The Citizens Recognition Awards recognize Fort Lauderdale citizens whose efforts and achievements foster civic pride and responsibility, encourage public service, develop an appreciation of the City's heritage, and significantly contribute to the development of this community. Since the program’s inception in 1972, Fort Lauderdale has recognized more than 125 outstanding citizens.
Congratulations to our
2017 Citizens Recognition Awards Honorees
Exemplary Former City Employee – Freddie "Gene" Dempsey
The Exemplary Former City Employee award recognizes a former City employee who has served the citizens of
Fort Lauderdale for a significant number of years and whose service has made a significant impact on the development
and quality of life for the community. This person may be retired, deceased or separated from the City.
Read the Exemplary Former City Employee proclamation.
(Presented by Commissioner Robert L. McKinzie)
Citizen of the Year – Mary C. Fertig
The Citizen of the Year award is for that person who, in the opinion of the Committee and the City Commission, has made the greatest contribution to the community in the current year. The Citizen of the Year must be a Fort Lauderdale resident.
Read the Citizen of the Year proclamation.
(Presented by Commissioner Dean J. Trantalis)
Honored Founder –The Late Terry W. Stiles
The Honored Founder award is for a courageous citizen who prepared the way for future growth and
harmony in Fort Lauderdale.
Read the Honored Founder proclamation.
(Presented by Commissioner Romney Rogers)
Distinguished Citizen – Ronald J. Centamore
The Distinguished Citizen award is given to that resident of the community who has contributed to the development of Fort Lauderdale over a number of years (i.e., a pioneer).
Read the Distinguished Citizen proclamation.
(Presented by Vice Mayor Bruce G. Roberts)
- 1972: The Citizens Recognition Program was initiated.
- 1984: The Citizens Recognition Program was amended to include Citizen of the Year and Distinguished Citizen awards.
- 1989: The Honored Founder category was added to the program (effective 1990).
- 1997: The Exemplary Former City Employee category was added to the program.
Citizens Committee of Recognition
Each year, the Citizens Committee of Recognition - consisting of all former Mayors of Fort Lauderdale, as well as one former City Commissioner, two former honorees, and the President of the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations or his/her designee -reviews nominations and provides their recommendations for the four annual awards to the City Commission for approval. Members of the Citizens Committee of Recognition include:
Former Mayor James Naugle
Former Commissioner Tim Smith
Eugenia "Genia" D. Ellis
Courtney Crush, Esq., Chairperson
E. Birch Willey
Read Citizens Committee of Recognition meeting agendas and minutes.
|Year||Citizen of the Year||Distinguished Citizen||Honored Founder||Exemplary Former City Employee|
|2015||Sharon Major-Hughes||Donald Singer||Stanford K. Smoker||Greg Brewton|
|2016||Charles A. "Chuck" Black||Michael C. Weymouth||Dr. James Franklin Sistrunk||Ava Bradley Moore|
|John F. Fuhrer|
Opening Ceremony Videos
|2016 Opening Ceremony|
Citizens Recognition Awards 2017
Updated on November 20, 2017 3:41 PM
The City of Fort Lauderdale Citizens Recognition Program was established in 1972 to give public recognition to citizens who contributed to the development of this community in significant ways. This album contains photos from the 2017 Citizens Recognition Awards event, held November 7, 2017, where the City honored four outstanding citizens: Mary C. Fertig, Citizen of the Year; the late Terry W. Stiles, Honored Founder, Ronald J. Centamore, Distinguished Citizen, and the late Freddie "Gene" Dempsey, Exemplary Former Employee.