Wolfe named Post Falls Citizen of the Year

Youth club, Spencer, Cabela's, Schneidmiller, Helbling also honored

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Alan Wolfe, branch manager for Spokane Teachers Credit Union, takes a moment during a speech after being awarded the Post Falls Citizen of the Year Thursday at the Red Lion Templins Hotel.

POST FALLS - Whether he's helping Post Falls plan for its future or coaching kids, Alan Wolfe is always game.

The manager of Spokane Teachers Credit Union's Post Falls branch was named Citizen of the Year during the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet at Red Lion Templin's Hotel on Thursday night.

"I can't tell you what this means to me," a surprised Wolfe said after taking the podium. "I'd like to thank everybody at STCU for giving me the time to give back to the community."

Wolfe was joined by wife Dani Zibell-Wolfe at the banquet and was surprised to see his adult sons Jake and Joe in attendance near the back.

Jerry Lyon, of Community 1st Bank and last year's Citizen of the Year recipient, presented the award, saying, for Wolfe, "a willingness to lead and contribute is a way of life personally and professionally."

Wolfe serves on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, the chamber board and has been a youth coach. He has attended the chamber's River City Leadership Academy and also teaches financial literacy.

Modeling a lifestyle of health and fitness, Wolfe competed in Ironman Coeur d'Alene last year and has served as a coordinator for the event.

"He's truly one of the good guys," Lyon said.

Other award recipients included:

* Suzanna Spencer, Inland Northwest Bank, Volunteer of the Year. Spencer serves with Boys and Girls Club, chamber, Relay for Life, Post Falls Food Bank, Kootenai Humane Society, Toastmasters and the North Idaho Violence Prevention Center. She has helped raise more than $180,000 through Relay for Life.

"I only do what I do because I'm passionate about it," Spencer said.

* Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County, Spirit of Post Falls, The nonprofit opened its 10,000-square-foot, $1.3 million facility next to the Post Falls Library this month after seven years of fundraising and several years of planning before that. The club has been operating after-school and summer programs for kids ages 6-18 out of the Nazarene Church in Post Falls across from Mullan Trail Elementary since 2007. It grew from 415 members in Post Falls to 576 after the opening.

"If we build it, they will come," said Ryan Davis, executive director.

* Cabela's, Business of the Year (more than 50 employees). The retailer supports the business fair, fundraisers, the leadership academy, scouting and youth programs with more than $75,000 annually in sponsorships and donations. Cabela's attracts more than 1.5 million people each year and employs 180 full time.

* Helbling Employee Benefits, Small Business of the Year (less than 50 employees). Staff volunteer for the chamber, TESH, Festival of Trees, Make a Wish, St. Vincent DePaul and the company donates to community events. Three of its employees have graduated from the leadership academy.

* Gladys Schneidmiller, Heritage Award. Schneidmiller has been a longtime contributor to the community. Her family has donated property where Post Falls businesses are located, including Kimball Office (formerly Harper's and Flexcel) and Kootenai Medical Center.

* Randy Oaks, Chairman's Award. Presented by outgoing chamber chairman Ron Nilson for contributions to the nonprofit during the year.

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