Chip Borkenhagen's selection this month as the 2008 Brainerd Citizen of the Year prompted a reaction which we've heard voiced when other deserving recipients received that honor.
The general response is a sense of surprise that he hadn't won it before.
For years, whenever a struggling nonprofit organization needed a little advice on design or strategic planning or sometimes even a logo, Borkenhagen has been the person who's been called. Perhaps his most well known contributed logo was the one for the Paul Bunyan Trail in 1980. His contribution to the recreational trail also includes the design of brochures, newsletters and other informational materials.
Borkenhagen has served as a mentor to many in the arts community and the Brainerd lakes area is richer for his contributions. He is a member of the boards for the Crossing Arts Alliance and the Crow Wing Environmental Protection Association. Over the years he has also lent his expertise the Crow Wing County Historical Society Board, Junior Achievement, the Salvation Army, the Brainerd Jaycees, the United Way and the Brainerd School District.
The Lake Country Journal Magazine, which he and his wife, Jean, co-own, serves as an excellent "ambassador publication" for the Brainerd lakes area. It's probably responsible for than one family making the decision to move "up north."
Borkenhagen will be honored at the 2008 Distinguished Service Awards banquet on Nov. 20 at the Lodge in Baxter. He's left his mark on this community in his own low key way and his steadfast support for worthwhile projects provides yet another example of how much good volunteer work is done in the lakes area.
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