Hawn to get Impact Award
By ANDREW MCGINN
They say actions speak louder than words, so when Doug Hawn steps up to the microphone Sunday to receive this year’s Greene County Community Impact Award, he doesn’t have to say anything.
In fact, if he wanted to, he could just take the microphone and the speakers and go home — they’re his, anyway.
Hawn, 56, is adamant that he’s most at home behind the scenes, whether it’s providing sound equipment for various events, troubleshooting the computers at the Law Enforcement Center or making sure the Greene County Fair runs smoothly.
“I don’t need to speak into a microphone besides saying, ‘Test 1, 2,’ ” Hawn said. “Then it’s somebody else’s turn.”
But when you’ve volunteered your services for as long as he has, sooner or later, someone’s bound to take note.
In 2012, Hawn was named Fairman of the Year by the Association of Iowa Fairs.
Now, with the fifth annual Impact Award, he’ll be honored amid the friends and family of home.
“Doug has unselfishly shared his financial wealth, computer skills, sound system, farm and building machines, organizational abilities, and has touched everyone’s lives in some way,” Hawn’s nomination stated.
“He quietly and without want for recognition or compensation continues to impact our community on a monthly and yearly basis.”
The justly named Impact Award recognizes individuals for their impact on life in Greene County.
Previous recipients include Lawrence Geisler, The Town and Country Band, Carson Griffith, and Vickie and Tim Robbins.
Hawn will receive the 2014 award during a public ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Greene County courthouse rotunda, with a reception to follow.
“I appreciate the thought,” Hawn said.
But, “It’s not why I do it,” he said. “Not married, no kids. That’s my social life. Otherwise, I’d be home watching the dog.”
Hawn farms close to 2,000 acres north of Scranton, but he says he simply couldn’t stand not doing anything.
And so he serves on the board of the Greene County Medical Center.
And he’s been secretary of the fair board since 1981.
And he served 12 years on the Jefferson city council.
And he’s president of Glidden Mutual Insurance.
And he does all the IT work for free at the Greene County Law Enforcement Center.
“IT’s a strong word for what I do,” Hawn confessed. “But, I’m the closest thing they have. I’m self-taught. Ninety percent of the time, I can fix it.
“I do that because I learn. I’m learning just as much as I’m providing.”
A 1976 graduate of Scranton High — “I was probably the AV idiot in high school,” he quipped — Hawn seriously delved into sound systems in the early ’80s, when the county fair bought its own PA equipment.
In July, Hawn will experience his 32nd straight fair as board secretary.
He can’t remember a time when the fair wasn’t part of his life.
“I don’t know if I was there when was 1 or 2,” he said, taking a moment to think about it.
“I’ve never really missed a Greene County Fair,” he concluded.
His father, Bill, served on the fair board, as did his grandfather, Everett.
Not surprisingly, 4-H and FFA were instrumental in his life.
The organizations, in fact, “determined who I am,” he said.
With a goal of becoming an ag-ed teacher, Hawn studied at Iowa State University after high school.
“I didn’t graduate. I attended. I think that’s how you word that right,” he joked.
Instead, he became a Jefferson police officer, followed by eight years as a Greene County sheriff’s deputy.
Hawn left law enforcement in 1994 to farm following his father’s death.
True to form, Hawn downplays his contributions to the community.
“I do it,” he said, “because I want to do it.”