One of Emporia’s most ardent supporters received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Friday evening, during the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce’s 124th annual meeting.

Steve Sauder accepted the award at a meeting held virtually because of constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber plans to recognize award recipients at an in-person formal meeting on June 25. Awards also were given for Volunteer of the Year, the Community Impact Award, and Business of the Year.

(4) comments

Don Hillis

It’s great to know Steve Sauder is sill in Emporia. I went to EHS at the same time as Steve, although he is a year or so younger than me. He’s always been a down-to-earth, likable guy with lots of friends. Even though my wife and I grew up in Emporia, we sadly have no family left in the area. We feel fortunate to be able to stay in touch by listening to KVOE over the internet and reading the digital Gazette. It is a good place to grow up.

By the way, I’d like to mention that Bobbi Mlynar, like Steve, is an asset to Emporia too. The town is lucky to have them both.


I agree Hollowed Ground you are a downer. You can’t say a nice thing about anything. Be nice if you’d keep your negative opinions to yourself.

Comment deleted.

As usual you are the downer.


It is hard to think of Emporia without thinking of people like Steve Sauder. His community, recreational, and business spirit run through most of what I’ve always loved about my hometown. I know it wouldn’t be the same without him. It takes a lot of people to make Emporia special, and it also takes thoughtful, curious, and enthusiastic leaders among them to catalyze change, retain solid traditions, and focus vision for the future. Steve is without question such a key leader — and he has been for decades since I was a kid. Beyond his “record”, I have known the man, both through my parents and independently. Steve is a kind, fun, smart, fair, hard-working family guy who values all the people around him. Not unlike Emporia, my life has been enhanced over the years from Steve’s friendship; I feel fortunate to call him a friend even if separated by a few miles most of these past 30+ years. So while I hold no power position in Emporia and do not serve on any socialist committees (see previous comment), if a duly recognized organization is honoring Steve Sauder in this August way, it’s doing something right for Emporia. Thank you, Steve, for your continuing role as a unique and steadfast champion of my hometown. Stay healthy. Chad Johnson

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