LINCOLN, NE - A Norfolk man has been recognized by the Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA) as a distinguished alumnus. Larry Arens was honored for outstanding career achievement with the NCCA’s Northeast Community College Area Distinguished Alumni Award during the organization’s annual meeting in Lincoln recently.
The award is presented annually to one alumnus from each of five of the state’s community college areas.
Northeast Community College was instrumental in starting Arens’ time in the utility industry. His 39-year career with the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) began shortly after his graduation from Northeast Technical Community College, the predecessor institution to Northeast Community College.
After earning an associate degree in applied electrical science in 1980, Arens began his work with the company as a transmission lineman in York. He later transferred to Osceola as a retail lineman, followed by a move to Oshkosh as a serviceman. From there, Arens progressed up the management chain - promoted to local manager III in Dodge, local manager II in Exeter, and local manager I in Seward. He then advanced to his current position as account manager in Norfolk.
As an account manager, Arens serves as the liaison between NPPD and its wholesale and retail customers working with other power districts and municipal officials, such as mayors and city administrators. Some of his duties include contracts, rates, operational assistance, and providing support for other business departments. In addition, he has provided his expertise to Northeast by serving on the Utility Line program’s advisory committee for a number of years.
“I am truly blessed to have had the training and support from both Northeast and NPPD,” he said.
Arens said he is proud to receive the Northeast Community College Distinguished Alumni Award from the Nebraska Community College Association.
“I am honored to receive this award because I am very proud to have graduated from a great institution! There are many successful graduates from Northeast and I very humbled to have been chosen for this award.”
During his time at the college, Arens said he valued how welcoming everyone was and how he had the opportunity to make new lifelong friends.
He said future Northeast students should, “enjoy all that Northeast has to offer. They are on the leading edge of technology and your future is unlimited.”
Away from NPPD, Arens has served as an emergency medical technician and a volunteer firefighter. He has also been on the leadership team of the Norfolk Area United Way and is a “Certified Key Account Executive. He is a member of the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, National Rifle Association, and a past member of the Norfolk Rotary Club. He and his family enjoy traveling, golf, hunting, and fishing.
Arens and his wife, Anne, have three children, Jordan, Tyler, and Dillion. Jordan and his wife, Mandy, of Omaha, have three children, Sam, Jackson and McKenzie. Tyler and his wife, Sarah, live in Kansas City, and Dillion lives in Lincoln.
“Whether they have made significant contributions to our institution and to the community college system as a whole, or they are successful alums who have made outstanding contributions to their local communities, our honoree exemplifies those qualities that we value at Northeast Community College” said Mary Honke, co-interim president. “For 91-years, Northeast Community College and its predecessor institutions have provided an exceptional and accessible education to our students who go on to launch extraordinary careers thanks to their experiences with us. Larry Arens is among those graduates with whom we are proud to call outstanding alumni.”
Larry Arens is presented the Nebraska Community College Association’s Northeast Community College Area Distinguished Alumni Award from Mary Honke, co-interim president of Northeast, during the organization’s annual meeting in Lincoln recently. The award is presented annually to one alumnus from each of five of the state’s community college areas.