sue hansohn

The L.B. Henretty Memorial Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award is handed out by the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce annually to a resident who has spent a lifetime making a difference in the community.

This year, the honor went to Sue Hansohn, whose community service spans decades and has centered around her dedication to supporting career and technical education skill programs. She has spent years leading the Culpeper Cosmetology School and was instrumental in creating and supporting the New Pathways Inc. technical school at the George Washington Carver Building.

Hansohn also served on the Board of Supervisors for 24 years and has supported charities throughout Culpeper County.

Chamber President Jeff Say noted the Outstanding Citizen Award is the most prestigious recognition bestowed during the Chamber’s annual banquet and he could not think of a more fitting recipient than Hansohn.

Usually, Hansohn would have been honored at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to go virtual. So, Say and a camera crew visited her at the Culpeper Cosmetology School for what she thought was an interview being conducted with everyone nominated for the award. Instead, Hansohn was notified that she was selected as the L.B. Henretty Outstanding Citizen and was presented the plaque.

“Wow, thank you. This is very shocking, but I’m very appreciative, thank you so much, it’s nice to be honored. But what I do, I think, is what anybody can do. You see a need and...you work with people. It’s a collaboration, it’s never just one person,” she said upon receiving the plaque.

Hansohn then began promoting the schools she has dedicated so much time to helping. She noted that the Cosmetology School is “a blessing” and serves as a second chance for many of its graduates. She also pointed out that New Pathways has grant opportunities allowing some people to attend school freely in a part-time machinist program in which graduates receive credentials to enter the workforce.

Say noted that her acceptance speech was fitting of the characteristics for which she was honored.

“To me, it just shows the type of person that you are Sue, that you are promoting your schools while accepting this award,” he said.

“That’s what it’s about,” she responded. “It’s about the students, it’s about the community, not the person.”

The award was named after L.B Henretty - a local entrepreneur and volunteer - whose contributions to the community were far and wide. Most notably, he was instrumental in forming the dam system that makes up Culpeper’s watershed, which has been key in facilitating growth.

Tony Troilo, the 2017 recipient, said “we’re so much better off today because of the people in the likes of L.B. Henretty.”

Butch Davies, who received the award in 2002, said the honor “really does recognize those people who have contributed significantly to this community.”

“And it’s funny, every year when somebody gets the award, you say ‘well you know, I wonder why it took them so long to recognize them.’ It’s to recognize somebody who has given a lifetime of service. I think L.B. would really be pleased with that,” Davies said.

And surely, Henretty would be pleased to know that someone like Hansohn, who has spent decades helping make Culpeper a better place to live, received the plaque bearing his name.

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