Founder of the Leadership Corvallis program Hans Neukomm has died at age 74 after a battle with cancer.
Hans founded Leadership Corvallis in 1992 and served as its president until 2003. He subsequently served as president emeritus and managed the organization’s advisory board.
“Hans was the leader of leaders in Corvallis,” said Deb Rose, Leadership Corvallis Board President. “It is a fitting tribute to his legacy that on the day he passed away, a mayor and city council member were sworn in, both of whom were Leadership Corvallis Alumni. Leadership Corvallis mourns his passing. We remain dedicated to continuing his legacy for years to come.”
Hans’ vision sparked development of a program that gives participants a better understanding of how our community works so they can be more effective in the workplace and community. More than 300 individuals have benefited from Leadership Corvallis.
“The only way for a community to be a better place to live is for its citizens to understand and accept their personal responsibility for what happens,” Hans said.
In addition to Leadership Corvallis, Hans was extremely active in many community organizations and committees.
- Hans joined the Corvallis Rotary Club in 1982, served as President in 1998/99 and chaired several club service and special project committees. He was a graduate of the District 5110 Leadership Academy. He and his wife Adele are Paul Harris Fellows, Rotary Benefactors and Major Donors. He served as Assistant District Governor for the year 2001-2002 and was selected as Governor for Rotary District 5110 for the year 2003-2004.
- Professionally, he represented CH2M HILL on the Board of Directors of the Western Electric Power Institute, an organization that serves private and public power companies in the 11 Western States and 3 Provinces in Western Canada. In 1992 Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Hans to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council for a 4-year term. In 1998, the Oregon Senate reconfirmed Hans for a second 4-year term.
- His community volunteer work included service on the Board of Trustees of the Good Samaritan Hospital and Linn-Benton Community College Foundations. He was a Board member and Past Chairman of the Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Partnership, a Vice President of the Oregon Trail Council and Past Chairman of the Benton District, Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he served on numerous Boards and Committees of other organizations such as the Benton County Budget Committee, the Vineyard Mountain Water District and the Benton County Republican Central Committee.
In recognition for his contributions and leadership in community, charitable and service organizations, Hans received many awards and accolades – among them First Citizen of Corvallis in 1995 and the prestigious Silver Beaver Award of the Boy Scouts of America in 1996. In 2002, Oregon’s Governor recognized Hans with the State of Oregon’s Economic and Community Development Award for Outstanding Community Leadership. He also was the Senior First Citizen of Corvallis in 2008.
The Leadership Corvallis board, alumni and class members mourn this loss and our thoughts are with his wife, Adele and his family. When it is available, we will post information about Hans’ memorial service and how donations may be made in his name to support future Leadership Corvallis participants.