2012 Civic Award Winner Jim Coutts
It was an evening of warmth and laughter on February 16 when longtime civic volunteer Jim Coutts was honored as the recipient of the 2012 Civic Award by the Greater Cedarburg Foundation. A crowd of more than 200 people filled the Cedarburg Cultural Center to honor Coutts for his tireless dedication to the community.It was Jim – a devoted volunteer and civic activist for more than 40 years – who introduced the idea to start the Greater Cedarburg Foundation more than 12 years ago. “Jim has done so much for Cedarburg that it would be impossible to name all of the activities he has been involved in,” said Ben Levy, President. “He led the way on many positive initiatives for the city for a long time.”Jim Coutts was born in Waukesha, the son of then Waukesha Mayor George Coutts. He was an avid athlete during his high school and college years, and since that time has been active as a referee for cross country and other sports. After graduating from college, he became a social studies teacher, and worked at Homestead High School in Mequon for 29 years before retiring. He was mayor of Cedarburg from 1993 to 2003 and during his tenure, Jim initiated talks to start a community foundation which eventually became the Greater Cedarburg Foundation. He was President of the GCF from 2006 to 2008. Jim has been actively involved in the Cedarburg Light and Water Commission and was recently named to the National Policymakers Committee for the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C.In his remarks, he thanked the many people that have worked with him along the years, and praised the Foundation for growing an endowment of more than $2 million after starting more than decade ago with a small but earnest grass root effort by several community members. “We are truly a community foundation because it was the community that came forward to support it,” he said. “It’s a unique feature that sets us apart.” He also thanked the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for all of its support, including a $100,000 matching grant that was given during the early years of the Greater Cedarburg Foundation.