Turtle Awards and Annual Meeting

Date: May 19, 2023

Time: Noon to 1:15 pm

Event Type: Live/Livestream
Members and Non-Members may attend our forums for free

Venue: Maple Room, Inn at the 5th, Market District



Join us at the City Club of Eugene on Friday, May 19th to celebrate the 2023 Turtle Awards, where we will honor three civic-minded locals for “sticking their necks out for the good of the community.” The 2023 Turtle Award recipients are Dr. Johnny Lake, Brian Obie, and Bev Smith.

Dr. Johnny Lake is an international consultant, trainer and speaker certified in programs respecting leadership, diversity, community-building, cross-cultural communication and interaction skills, equity, and ethics for youth and adults. He earned an MEd and PhD in educational leadership and administration at the University of Oregon. Greg Rikhoff will introduce Dr. Johnny Lake.

Brian Obie is president and principal owner of Obie Industries, Inc., which includes an array of commercial and development interests—including Eugene’s 5th Street Market District. Beyond his 50 years of business experience, Obie served on the Lane County and City of Eugene Planning Commissions, Eugene City Council, and as Eugene’s Mayor. Otto Poticha will introduce Brian Obie.

Bev Smith is the Executive Director of KIDSPORTS and a legendary Ducks basketball player and coach. She has decades of experience playing the game—and with that experience, she has made it possible for thousands of Lane County kids to play sports of all kinds. Under her leadership, Eugene has also seen the ashes of Civic Stadium rise into the new Civic Park. Nancy Golden will introduce Bev Smith.

Lawanda Joyce Manning will also be honored posthumously with The Order of the Turtle award, for “service to the community consistent with the purposes and mission of the City Club.”

The first Turtle Award recipient, John VanLandingham, will emcee this program.

The City Club of Eugene will also conduct its annual meeting and announce election results at this event. Kaarin Knudson will conclude her term as City Club’s Board President, and Andrew Kalloch will begin his term.

History of the Turtle Awards

Now in its 32nd year, the Turtle Award was created by Jean Tate, an original member of the City Club board. The original Turtle committee, which nominates Turtle recipients, included Tate, Gerry Gaydos, and Bob Moulton (also original Board members).

Since 1991, the Turtle committee has consisted of the original members plus award recipients. John VanLandingham has chaired the committee since 1994, when he was a City Club board member and the first Turtle Award winner. The Turtle committee meets in February and submits nominations of 1 to 3 people to the City Club board, which must approve the nominations. Recipients must be present to win, and the awards are presented at the annual meeting. According to written criteria, Turtle Awardees are distinguished by their willingness to:

  • Stick their necks out for the good of the community.
  • Foster creative problem solving in Eugene’s public affairs.
  • Stimulate constructive action.
  • Forge cooperative relationships.
  • Honor diverse perspectives.

An unwritten criterion is that the person may be underappreciated by the public.


Name: Dr. Johnny Lake

Name: Brian Obie

Name: Bev Smith

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