Skoog honored with 2023 Community Builder Award

Skoog honored with 2023 Community Builder Award

Richfield, Minn. (December 13, 2023) – Last night, Richfield resident, BJ Skoog, was honored with the 2024 Edwina Garcia Community Builder Award, in recognition for his commitment to the Richfield community.

The annual award is presented to a resident who personifies the community’s core values and demonstrates outstanding leadership to make Richfield a better place. The award is named after Edwina Garcia, a longtime Richfield resident who represented Richfield for decades at both the local and state levels. 

“BJ, you’ve been an inspiration to all of us,” remarked Mayor Mary Supple during Tuesday’s meeting. “Every time we turn around there’s some inspiring thing going on. Thank you so much for all of your leadership.”

Skoog’s Richfield roots run deep, having spent nearly all his life as a Richfield resident. His ties to the community, both personal and professional, span the city and its various stakeholders. From working with youth at schools and churches, to connecting with local business owners and non-profits and the founding of the Richfield Leadership Network (RLN) in 2019, Skoog has touched all parts of the community.

He was quick to acknowledge the inspiration behind the award, Edwina Garcia.

“I thank her for the legacy that she has left for this city, the longevity of her leadership and her setting such a path for so many others that love this city so dearly to follow in her footsteps,” acknowledged Skoog.

Since 2019, RLN has expanded to gain fiscal sponsorship allowing it to function as its own nonprofit. RLN’s organizational focus includes community connectivity, community leadership and community space. RLN has been active in the community, from events like the Hometown leadership summit to Hoop Local basketball tournament and the Mixto Mural at Galaxy Foods and the first community Juneteenth celebration in 2023.

“It is not an understatement to say that he’s already impacted generations in our city,” reflected councilmember Simon Trautmann. “Not just with our youth, but in our small business community and every corner of leadership in our city. He is faithfully there, serving. Thank you, friend, for serving our city.”

Beyond his work with RLN, Skoog serves on the city’s Community Services Commission, the board of directors for Richfield Penn Fest as well as M Health Fairview’s Community Advisory Board. He considers himself a “relational router” and thrives in the intersection of connectivity, collaboration, creativity and community.

Skoog added, “to my community and people: thank you for your generous support and partnership, and your willingness to dream and scheme and be collaborators together. I wouldn’t be here without you.”

Past recipients of the award include Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Maureen Scaglia and Rick Jabs.