ARS John Parr Award

John Parr Award for Individual Regional Leadership

The John Parr Award was established in 2008 to recognize individuals who have dedicated their professional lives and personal time, as well as social and political capital, to regional stewardship. The award commemorates the legacy of the late John Parr, former chief executive of the National Civic League and the Alliance for Regional Stewardship, and one of America's foremost counselors in the area of collaborative government, public/private partnerships, and regional governance. It is the only individual honor bestowed by ARS.

Now Accepting Nominations for 2014!

Complete the John Parr Award Nomination form and return to by June 27, 2014 to nominate a regionally focused professional for this prestigious award. 

2013 Recipient

Shelly Lauten Shelley Lauten

2012 Recipient

Doug Henton
Chairman and CEO
Collaborative Economics

2011 Recipient

The Hon. William H. Hudnut, III
Senior Fellow Emeritus, The Urban Land Institute
Former U.S. Congressman from Indiana
Former Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana

 2010 Recipient

Robert H. McNulty
President and Founder
Partners for Livable Communities

 2009 Recipients

Curtis Johnson, Neal Peirce, and Farley Peters
Founding Principals
The Citistates Group

2008 Recipient

Joan Riehm Joan Riehm
Former Deputy Mayor, City of Louisville, KY
Past Chair, Alliance for Regional Stewardship
(presented posthumously)

About John Parr

John Parr was one of America’s foremost counselors in the area of collaborative government and citizen involvement. He served as the president and CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship, coordinating and leading efforts to advance regional agendas across the United States. Under John’s leadership ARS blossomed from an idea to a reality. As CEO of the Alliance, Parr led the Board through its first-ever strategic plan and put ARS on the map by producing an influential series of monographs and annual forums.     

Prior to his role with ARS, Parr gained renown as the innovative leader of the century-old National Civic League (NCL), America’s premier organization working to improve local and state government and promote a strong role for citizens. At NCL, Parr ushered in such projects as the Healthy Cities Program and developed the concept of civic infrastructure and the civic index as a measuring tool for communities. 

Parr lectured at the Graduate School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado at Denver. He has also taught in programs at Harvard, MIT, UCLA and the University of Denver. Parr’s articles appeared in publications ranging from the University of Chicago Policy Review to The Consensus Building Handbook.

In testimonials appearing on the Denver Post website, colleagues and friends have described John as a domestic diplomat, a conciliator, a superb strategist, a power in both politics and civic life who never made much noise about himself. He was content to make things happen for others.

A native of Denver, Parr loved the Rocky Mountains and enjoyed spending time with his beloved wife, journalist Sandy Widener, and their two daughters Chase and Katy.  John, Sandy and Chase were killed December 22, 2007 after their car was hit by a tractor-trailer on an icy road near Rawlings, Wyoming.  Katy survived the accident.