BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL – Longtime community supporter and retired educator Jean Madsen is receiving the Davis Chamber of Commerce’s highest award.
The Bountiful woman will receive the Legacy Award during the chamber’s annual awards banquet Jan. 24.
The 89-year-old Madsen is known by many people for different reasons.
In particular, she has emphasized education and the arts, said Chamber President Jim Smith in a press release.
“Jean Madsen’s influence and impact on Davis County has been significant, particularly when you think about how many decades she has been involved,” he said.
The Legacy Award is the highest award the chamber can give. It is generally presented to a profound leader who has provided extraordinary service to the community, state and/or nation in behalf of Davis County, the release said.
“Jean is a trailblazer and a role model,” said Chantel Chase, 2013 Davis Chamber chair.
As far as education, she helped establish the first kindergarten in the state, was principal of Centerville’s J.A. Taylor Elementary School when she received national recognition for Education Excellence, and was instrumental in bringing to fruition the Davis campus of Weber State University. She also helped establish what is now the Davis Applied Technology College campus.
She was also principal of Farmington Elementary School and Davis District music supervisor, among other education-related assignments.
In the arts, she helped create the Children’s Center at the Bountiful/Davis Art Center, and has been heavily involved with the chamber of commerce and service organizations.
“Jean is one of the most dynamic, energetic, culturally-and community minded, loving people that I have ever met,” said Emma Dugal, director of the Bountiful/Davis Art Center.
Madsen has served on the group’s board for more than 20 years and is a strong booster for Summerfest, among other activities, Dugal said.
“We print up about 2,500 fliers that we call the Jean Madsen fliers to promote Summerfest,” she said. “In the past, Jean has hand-delivered most of those. She talks to people, gives them one, asks if they know about Summerfest,” Dugal said.
Madsen also has a deep love for music. She was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for several years.
In 2008, Madsen received the Athena Award from the Chamber’s Women in Business Leadership Committee.
The award honors an outstanding woman in the community for her service to others.
“The life she’s led intersected with each and every one of ours so many times,” said then-Chamber CEO John Pitt upon Madsen’s receiving the Athena award.
Madsen has not let her age stop her from pursuing such physical pursuits as swimming.
She has won many swimming event medals at the Huntsman World Games, including gold medal winner in 2010.
For years, Madsen has followed a regimen of swimming and other exercise at the South Davis Recreation Center.
“It takes a lot of people in a community to make it work, and she’s been the county’s best cheerleader for a long time,” said Chris Dallin, who has been very involved with the chamber since its inception as a unified county organization.
“She is very sensitive to those things that keep a community strong. She contributes to the heart and soul of Davis County. She is so worthy of this award,” he added.