Longo named top citizen

Cd'A chamber tabs Kiki Miller as top volunteer

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COEUR d'ALENE - The chief of police is a citizen, too.

In Coeur d'Alene, however, he also happens to be the Distinguished Citizen of the Year for 2012.

Wayne Longo was honored with the award Thursday at the 100th annual Coeur d'Alene Chamber Luncheon at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

Longo wasn't present for the award, but was on family vacation in Washington, D.C.

By phone, he said, "I certainly don't deserve it, and there's many people that do."

He added, "I'm truly humbled by it."

His nomination was accepted by the chamber's executive committee.

"A lot of people may not know he's as active with the chamber as any volunteer," said chamber President and CEO Steve Wilson.

Longo's law-enforcement career includes more than 30 years working for the Idaho State Police, and the past half dozen years as chief of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

Wendy Gabriel, city administrator for Coeur d'Alene, announced the award in front of the more than 200 people at the luncheon.

Officers under his command respond to calls with great training, professionalism, and competence, she said.

"He is highly respected throughout the state of Idaho for efforts in combating a meth epidemic," she said.

With respect from his peers statewide in law enforcement, he earned an appointment to the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (Post) Council, Gabriel said.

She said he donates his time and energy as a chamber Commodore, a Rotarian, to the United Way of Kootenai County, Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County, and the Citizens Council for the Arts.

He also is a faculty member at North Idaho College and Lewis-Clark State College.

"If that wasn't enough, (he) provides unwavering support to his wife's nursing career, one of the best nurses to work at Kootenai Health," Gabriel said. Longo and his wife, Ginny, have two adult children.

Volunteer of the Year went to Kiki Miller, who has been involved with the chamber for 25 years, serving on the board and multiple committees.

Because of her involvement volunteering on projects, people often identify Miller with the projects she works on.

"I kind of become the project," she said. "Volunteering is really my entertainment. When I jump into a project, it's just heart and soul to me."

This year, she led the 100-year celebration for the chamber, which was worked on by about 25 others as well.

"It's really important for the community to know how much the chamber does," Miller said. "I think they kind of under-promote themselves, and that's kind of why I jumped in."

While she sometimes feels like the chamber is her own business, it's not. She is the owner of Kagey Company, a publishing, marketing and promotions firm in Coeur d'Alene.

Her volunteer credits over the years include contributions to the United Way, Tubbs Hill Foundation, Lake Coeur d'Alene BalloonFest, Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families, North Idaho Violence Prevention Center, Kiwanis, and the Centennial Trail Foundation, among others.

Miller is a past Volunteer of the Year for the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Miller and her husband, Craig Owens, have a 14-year-old son, Oskar Owens.

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