Leadership Springfield names Dr. Tom Prater as 2019 Kenworthy Award winner

Published: Jun. 11, 2019 at 3:44 PM CDT
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Leadership Springfield announced Dr. Thomas Prater as the recipient of the 2019 Kenworthy Award For Outstanding Leadership during its annual One Big Class Reunion event at The Old Glass Place on Tuesday, June 11.

Prater has served on the boards of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation of the Ozarks. A graduate of Leadership Springfield Signature Class 5, he currently serves on the Drury University Board of Trustees and has been active with Askinosie Chocolate University Advisory Council for many years.

Prater was born and raised in Springfield. He left for college but returned to make Springfield home, launch a successful career and raise a family. Prater was placed on a local voting ballot and held elected office as a former Springfield Public Schools Board Member and a recent City of Springfield Councilman.

More recently, Prater was inducted into the Springfield Public Schools (SPS) Hall of Fame and actively participated on the Community Task Force for Facilities as well as serving as Treasurer for Friends of SPS to aid the passage of the recent SPS School Bonds.

Prater has been quoted as saying: "I've always felt that you need to work to improve the place you live."

"I think it's well documented he has lived the mission of Leadership Springfield to serve our community in Public Education, Higher Education, Health Care, Business, Philanthropy, and the City of Springfield," boasts Dr. Alina Lehnert, past Leadership Springfield board president and 2018 Kenworthy recipient. "For that, we are grateful."

"As Dr. Lehnert said last night, if you ask those who have served alongside him, they would say he is gracious, brings people together, acts with integrity, and is a class act," said Carrie Richardson, Leadership Springfield Executive Director. "While he has dedicated his professional career to help others have perfect eye vision, it's clear Tom as a vision for our community. We congratulate Tom on the honor of receiving the Kenworthy Award."

The Kenworthy Award For Outstanding Leadership was established in 1989 in memory of Franklin Kenworthy, a posthumous graduate of Signature Class 3. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to Leadership Springfield's mission; involvement in community service activities; good citizenship; outstanding leadership qualities; and high moral and ethical standards.