A father-son investment team, the owner of a media company and a longtime area historian were honored in late March by Baker University for their business success and community commitment.
Steve and Jason Edmonds, Dolph C. Simons Jr. and Steve Jansen were recognized during a Partners-in-Progress breakfast at the Lawrence Holidome.
About 110 family, friends and supporters attended the ceremony, now in its 23rd year of celebrating people who have made Lawrence, Baldwin and Douglas County a great place to live, show others "how it's done" and whose support of Baker deserves special thanks, said Dan Lambert, who is retiring as Baker president.
"In lots of different ways, these people make contributions that affect our lives every day," Lambert said.
Steve Edmonds and his son, Jason Edmonds, each received the Business Person of the Year Award. They oversee the Morgan Stanley office in Lawrence, and together have more than $175 million of assets under management.
Steve Edmonds is senior vice president and financial adviser in charge of the office. He has spent more than 35 years as an investment adviser, and has served as a director for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Assn.
Jason Edmonds is a vice president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley, and serves as a board member for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. He previously has been president of the Douglas County Estate Planning Council.
"My father taught me that ... the best answers are very often the simplest ones, that a positive attitude leads to positive outcomes ... and that where honesty and hard work come first, success and happiness will surely follow," Jason Edmonds said.
Simons, chairman of The World Company, received the Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Business Award, an award that Lambert said he had been trying to bestow upon Simons for the past 19 years.
"I think the only way I could talk him into coming was by retiring," Lambert said.
The World Company owns the Journal-World, of which Simons is editor, and several weekly newspapers in the area, including the Baldwin City Signal. The World Company also owns Sunflower Broadband, which provides cable television, Internet and telephone service in Lawrence and several surrounding communities. Affiliated companies own KTKA-TV in Topeka, and newspapers in Colorado and Arizona.
Simons this year received the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Years Award, and has been recognized as a Pioneer in the cable television industry by the Cable Television Center.
He thanked Lambert for helping make the Lawrence area such a great place to live and do business.
"We have everything we need right here," Simons said. "The sky's the limit, if we just go out and try to achieve it."
Jansen, an adjunct instructor at area community colleges and former director of the Watkins Community Museum of History, received the Civic Service Award. He served as museum director from 1979 to 2001 and as its historian from 2001 to 2002.
"I gave it everything that I had, and it was everything that I could ever want," Jansen said. "All I wanted to do was be Douglas County's historian. They can't take that away from me, and they won't take that away from me."