Dan Fankhauser was honored to be named the Garden City Area Chamber’s 2019 Award of Merit winner on Thursday night.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” he said. “I'm kind of speechless really, but I'm so glad to be here and I appreciate the honor and I hope to continue to serve my community and see it grow.”

A native of Kansas, Fankhauser moved to Garden City in 1948 with his parents and older brother.

He attended Garden City public schools and graduated from Garden City High School in 1962.

Following high school, Fankhauser attended Kansas State University, where he graduated in 1967 with a degree in architecture.

Fankhauser moved back to Garden City after college, where he had a three-year internship.

After the internship, he went to work for the a family business before selling it in 1996. He eventually opened his own business, Dan Fankhauser, Architect.

Beth Tedrow, the Chamber’s 2018 Award of Merit winner, introduced Fankhauser on Thursday. She said he’s had a big impact on the community.

"(He) is a very creative person and has greatly helped change the appearance of our community through many projects,“ she said. ”He’s an entrepreneur and a real estate investor, owner of varied businesses projects and .... constantly needs challenges. He’s very competitive and always wants to help people.“

Fankhauser loves Garden City and has given almost all of his adult life to helping others and the community, Tedrow said.

Tedrow said he’s served more than 20 years of public governmental service as a city commissioner and twice elected mayor and served for 22 years on the Garden City/Finney County Planning Commission and Great Plains Development Corporation.

Additionally, he’s served as president of the Elks, Lions Club, as the past director of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce and as a leader in the Community Congregational Church.

Fankhauser said he started getting involved in the community, especially city government, because he wanted to see Garden City grow and to be part of that growth.

“That's one reason why I ran for city commission, because I wanted to be a part of that growth and help Garden City,” he said.

He’s glad to see Garden City on its current path.

“I think Garden City is on a good path to future success,” he said. “When we moved here I was four years old, and I think Garden City was population 8,000. I've always said I'd like see Garden City grow to 40,000, and I think it's going to happen, maybe not this census, but maybe the next one.”

In other business:

• Deb Oyler was introduced as the 2020 Board Chair.

• Rocky Munoz was named the Ambassador of the Year.

• Erich Schaefer, of Golden Plains Credit Union, and Todd Dauber were recognized as 2019 retiring Chamber Board members.

• Scooter’s Coffee was named the 2019 Emerging Business of the Year.

• Gravity Wellness Spa was named the 2019 Small Business of the Year.

• Fry Eye Associates was named the 2019 Business of the Year.