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Institute honors Auburn deputy mayor

Nancy Backus - Courtesy photo
Nancy Backus
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Auburn Deputy Mayor Nancy Backus was honored with the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound's Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes an alumnus who exemplifies the spirit of leadership and the goals of the institute.

A representative panel of previous class speakers selected Backus

"If you need a sympathetic ear, someone to laugh with, a shoulder to cry on or a strong back to help carry the load, this is the person you need," said Jerry Ruston, an institute alumnus, who presented the award. "She is the type of person others gravitate to and want to spend time with because she makes you feel better just being around her."

Backus, a 2007 graduate of the institute, has served as an Auburn City Councilmember since 2003. She also serves on the board of the Valley Regional Fire Authority, actively participates in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and at the national level with the National League of Cities Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Policy Committee.

She also has been the president of the Miss Auburn Scholarship Program for the past 32 years. During that time the program has helped award scholarships to 536 young women totaling $560,000.

Backus is a highly respected manger at The Boeing Company.

"In her very busy private life, as well as her very busy public life, this year's recipient represents what the Dena Laurent Sorenson Distinguished Alumni Award is," Ruston said. "A leader who models the way, inspires a shared vision, challenges the process, enables others and encourages the heart."

This year marks the Institute's 14th graduating class. More than 400 alumni have come through the program. Backus is the eighth recipient of the award. Past winners are: Bob Lee (2005); Anne Baunach (2006); Lynn Norman (2007); Nancy Colson (2008); Debbie Christian (2009); Clarissa & Jerry Ruston (2010); and Gail Spurrell (2011).

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To learn more, visit www.auburnareawa.org/leadership.htm

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