Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service

Ken Wagner Award

We will be accepting nominations for the 2018 Ken Wagner Award in the new year! Check back for more information.

Congratulations to our 2017 winner of the Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service: Lisa Liston!

The Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service is given annually to someone who has shown by their actions that they serve as Emmaus co-founder Ken Wagner served, without judging others or thinking of his own needs and wants.  Someone who never stops giving of themselves, as Ken never stopped giving of himself.

The award, established in 2011, will honor Ken’s name perpetually, and be an annual reminder to the Emmaus of the future of the Emmaus of the past–a past that exemplifies total giving of self for the service of others from a man that showed through his actions that we all are one, with different gifts and abilities, to be given one to another.

The award itself is beautifully symbolic of a life of service.  Consider the position of your hand as you reach it out to bring someone else up.  This is that picture, and it shows in a way as though joined with Ken’s, so that as the winner sees the award, they are reminded they are not alone.  Others, like this great man, join with them along the journey of a life of service.

Nomination criteria:

  • Nominees should exemplify the life of service Ken lived as described above.
  • A life of service to people with intellectual disabilities and autism is recommended but not necessary for the awardee.  Anyone that has shown self-giving the way Ken Wagner did is eligible.
  • Any individual may nominate a potential awardee.
  • A nomination form should be submitted by the announced deadline.
  • A selection committee will decide on the recipient by March 10th.
  •  The awardee and the Wagner family will be notified.
  • The winner will be invited to the Emmaus Kentucky Derby Gala (and given 10 complimentary tickets).
  • The award will be presented at the Emmaus Kentucky Derby Gala on the first Saturday in May.
more informationFor more information about the Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service, contact us at You may download a nomination form here.  Response info is included on the form.