The Waupaca County Republican Party recognized Dick Koeppen with the 2013 Public Service Award.
Koeppen received the award during the Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner at Crystal Falls Saturday, Jan. 26.
Koeppen was recognized for his many years of public service at the municipal and county levels.
He has been a citizen member and chairman of the Clintonville Park and Rec Commission, Planning Commission, and Personnel Committee; member of the Clintonville Fire Department, 1977-1982; member of the Clintonville Ambulance Service, 1980-1995; started Koeppen’s Medical Transports Ltd. in 1987; served as a Clintonville alderman, 1990-2000; served as Clintonville’s mayor from 2000-04; served on the Waupaca County Board, 1998-present; served as Waupaca County Board chairman, 2004-present; served as chairman of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, 2008-10; served as commissioner of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, 2005-present; and served as president of the Wisconsin Counties Association, 2012.
Koeppen thanked the party and shared a few words about his political career.
“My baseball career helped me learn a lot about how to persevere and work hard. When I got to the public arena, those things helped me,” said Koeppen. “However, I also had to change some of my thinking. I had to shut my mouth, listen and smile a lot. There was no more arguing – I had to have open ears and listen to what people had to say.”
Koeppen said his wife, Nancy, has been a calming influence. He credited her for helping him grow as a local leader.
“To those of you that are public servants: what a great service you provide for people,” said Koeppen. “The political arena doesn’t have a lot of people patting you on the back or telling you that you did a good job. You have to deal with rumors – which are usually wrong – and then try to present facts. I applaud all of you for your service.”
Koeppen said he has no plans to retire from public office at this point.
“I’m staying because Waupaca County has a great bunch of department heads,” said Koeppen. “We don’t have a county administrator, and we don’t need one yet. The management team works very well together.
“This is a very treasured award,” Koeppen said. “Thank you very much.”