Citizen of the Year

Initiated in 1977, the Citizen of the Year is selected annually by the Rogers Lions Club Board of Directors. The award honors a Rogers Minnesota resident who exemplifies community spirit and involvement. The award is presented during the annual Rockin' Rogers Days festival where the winner is honored as the Grand Marshall of the parade.

John Seifert named 2022 Rogers Citizen of the Year

Every year at Rockin’ Rogers, a Rogers Citizen of the Year is announced. The 2022 Citizen of the Year is John Seifert.

Seifert is a life-long resident of Rogers and has served the community for more than 30 years as the city’s Public Works Director. He started working with the city in 1982 and then became the director in 1987.

He just retired in 2021 and since April is working at the Albertville water treatment plant. Seifert has helped grow Rockin’ Rogers to where it is today by working with the Rogers Lions.

“[We] took it from what it was initially just a Rogers celebration and chili cook-off to what it is today,” Seifert said. “The Lions did a great job with growing it to what it is today.”

Seifert has kept busy working in the community of Rogers. He has volunteered with the Rogers Fire Department for more than 26 years, was the president of the Rogers Community Club that supports athletics and special projects in the city and started the Rogers Fire Department Auxiliary.

“I’ve found a great deal of volunteer projects in the community in the last 40 plus years I’ve lived in Rogers,” Seifert said. “I’ve been trying to find ways to create a sense of community by volunteering to build and assist in projects that bring the community closer together for different gatherings and purposes.”

There were also a lot of projects that were started and completed by Seifert in his time working for the city, including the opening the Rogers Community Center right before he retired. Another big project Seifert contributed to while working with the city was helping with fundraising for the Rogers Veterans Memorial in 2014.

“I think to a fault a service to others through the fire department and volunteering for the community and other work, giving back has been a source of great pride,” Seifert said. “When they gave [the Citizen of the Year award] to me I was like isn’t this for the old guys?”

Seifert encourages younger people to give back to the community as he has, whether that is at the high school or other programs. Seifert attributes the strong community of Rogers apart to how strong the Rogers Lions are as a group and the community’s dedication to the city. He credits Jack Hines and Judy Walker, who dedicated a lot of years to the community and allowed him to take the lead from them.

“I’ve been very passionate about serving and giving back to my community since I’ve worked there and volunteered there for a lot of years,” He said. “I think it’s humbling to work under a lot of great volunteers in our community that I’ve worked beside.”

Seifert found the honor of Citizen of the Year to be very humbling to be awarded by other volunteers from the community who give back as well to the city they call home.

“My nickname for the longest time was Mr. Rogers,” Seifert said. “Mr. Rogers without the sweater or the sneakers. I’m very excited about the community we’ve built. It’s a great community.”

Seifert has never thought of leaving Rogers and making anywhere else his or his family’s home.

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to make me move,” Seifert said. “It’s always been home since 65’ for the Seiferts and we just happen to be the last ones in town, the rest of my siblings are in St. Cloud. I’ll be probably changing the ways I serve my city moving forward, but I’ll always be finding ways to help out.”

Now Seifert will be honored in the Rockin’ Rogers Parade this year versus having to help organize it. The last time he was able to be in the parade was when the Rogers Public Works Department was recognized for its work after the 2006 tornado.

Visitors to Rockin’ Rogers can watch the parade at noon Saturday, June 18, along Main Street. Main Street will close at 11 a.m. for the parade.

Do you know someone who makes our community a better place? Please complete the following form to recommend an individual for the Citizen of the Year. 

Please be very specific and provide examples in the "Nominee Bio" section. The more information provided, the better the decision that can be made. Nominations received by May 15th will be considered for the current year. Any nominations received after this will be considered for the following year.

Past Winners:

  • 2019 - Vaughn Veit
  • 2018 - Fitz Weber
  • 2017 - Bruce Gorecki
  • 2016 - Jeff Nadeau
  • 2016 - Dennis Quigley
  • 2016 - Roger Loxtercamp
  • 2015 - Grady Kinghorn
  • 2014 - Chuck VanHeel
  • 2013 - Char Lake
  • 2009 - Judy Hanson
  • 2004 - Marty Robertson
  • 2003 - Jack Hines
  • 2002 - Dale Scherber
  • 2001 - Mike Rabe
  • 2000 - Ted Biren
  • 1999 - Jerome & Ferdella Gmach
  • 1998 - Dave Christian
  • 1997 - Norm & Judy Volkers
  • 1985 - Beverly Sabot
  • 1982 - Steve Scharber
  • 1979 - Judi Volkers
  • 1978 - Doug Scharber
  • 1978 - Oliver Kapsner
  • 1977 - C.J. Schaber