Rotary International
Fayette, Missouri 65248
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Bryan Kunze and Bill John
2020 Business/Professional Persons of the Year

Rotary Business Leaders of the 2020 Year

Fayette’s 2020 Rotary Business-Professional Leaders of the Year, Bill John (second from left) and Bryan Kunze (second from the right) with Larry Anderson (left) and Jim Steele (right.) Jim made the presentation on Friday noon, May 15, 2020 in an outdoor setting due to the corona virus pandemic. Jim's words are printed below.

Two longtime area public safety officials have been recognized by Fayette Rotary as joint recipients of the service club’s annual Business and Professional Leadership Award.

Receiving the 2020 award are the co-directors of Howard County’s Emergency Management Office, Bryan Kunze and Bill John.

The recognition program began in 1984. Currently the names of past recipients are affixed on two permanent plaques which hang in the Commercial Trust Community Room. Any business or professional person residing within the bounds of the Fayette R-III school district is eligible to receive the award. Rotary members vote annually each spring to make the selection.

Howard County native Bryan Kunze began his career in emergency services in 1978, serving 31 years as a Fayette police officer, with 24 as chief of police. He retired in 2010.

He is a longtime member of Fayette’s Volunteer Fire Department, in addition to the Howard County Fire Protection District where he has served as chief for the past five years. Kunze has been involved with the two departments for more than 42 years.

William (Bill) John also is a Howard County native and served 28 years with the Fayette Police Department, retiring with rank of captain. Currently he is director of Emergency Management for the City of Fayette. He also has been recognized as a longtime board member of Howard Electric Co-Op, serving as treasurer since 2002. Currently he is the co-op’s representative to the board of directors of the Association of Missouri Electric Co-ops.

John and Kunze started as co-directors of Howard County Emergency Management in January 2006. In March of that year the county was hit with a tornado that caused more than 20 million dollars damage. The two men have worked on four Presidential Disaster Declarations for Howard County since 2006. These include the aforementioned 2006 tornado, a major winter storm, major flooding last year, and the current Covid-19 crisis. Their office is based in the Keller Building.

One part of the job is to serve as a liaison between Howard County to both SEMA and FEMA. The men gather cost estimates associated with a disaster and forward the information to the state. If the county is able

to meet certain thresholds it can receive federal reimbursements for expenses. The two often meet with SEMA to update the county’s Local Emergency Operations Plan. Bryan and Bill gather regularly to train and conduct exercises with 13 Central Missouri counties which helps local units prepare for disasters. Unfortunately thus far, no one has received the training needed to address the Covid-19 crisis, they note.

Both of this year’s leadership recipients graduated from Fayette High School in the mid-1970s and over the years have taken numerous training courses in law enforcement, fire fighting and emergency management.

Bryan and his wife, Connie, have two children and six grandchildren. Bill has one daughter and two grandchildren.

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Jim Steele
May 15, 2020