2017 Regional Awards


Kern Council of Governments is seeking nominations for its 2017 Regional Awards of Merit ceremony, which honors those programs, organizations and individuals who are making life in the Kern region better through innovative, cooperative efforts.

Nomination forms may be obtained here; by emailing Susanne Campbell; or by calling at (661) 635-2906. Nominations are due to Susanne Campbell or at 1401 19th Street, Suite 300, Bakersfield, Calif. 93301, no later than 5 p.m., Friday, December 1, 2017.

Individuals, public and private organizations, educational institutions and service organizations in Kern County that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in eight categories are eligible for nomination. The categories are: distinguished leadership; environmental resources and conservation; journalism; transportation; lifetime achievement; community involvement; local government and public safety. Distinguished Leadership and Lifetime Achievement awards offer multiple opportunities for public officials; private individuals and elected officials.

Any individual, organization or agency in Kern County may submit nominations. Completed nomination forms and accompanying support documents are the only materials that will be used to judge each entry. An ad-hoc committee of Kern COG’s Board of Directors will select winners in each category.

2016 Regional Awards


Kern Council of Governments honored 16 individuals, organizations and programs for making major contributions to this area’s quality of life through innovative, cooperative efforts during its annual Regional Awards of Merit Program on March 2, 2017.

Regional Awards of Merit recipients, as decided by a Kern COG Board ad-hoc committee, are divided among nine broad categories and include:

Local Government:

  • Pet Adoption Program – City of Bakersfield, County of Kern, Bakersfield SPCA and Critters Without Litters
  • Dennis McNamara, Maria Lara and the McFarland City Council

Community Involvement:

  • Luda Fishman, Sophia Felix and Ray Scott
  • Kern County Sheriff’s Department


  • Minerva Rodriguez – Caltrans, District 6

Ken Volpe Environmental Resources:

  • City of Tehachapi Public Works and Utilities Department
  • City of Bakersfield’s Kit Fox Habitat Program

Richard A. Maxwell Public Safety:

  • Delano Police Department

Darrel Hildebrand Distinguished Leadership – Public Official:

  • Russell Judd

Distinguished Leadership – Private Citizen or Group:

  • PG&E of Bakersfield and Kern County

Ronald E. Brummett Lifetime Achievement – Private Citizen:

  • Stephen W. Schilling
  • Fred and Barbara Holmes

Lifetime Achievement – Elected Official:

  • Grace Vallejo
  • Harold Hanson

Lifetime Achievement – Public Official:

  • John Nilon

Chairman’s Award of Regional Cooperation:

  • City of Bakersfield, County of Kern Voiced Coalition and Golden Empire Transit

Kern COG celebrated 26 years of recognizing those programs and people in our region whose ideas and hard work have made life in Kern County better for us all.

The awards banquet were held at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Seven Oaks Country Club, 2000 Grand Lakes Ave in Bakersfield.

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