Betsy Kiernat Named 2013 Paul Van Valkenburg Service Award Recipient
Moss & Barnett was pleased to honor Elizabeth (Betsy) Kiernat, a member of our banking and commercial transactions, real estate, and wealth presentation and estate planning teams, as the 2013 recipient of the Paul Van Valkenburg Service Award.* Moss & Barnett established the Paul Van Valkenburg Service Award in 2001. The firm makes the award annually to a Moss & Barnett team member in recognition of his or her outstanding volunteer contributions to the community. The award is named after our late colleague, Paul Van Valkenburg, whose volunteer career set an example of the spirit of service and dedication that we seek to promote and recognize throughout our firm.
Betsy has served the public in one form or another in a variety of ways and over many years, including the following:
- Betsy served a term on the board of directors and provided legal work pro bono to establish Camp Odayin for children with heart disease. The camp, located in Stillwater, Minnesota, hosts residential, family, and day campers from all over the United States.
- Betsy donated time to the Junior League of Minneapolis for many years, focusing on healthy growth for teenage girls. She met with students monthly to talk about life and school with the goal of making each student feel important, confident, and interesting.
- Betsy has a “passion” for the Como Zoo. Her work on Como Zoo’s Major Gift Campaign Committee helped fund the state-of-the-art Polar Bear Odyssey, a world-class exhibit that features bears in a natural environment, allowing them to dig, swim, and hunt. Como Zoo is still a free zoo, and one of the only free zoos left in the United States.
- For several years, Betsy hosted annual fundraising breakfasts for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, a non-profit social services organization that combines direct service, research and community initiatives to address the needs of vulnerable children, families, and older adults in St. Paul and the surrounding east metro area.
- Betsy fundraises and helps develop strategies for increasing community awareness of and involvement with Park Nicollet’s Struthers Parkinson’s Center.
- Betsy joins her neighbors annually in preparing food packets for Feed My Starving Children.
- Betsy is also a member of Magic Pennies, which is one of Minnesota’s top fundraising teams for the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Magic Pennies gathers every year to participate in the MS Walk.
Past recipients of the Paul Van Valkenburg Service Award include Chuck Parsons (retired), Adrienne Summerfield, Kevin Busch, Cheryl Riggs, Bill Haug (retired), Jennifer Reussé, and Sharon Artmann. We are proud to recognize Betsy and our other award recipients for their willingness to be a part of organizations focused on improving the lives of others.
*The Paul Van Valkenburg Service Award includes a cash donation by the firm to the recipient’s chosen charity, a special recognition ceremony, and a commemorative piece of pottery created by Minnesota artist, Steve Hemmingway. For 2013, the firm’s donation was made to the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.