About the awards
Note: The 2021 call for entries has closed.
These awards are the League’s highest individual honors and are presented annually to recognize outstanding service.
- The C.C. Ludwig Award is considered to be the League’s highest honor for elected city officials. Recipients are chosen for their vision, statesmanship, and unwavering commitment to the public good. The award was established in 1962 and is named for Clarence C. Ludwig, who served as the League’s executive director from 1935-1959.
- The James F. Miller Leadership Award is considered to be the League’s highest honor for appointed city officials, and is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership in public service and dedication to the community. Formerly known as the LMC Leadership Award, the name of the award was recently changed to honor former executive director James F. Miller, who retired in 2015 after 22 years of service to the League.
These awards are intended to honor individuals for going the extra mile. Judges consider the following:
- Service above and beyond what is required by the nominee’s position.
- Contributions to improved municipal government throughout the state of Minnesota through involvement in national, state, county, municipal, professional, or other public organizations or agencies.
- Significant improvements in Minnesota cities throughout the state attributable to the nominee’s service.
- Admiration and respect of the general public for the nominee, and the nominee’s success in raising the prestige of city government service.
- Selfless conduct focused on the greater good of all Minnesota cities, not only the nominee’s own city.
The 2021 C.C. Ludwig Award winner is former Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan. The 2021 James F. Miller Leadership Award winner is retired Buffalo City Administrator Merton Auger.
Comments from previous winners
- Del Haag, League Past President and Buffalo City Councilmember
—C.C. Ludwig Award Winner
“Any time you can be honored by your peers it is special. It lets residents know they have a great team working together on their behalf. I love cities, and getting the award helped reinforce how important cities are to me. The Ludwig Award enhanced my credibility and stature among my peers and in wider governmental circles, increasing my ability to be appointed to several prestigious organizations. There is no greater honor for elected municipal officials than receipt of the League of Minnesota Cities’ C.C. Ludwig Award.”
- Todd Prafke, League 2007-2008 President and St. Peter City Administrator
—Leadership Award Winner
“Winning the Leadership Award represents to me the pride I feel in public service, the value that my Council and department heads put on our teamwork, and the impact we have made in our community. I don’t think the Leadership Award makes you a better person or a better city administrator, or for that matter even says that you are great at what you do. For me it’s one of the things that makes me want to be better—to earn it.”
- Karen Anderson, National League of Cities Past President, League Past President, and Former Minnetonka Mayor
—C.C. Ludwig Award Winner
“In my experience, the C.C. Ludwig Award is widely acknowledged as the gold standard for elected municipal officials in Minnesota. I felt greatly honored to have received it.”