Mayor Sandy Martin of Shoreview and Mayor Wayne Wolden of Wadena were selected as League of Minnesota Cities C.C. Ludwig Award winners for 2011. The honorees were announced June 16 at the League’s Annual Conference in Rochester.
The C.C. Ludwig Award is named in honor of a former League executive director, and is considered to be the League’s highest honor for elected officials. Established in 1962, the award is given annually in celebration of outstanding service. Recipients are chosen for their vision, statesmanship, and unwavering commitment to the public good.
Mayor Sandy Martin
Mayor Martin, who received the C.C. Ludwig Award for elected officials from cities with populations of 10,000 or more, has served as the mayor of Shoreview since 1997. She began her service to the city by first serving as a member of the Planning Commission from 1975 to 1988, and then she was a City Councilmember from 1989 to 1993. Mayor Martin is also active in several regional organizations, including the Metropolitan Council’s Regional Housing Task Force, Regional Council of Mayors, Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative, the Municipal Legislative Commission, and Active Living Ramsey County.
Some of the major accomplishments under Mayor Martin’s leadership include the development of the 230-acre Rice Creek Corporate Park and Village, which created more than 2,000 new jobs, 300 townhomes, the majority of which were affordable, as well as a new park and trails. She was also instrumental in the renovation and expansion of the Shoreview Community Center; construction of two senior housing projects; a LEED-certified Maintenance Center renovation; and a comprehensive road rehabilitation program.
Over the years, Mayor Martin has also worked tirelessly as an advocate for youth and families in the east metro region. She is a longtime board member and former chair of Northwest Youth and Family Services. And she is a founding member and current board member of the St. Paul Urban Tennis Program, which started in 1991 and now serves nearly 5,000 young people.
Mayor Wayne Wolden
Mayor Wolden, who received the C.C. Ludwig Award for elected officials from cities with populations of less than 10,000, has served as the mayor of Wadena since 1998. Prior to that, he was a Wadena City Councilmember from 1992 to 1996. He has also served on a variety of other boards and commissions in the city and in city organizations, including the League and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.
Mayor Wolden has a strong history of vision, leadership, and service in Wadena and other organizations of local and statewide importance. But the primary reason for Mayor Wolden’s nomination is the tremendous leadership he displayed following the June 17, 2010, tornado that devastated the City of Wadena. For four weeks after the tornado hit, Mayor Wolden was virtually on 24/7 duty to lead the emergency disaster recovery. He was on the ground at least 18 hours per day—leading daily meetings with several emergency organizations, communicating with the public, and providing the leadership needed to coordinate the myriad recovery activities. His stamina, courage, and can-do attitude helped others deal with the physical and emotional impacts of the tornado.
In October 2010, Mayor Wolden worked to help persuade the Minnesota Legislature to include Wadena in emergency legislation initially intended only for flood relief in other Minnesota communities. He also continues to work diligently on efforts to rebuild community facilities and to help destroyed businesses relocate within the city. From day one through the present, Mayor Wolden continues to be a strong force for planning, collaboration, and cooperation in rebuilding Wadena.
About the judges
Judges for the 2011 C.C. Ludwig Awards were Jane McPeak, associate professor for the School of Business, Public & Nonprofit Department, at Hamline University; Louis Jambois, executive director of the St. Paul Port Authority and former executive director of Metro Cities; and Mary Quirk, volunteer resources leadership project manager with the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration.