Jeanette Siemens of Pratt has been named a 2019 Distinguished Kansas by the Topeka Capital-Journal. She was nominated for the award by The Pratt Tribune. She is part of a special feature in all Gannett-owned newspapers across the state of Kansas that will publish Sunday, December 29, 2019.
Whether taking a restaurant order, working with a community devastated by a tornado or finding pathways out of poverty for those less fortunate, Jeanette Siemens of Pratt has always been a listener.
"I've found the best way to help people is to really listen to where they are at, why do they think they way they do, what influences them, what are their real and pressing needs," Siemens said.
It is that listening characteristic that enabled her success as a former Dairy Queen owner with her husband Jerry. Listening was key when she served as the manager of the Pratt Chamber of Commerce and then the Greensburg Chamber of Commerce rebuilding that community after the 2007 tornado. Listening made her an effective advocate for the poor as she established Circles of Hope programs in several southcentral Kansas communities. And her abilities to listen, and represent, made her the perfect candidate for a position on the recently formed Kansas Leadership Center advisory committee.
"I've always felt blessed that God put me in positions where I could help others," Siemens said. "I did what I could and I have learned so much from those around me."
Recently named a Distinguished Kansan by the The Topeka Capital-Journal, Siemens said she was humbled by attention.
"My goal, formed from many years of association with the Kansas Leadership Center, is just to help others develop the competencies to be good leaders, anytime, anywhere," she said. "I guess it all really does start with listening."