Held in person at the Alerus Center once again after having a virtual award ceremony in 2020, about 275 attendees, including representatives of the EDC, local elected officials and business leaders, gathered on Wednesday, June 9, to see Laffen honored with the award. Laffen, a businessman and former state lawmaker, died of a heart attack late last year.
Accepting the award on Laffen’s behalf were his wife Pam, and JLG Project Manager Adam Davidson.
“In representing the Laffen family, Lonnie’s wife, Pam, and the entire JLG family, I am deeply honored and humbled today to accept on Lonnie’s behalf, the Klaus Thiessen Impact Award in recognizing Lonnie’s significant contributions to the economic development of the Grand Forks region,” said Davidson.
Presenting that award, and welcoming Davidson and Pam Laffen to the stage, was Jonathen Holth, a local restaurateur and Community and Client Development Manager at JLG Architects. Holth said Laffen helped him secure space for his restaurant, The Toasted Frog, in a downtown building that Laffen owned.
“That changed my life,” Holth said. “That was Lonnie.