Juris Kursulis Spirit Award
Current Award Holder: Connie Weiss, Spring 2016
The Juris Kursulis Sprit Award is bestowed at each District 3 conference upon the person who demonstrates unusual enthusiasm, dedication, and caring for District 3 and its members. The award is in the name of Past District Governor Juris Kursulis, DTM.
Juris and his wife, Betty, were regular attendees of District 3 conferences for over 30 years. Juris always sported his vest from the 1981 International Convention hosted in Phoenix, and continued to festoon the vest with memorabilia, ribbons, pins, and awards. In 2004, when Juris knew that he had not much longer to contribute to the District, he asked International Director Nancy Starr-Cassidy to take possession of his beloved vest with the promise that it would be used to do something “good for the District.” What better way to honor Juris than to honor those who continue the tradition of caring and giving?
The award is presented at the Hall of Fame Luncheon at each District conference. The winner must be present to receive the award and to earn the right to wear the Vest!
About Juris Kursulis
Juris came to America as a teenaged immigrant, escaping war in his homeland of Latvia. He became a U.S. citizen and joined the Air Force, where he met his bride, Betty, and her two amazing daughters in New Mexico. The family moved to Arizona where Juris went to work for Motorola. He became a member of Voice of Motorola Toastmasters (now Voice of Many), where he remained a member the rest of his life. In 1995, Juris helped form the Leaders Plus club, where he also remained an active member until his passing in 2005.
Juris was a man “bigger than life”–passionate about family, service to the nation, and Toastmasters. He was an outspoken, active member of the Past District Directors Committee and was always willing to challenge leaders to ensure they were doing the right things for the right reasons. In later years, as he needed a cane to assist with his walking, he was known to wave the cane to add emphasis to an important point.
Unknown to many, this bear of a man was truly a gentle giant,always ready to share a quiet word of encouragement to leaders as they made difficult decisions or took other actions that showed their growth as a leader, and was a friend to many. He held us to a higher standard, and for that we were grateful.
About the Vest
In 1981, Phoenix served as the host District for the International Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. The host committee volunteers received vests made of blue denim, embroidered with the conference theme and date. Juris served on the host conference committee, and wore his Vest at every conference thereafter.
Past Award Recipients
|Fall 2015||Eddie Davis|
|Spring 2015||Jennifer Sarracino|
|Fall 2014||Ryck Klecak|
|Spring 2014||Glenn Barber|
|Fall 2013||Debby Waugh|
|Spring 2013||Lynne Brasher|
|Fall 2012||Scott Holly|
|Spring 2012||Nancy Goins|
|Fall 2011||Maggie Sherwood|
|Spring 2011||Diane Travers Shipman|
|Fall 2010||Kristin Gramando|
|Spring 2010||Jeannie Enders|
|Fall 2009||Marc Dratch|
|Spring 2009||Mike Kaml|
|Fall 2008||Emi Bauer|
|Spring 2008||Susan Ball|
|Fall 2007||Judy Norris|
|Spring 2007||Steve Broe|