Moorhead, Minn. (August 17, 2015) – The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber has named Morrie Lanning the recipient of the 2015 Legacy Leader Award. The Legacy Leader Award recognizes and emphasizes the important role and contributions of long-time local leaders in both shaping and serving The Chamber, metropolitan community and region.
Morrie Lanning’s roots in the area began in Moorhead. His introduction to politics started when he ran for student body president of Moorhead High School. After playing football for and graduating from Concordia College, Lanning worked for his alma mater and earned a master’s degree from North Dakota State University.
In January 1974, Lanning was elected to the Moorhead city council. Six years later, he launched a successful campaign for mayor of Moorhead, a role he would serve in for the next 22 years.
During this time, Lanning also worked as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Concordia. It was here that he pioneered the development of a student leadership program that continues to help students to this day.
In 2001, Lanning ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives, and the next year, he began this new career. As a Republican legislator, Lanning earned recognition for his advocacy on behalf of non-profit arts. He also worked for comprehensive border cities legislation, pension reform, poverty solutions and state funding for flood mitigation, and was integral in the Minnesota Vikings stadium legislation.
Throughout Lanning’s 38 years of public service, he held numerous leadership positions in city, state and regional organizations. He authored legislation to move the state’s water management governance to a basin and watershed system, founded the International Coalition for Land and Water Stewardship in the Red River Basin, and founded the Red River Basin Commission, serving as its first chairman. Lanning also served as delegate to the Legislator’s Forum and a member of the Steering Committee for 10 years.
In recent years, he has stayed active in the community and currently operates Morrie Lanning Consulting, LLC, offering consulting services on issues such as water resource management, government relations and organizational leadership.
“The Legacy Leader award is The Chamber’s highest award and perhaps the highest in the community! It is more than fitting that a person of Morrie’s dignity and vast accomplishments be honored with this award,” Craig Whitney, president and CEO of the Chamber said.
Lanning will be honored at The Chamber’s Annual Meeting on September 24 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. The Annual Meeting will also serve as a reflection and celebration of The Chamber’s accomplishments of the past fiscal year, offer a look at priorities for the next year and will honor our outstanding volunteers.
To register to attend the Annual Meeting, visit www.fmwfchamber.com or call 218.233.1100.
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of more than 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 98,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.