GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – A member of the Northeast Community College Board of Governors has earned a distinguished honor from the Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA).

Dirk Petersen was presented with the NCCA’s 2022 Governor’s Award during the organization’s annual meeting recently in Grand Island. The award is presented annually to one board member from five of the state’s community college areas.

Julie Robinson, chairperson of the Northeast board of governors, said Petersen, a former general manager and vice president at Nucor Steel, is a committed member of the board and understands the role community colleges play in higher education.

“Mr. Petersen is an exemplary and dedicated member of the board of governors, where he asks thought provoking questions at each meeting,” she said. “With approximately 40-years of experience in the steel industry, he is an invaluable resource when it comes to business, industry and manufacturing issues, to not only the board, but to the College as a whole. Dirk is the type of individual organizations seek out to serve on their behalf as they work to better their communities and attract new business and industry to their regions.”

“My eleven years on the board have been a really great thing for me because when I was at Nucor this opportunity provided another way to be involved with leadership as well as being able to contribute to our community and the 20-county region,” Petersen said in accepting the award. “Northeast and Nucor have had a great partnership. The Nucor Detailing Center wouldn’t have located in Norfolk and brought in over 200 technical jobs if Northeast had not stepped forward and expanded its drafting program.”

In recent years, Petersen’s efforts in policy governance clearly define the work of caring out the mission of Northeast through new policies.

Petersen has storied resume working in the steel industry and has served on a several boards for his expertise in economic development and transportation matters across the state. His work in these arenas include his time as chairman of the board of directors of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and his service as a board member of the Nebraska Diplomats, the latter made up of business executives and community leaders who work to promote the state’s business climate and quality of life.

To work with state officials to move forward on the expansion of Nebraska’s expressway system, Petersen became a founding and highly visible member of the grassroots organization, “4 Lanes 4 Nebraska.” With safety, commerce and growth behind their efforts, his work as a board member of the organization was highly productive.

Other public service efforts by Petersen include his service on the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Action Council, with its work focused on economic development efforts in the region, and the Waterloo, Ind., Chamber of Commerce.

The Nebraska Community College Association is made up of Central Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Northeast Community College, Southeast Community College, and Western Nebraska Community College.

“I really appreciate this award and I really need to thank the other board members,” Petersen said. “We really work so well together. I also want to acknowledge President Barrett, the faculty, staff, and students for all their excellent work. And I would like to thank the NCCA for this award. I will cherish it.”