we commend them for their selfless service.”
 
2009 Citizen of the Year Jim Medzegian has been an active member of the Renton community for most of his adult life. Jim worked nearly 40 years for The Boeing Company before retiring 12 years ago as Director of Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs. As a member of the St. Matthews Lutheran Church in the Renton Highlands for nearly 45 years, Jim headed up two major capital campaigns that raised nearly $2 million for the church building program. Jim served for 11 years as a Trustee at Renton Technical College and several years on the Renton Technical College Foundation Board of Directors. Jim was co-chair of the fundraising committee that managed to raise close to $1 million for computer related equipment for the Technology Resource Center. Jim has made significant contributions to the community as President of the Piazza Renton Volunteers, member of the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Committee the Total Resource Campaign, and with the Rotary Club of Renton. Jim is co-chairman of the Return to Renton Annual Benefit Car Show, which has flourished under his leadership and guidance. Jim is also a board member of the Renton Community Foundation, the Board Nominating Committee and the Circle of Giving. Jim has three grown sons and seven grandchildren and his number one priority in life is his family. Jim and his wife Joanne have been married 47 years.

2009 Outstanding Citizen Linda Middlebrooks is a passionate supporter of education and the arts who has worked tirelessly on behalf of nearly a dozen community organizations and service groups. Linda graduated from Seattle Pacific University and taught in the Renton School District for 25 years. While with the district she was a Renton Educational Association representative and worked on numerous projects. As co-president of Sigma Rho, Linda continues to support and raise funds for her alma mater. She also supports the Renton chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization. Linda is a member of the Renton Municipal Arts Commission, Allied Arts Board, Renton Annual Art Show Committee, Piazza Renton Volunteers, Lakeridge Garden Club, the Paramount Theater Volunteer Council Board, and is a Renton Farmers Market Volunteer Manager. Previously, Linda provided her leadership in various roles to the Renton Civic Theater, the March of Dimes organization, and the Highline Exchange Club. Recently Linda was involved in helping successfully raise funds for Renton’s Unleashed Furry Friends (RUFF,) which opened the city’s first off-leash dog park. Linda has been married to her husband John for 41 years and has two grown children who both attended the Renton School District K-12.

2009 Outstanding Citizen Larry Sleeth was employed by the City of Renton as facilities manager from 1969 until his retirement in 2000. Larry is also a co-owner/partner in A.S.A.L. Custom Construction since 1980 and has been the “Larry” of Don & Larry’s BBQ Catering since 2000. Larry has been a community leader since the early 1970’s when he first signed up to run the basketball program for the Burien Boys & Girls Club. Since then he has been a fleet captain for the Tyee Yacht Club, a trustee member for the Renton Historical Society, and a member of Renton Rotary. Larry was instrumental in completing the renovation of the Renton Historical Society’s annex building. He helped move the museum’s coal car back and forth from the Northwest Railway Museum, and helped with the relocation of the museum’s Model A Ford. Larry has also volunteered for the past 15 years as a volunteer chef for the Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Renton Community Senior Center. Larry has been married for 43 years to his wife Andrea, and has two sons and three grandchildren.
For more information on the Citizen of the Year and Outstanding Citizen program, please visit rentonwa.gov. Tickets for the banquet are $30 per person and reservations are requested by Friday, October 23, 2009.  To register, please visit www.GoRenton.com, or call 425-226-4560.