Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service

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.

Past winners include:

  • 2019: Sean and Mandi Casey
  • 2018: Linda Marino
  • 2017: Lisa Liston
  • 2016: Tim Killmeyer
  • 2015: Joe and Nancy Murray
  • 2014: Commander Scott Schubert
  • 2013: Sister Mary Jean Petrarca
  • 2012: Kelly Stillwell
  • 2011: Karen Jacobsen

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.
• Emmaus Board members and staff are not eligible for this award.
• The online or attached form should be submitted no later than 3/1/2019.
• The Ken Wagner Award selection committee will decide on the recipient.
• The awardee and the Wagner family will be notified.
• The winner will be invited to the Emmaus  Gala at the Pittsburgh Westin, where the award will be given.
• The winner will receive a complimentary table at the event.

We’re now taking nominations for the 2020 Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service! A nomination form may be filled out online here.

more information
For more information about the Ken Wagner Award for Outstanding Service, contact us at You may nominate someone online here.