Archive for Friday, March 21, 1997


March 21, 1997


Jim Clark, Olin Petefish and the Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation were honored Thursday by Baker University.

A pair of Lawrence community leaders drew honors from Baker University during an annual awards ceremony.

Jim Clark, owner of Jim Clark Motors, and Lawrence attorney Olin Petefish received the university's Lawrence Business Person of the Year and Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Business awards, respectively.

Baker also presented its second-ever Special Civic Award to the Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation.

"We're never going to run short of people to honor at this event, because of the quality of the community we live in," said Dan Lambert, Baker president.

Bob Georgeson, president of Douglas County Bank, described Clark as an innovator in the automotive business and a self-made success.

"My recollection is that when Jim came here in 1955, he had $7,000 and a lot of energy," Georgeson said. "Jim started at absolute zero. At least."

Later, Clark became the driving force behind the Lawrence autoplex at 31st and Iowa. He was one of the first area dealers to start leasing cars and offer employee ownership in his company.

Introducing Petefish, Jim Owens said the attorney took an early interest in his profession.

"Olin's dad was a farmer, and every now and then would take Olin to the courthouse to show him how lawyers work," Owens said.

Petefish graduated from the Kansas University law school in 1935 and would go on to practice law for 60 years. He served as president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Douglas County Bar Association, and received the Ellsworth Medallion and Distinguished Service Citation for his work at KU.

Lambert said the late Ethel and Raymond Rice provided support for a variety of community organizations, including CASA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County Inc. and Meals on Wheels.

"I would consider Lawrence and Douglas County especially blessed to have the Rice Foundation in our midst," Lambert said.

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