Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Ex-mayor given leadership award

Sue Hack speaks at a Leadership Lawrence event Friday, April 27, 2012, after receiving the 30th annual Don Volker leadership award.

Sue Hack speaks at a Leadership Lawrence event Friday, April 27, 2012, after receiving the 30th annual Don Volker leadership award.

April 28, 2012


Sue Hack got emotional. Taken by surprise, the kind words about her from Nelson Krueger caused her to blot her eyes.

“But what about Michelle and Patrick?” she asked.

The crowd laughed. Michelle and Patrick would be OK; it was Hack’s honor to be had.

Hack, a former Lawrence mayor, was presented with the Don Volker Leadership Award by Krueger and other members of Leadership Lawrence, a business group aimed at improving the community through partnerships, at an award ceremony Friday night at Maceli’s, 1031 N.H.

She thought the award was going to Michelle Fales and Patrick Kelly, but the two, plus several members of the 2012 Leadership Lawrence class, surprised her with the award.

Fales said Hack, who works with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, was always giving the award to others, so the class decided to switch things up with the surprise.

Krueger, who knew Volker and was in the first Leadership Lawrence class, described Hack in his introduction as “a mentor and an inspiration.”

Hack said she was “so blessed to be able to work with a group of people so helpful.”


BruceWayne 5 years, 5 months ago

How quickly we forget. I for one have not, and find humor in Hack receiving a "leadership" award.

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

Cromwell, Hack, the 3 Amigos. With "leadership" like that It's no wonder the Lawrence economy is wallowing in squalor. How many of these clowns were products of Leadership Lawrence?

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 4 months ago

+1 At least the hospital was smart enough to forego the good 'ole boy Lawrence network and hire Gene Meyer.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 4 months ago

But isn't Obama fault that they were the face of Larryville?

justfoodks 5 years, 5 months ago

BruceWayne & FalseHopeNoChange:

Although I vehemently disagree with your opinions of my friend & someone whom I deeply respect, I can appreciate that you took the time to air your opinions to the masses through an anonymous comment.

One of the things we're taught through Leadership Lawrence, is that leadership is an activity that anyone, at anytime at anyplace can engage in. And one of the hardest things I've had to learn is that people disagreeing with me can engage in that activity, and they're not wrong for doing it.

So, while you may disagree with the stances a person has on the issues, (as I disagree with you), this truly has nothing to do with the amount of leadership they exhibit.

I would love to sit down with you and have lunch to discuss the concerns that you both have, because I think that one of the things Leadership Lawrence has done is taught me to listen...because there's always another side. You can thank Sue Hack for teaching me that.

Sincerely, Jeremy Farmer Executive Director Just Food, the food bank in Douglas County 785.856.7030

verity 5 years, 5 months ago

Pay no attention to the trolls---it just encourages them. They have demonstrated time and time again that they don't want intelligent discussion.

You are right, of course, but that only makes them angry.

BruceWayne 5 years, 4 months ago

One of the many folks that believe they are so above everyone that remains anonymous. Many of the problems this city has at this very moment can be traced back to Hack.

justfoodks 5 years, 4 months ago

I certainly don't think I (or anyone else) is above anyone for anonymously commenting. You can't make a difference in our community and let your voice be heard if you do it behind a curtain. You only come across as abrasive and problem-oriented.

Let's have lunch, BruceWayne. My treat. I want to hear where you're coming from on what you think Lawrence needs to do to be a better place to live. My guess is, and this is just a guess...we aren't that far off.

Sincerely, Jeremy

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

justfoodks (Jeremy Farmer) replies…"You can't make a difference in our community and let your voice be heard if you do it behind a curtain. You only come across as abrasive and problem-oriented."

That statement is absolute bunk especially since you are representing a non-profit organization. Anonymous folks do most certainly contribute quite a bit and your organization benefits from those folks who don't feel that their name must be attached to something to they do or support to make a difference.

I can and do make a difference in my community. I can accomplish this even if I don't announce my actions, plaster my name all over anything I say or do or attend a group on leadership.

Budgets_Smudgets 5 years, 5 months ago

Sue has provided thousands and thousands of hours in volunteer service for the betterment of the community.

Anyone who does that deserves a pat on the back, even if we don't agree with her 100% of the time.

Kudos and congratulations to Sue.

beebo 5 years, 5 months ago

False's attempt at humor was lost on justfoodks...maybe another cup of Joe is in order.

beebo 5 years, 5 months ago

Uh oh. You totally just hijacked False's trademarked use of " "'s!! Plus justfoodks will soon be all over your disparaging Hack comment.

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

Leadership Lawrence seems more like an indoctrination program into what certain groups of people want "leaders" to think. If it is as it seems, that is the opposite if true leadership and the "Leadership Lawrence" is a misnomer and false advertising.

I bet some LL alum came up with "Big Rock" and a whole mess of them were behind the $18 million parking garage and Cramwell's Garbage Group.

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

well what do you know, I just looked at the past recipients of the "Don Volker Leadership Award" and lo and behold the very previous holder of this prestigious award has been a prominent "leader" in both the M-T and the $18 million library boondoggle. That's as far as my detective work is going on this one, but I think it's a pretty good indicator of just what kind if "leadership" comes out of Leadership Lawrence.

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

Based on the tactics used to sneak the $18 million parking garage passed it should really be renamed mislead-ership Lawrence.

indepsys 5 years, 5 months ago

@Observant, I'm very sorry that the people you know in the program didn't exceed your expectations of it. As a recent graduate, I think it's a very impressive acheivement to give up hours of your time to better your community, and to pay a tuition to learn more about your city.

As far as the "Hack" is concerned, as @Budgets_Smudgets said, just the amount of time both Sue and Al Hack have given this community deserves recognition. No one says that the Hacks or anyone in Lawrence for that matter is right all the time. What we are saying is that these people are willing to sacrifice time at their jobs and with their families for the same of the city of Lawrence.

I would challenge you @observant to apply for the class yourself, give the hours and hours it takes to participate, get to know what an amazing experience the Leadership Lawrence program is, and then still call it a joke.

On a side note, it is very easy to live in a community and post anonymously on the LJWorld website with a "Keep Fear Alive" avatar. But if you really want to be courageous in the face of fear, stand up for your comments in person.

Alex Delaney

lascowiec 5 years, 5 months ago

I really don't have much of an opinion on LL or Sue Hack or anything else in this article really, I'm just here to troll the troll

@FalseHopeWhateverWhatever Learn to read buddy. This sentence, although poorly structured doesn't actually say what you think it says: "So, while you may disagree with the stances a person has on the issues, (as I disagree with you), this truly has nothing to do with the amount of leadership they exhibit"

If you read it a bit more carefully, II believe that our Farmer friend is alluding to the fact that a person's stance on the issues doesn't have anything to do with their leadership, etc etc etc. The statement here is not mean tot say that the award has nothing to do with the leadership Sue has exhibited as you have inferred through you're hasty reading of the post. Once you take out that pesky bit between the parentheses it becomes a bit clearer what Farmer is actually trying to say. You're welcome

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

Leadership Lawrence giving one of their own an award. How cute. This is about like ALEC giving the Kochs an award. What ever happened with the inside dealing that Hack was accused of engaging in while on the City Commission?

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

And I can't speak one way or the other on Sue Hack's efforts and hours worked for the betterment of Lawrence, but I have personally witnessed her disregard for other's personal space and private property and I know her actions have angered those who lived around her. That along with the scandals when she was in city government say more to me about a persons dedication to "community" than any award.

Wellington 5 years, 5 months ago

The fact that the LJW allows people to publicly to smear others is the reason I stopped taking the paper and switched to uverse 2.5 years ago, before the world company sold off sunflower broadband. What a sad state of affairs for a company that is dying on the vine and the only way they can generate clicks and views for advertising is at the expense of people who actually care about this community. Shame on you Mr. Simmons, your business model is severly broken.

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

smear implies that these are baseless claims. I assure you if you go back and read the LJW from when Sue Hack was in public office you will very clearly see the questions about her business dealings and her lack of transparency and failure to disclose. These are public facts, not smears. Just because you like someone doesn't make them immune from valid criticism.

Wellington 5 years, 4 months ago

Apparently you didn't read my comment, or maybe you only read what you want read. It was not about Mrs. hack it was about the World Company, and how they operate. The only FACT is they continue to cow-tow to the lowest common denominator, you are being used and you don't even know it. Those are the FACTS, you are just a World Company pond. I vote with my time and money and they will get none of mine.

pace 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't think the comments about Sue are a secret plot by ljw to generate clicks. I think some people remember her game and are just commenting on it.

Noweigh 5 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of what you think of her politics, Sue Hack has donated countless hours over the years to the community as a volunteer and teacher. It's usually those that actually "do something" that take the arrows, especially in Lawrence. Instead of volunteering, serving in office or helping others, let's all meet outside "The Pig" or someplace simliar, smoke some French cigarettes and whine about things all day.

pace 5 years, 4 months ago

I resent your remarks that imply being a volunteer is just a cover for shenanigans. There are many decent volunteers who don't get confused over ethics.

pace 5 years, 4 months ago

Leadership Lawrence sure don't care about tarnishing their name. She lied. Sue should of resigned. This is disgusting.

Michelle Fales 5 years, 4 months ago

Alex and Jeremy, Thank you for exhibiting Leadership by stating your opinion without the shield of anonymity. As I have gotten to know both of you as you went through this year's class, you have both been great examples of what the Leadership Lawrence program is about.

For you naysaysers out there, until you take the time to go through the program, or sit down with one of us alumni, to see how much this program has changed our lives, both personally and professionally, I wonder if you understand what the Leadership Lawrence program's mission and curriculum is about. For more information about the curriculum and competencies that are taught in the program, I encourage you to visit the Kansas Leadership Center's website at and Leadership Lawrence's website at

And just as both Jeremy and Alex have offered, I would be more than happy to sit down and discuss the program with you. Keep in mind, regardless of your personal feelings of Sue Hack, one person does not make a program. I personally consider Sue to be a friend. However the Leadership Lawrence program is put together with volunteers from all over the community, with various voices, under the guidance of Sue. This year alone, there was over 100 volunteers and speakers who donated their time to make this a rewarding experience for the class. And as the Curriculum Chair for the past 2 years, I can tell you that these volunteers and speakers come from every different industry, social economic and political background that Lawrence has to offer.

Alex and Jeremy, congratulations on your graduation from the program. And Sue, congratulations on a well-deserved award.

Michelle Fales Curriculum Chair and Incoming Advisory Board Chair for Leadership Lawrence

JackMcKee 5 years, 4 months ago

How many LL participants were importnat players in the $18 million library boondoggle? Did they learn how to twist facts and make bogus arguments in your program? Ripping off taxpayers is such a noble cause.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

lmafales (Michelle Fales) says…"Alex and Jeremy, Thank you for exhibiting Leadership by stating your opinion without the shield of anonymity."

This is why I dislike such "leadership" programs. This faux transparency is silly and a waste of others' time. It accomplishes nothing more than getting your name out there. It is a great marketing and networking tool for the participants but in terms of making a difference in the community, well... let's just say the difference does not necessarily mean that it benefits the community.

Interestingly enough that all the "leadership" folks on here appear to be perturbed by anonymous posters. Notice the challenging and intimidating language that they use when responding to anonymous critics/or comments.

"... by stating your opinion without the shield of anonymity." (i.e. the anonymous folks have something to hide)

"But if you really want to be courageous in the face of fear, stand up for your comments in person." (i.e. cowardice and anonymous posters have something to hide)

"You can't make a difference in our community and let your voice be heard if you do it behind a curtain. You only come across as abrasive and problem-oriented." (i.e. actions and opinions mean nothing if you are anonymous. Also, if you don't cooperate and give out your name, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.)

A lot of "leadership" groups have seminars that teach the importance of language and the message it conveys. Generally it is along PR issues but if you notice, there is a recurring theme in each one of the participants' posts - challenging the right of an anonymous poster to their opinion. This is another tactic that is taught in such seminars - how to discredit one's critics. Here they display this by asserting that the only way one can make a difference is to have your name attached to your opinion/or action.

Self-congratulatory and arrogant - who knew these were important leadership qualities?

vermont 5 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

pace 5 years, 4 months ago

Some of us have more information sources than the newspaper stories. I like business, very much pro business, want to encourage it and try to do it with an open mind. I might not "like" someone personally but if they operate or produce honest product, good for them.. I love some old unfriendly guy who puts decent product backed by decent service, I don't care if his pitch is smooth or polite. I appreciate most of the people who run for office and/or do community work, even if I don't agree politically or have the same priorities as someone. I am not a dog lover but appreciate the animal lovers out there giving time and money. Don't buy the touted polished reputations, get to know people, track their acts, not their theater. Lot of great people don't make the paper.

BruceWayne 5 years, 4 months ago

So Vermont ( the second least important state next to Idaho) thinks I am " scum of the earth"? All I mentioned is that we are quick to forget. Let me share a little information about your dear old Hack... and my favorite...

So who you calling scum? scum.

pace 5 years, 4 months ago

there is no reason to attack Vermont, been there many times, lovely geography, great people.

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