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2017 Dane of the Year: Susan Jacobsen

Our 2017 Dane of the Year was awarded at Danish Day to outgoing DAC Board President Susan Jacobsen. What follows is Carla Mortensen’s introduction to this most
worthy Dane of the Year.

The Dane of the Year award suggests a particularly high level of commitment to the Danish American Center. When it comes to commitment, “First, you need to show up.” Most DAC members read the DANews and select the events we might like to attend. Susan is faithful about participating in and supporting many events. From decorating trees at the American Swedish Institute to building a gingerbread model of the Center, she shows up.

“Second, you need to stand up.” Susan is an ardent and faithful promoter of our reputation and standing locally and in the larger Scandinavian-American organizations. I am continually amazed at the connections she has across the Twin Cities, and how she taps into those connections to keep the Danes visible.

The third thing is “to speak up.” This year’s Dane of the Year is a faithful servant who sees the big picture and is a soft-spoken negotiator with a realistic and optimistic eye, searching for what might be possible rather than assuming “it should be done the way we always have done it.”

Susan has a keen eye for beauty and quality. She relishes and celebrates the accomplishments and contributions Danes have made in the areas of art and design as well as film and television. She also recognizes DAC’s opportunity to model this way of honoring history while celebrating an ever-blending cultural identity for new immigrants to this country.

The selection committee recognized these significant talents and attributes in the Tyler,
Minnesota native, a grandchild of Danish immigrants, my lifelong friend, and our current DAC president. Under her leadership, the DAC has flourished, dealing with ever-evolving city licensing rules, watching our bottom line, and never forgetting that our primary focus and function are always celebrating our heritage and fellowship with each other. Congratulations, Susan!

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