Foundation chooses Mark Gilman as Johnson Countian of the Year

May 26, 2017


Mark Gilman

Mark Gilman, Mission Hills, has been named by the Johnson County Community College Foundation as the Johnson Countian of the Year for 2017. Gilman is chairman of the board of Gill Studios, Lenexa, and is a longtime supporter of the performing arts and community health initiatives on the local and state level.

“Each year, JCCC recognizes a Johnson Countian of the Year — a man, woman or couple who worked to benefit the county through civic leadership or philanthropic support,” said Joe Sopcich, JCCC president. “JCCC is honored to add Mark Gilman to this roster of who’s who of county leadership.”

Gilman, a Johnson County resident from the age of 11, graduated from Shawnee Mission High School. He received a degree from the University of Kansas, served in the U.S. Army and attended graduate school at the University of Southern California. He joined Gill Studios in 1962 as a salesman and progressed through the ranks as sales manager, vice president and president. He’s been chairman since 2005.

In the printing industry, Gilman was twice elected to the board of directors of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). The 10,000-member trade organization later honored him with its Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2015.

On the state and local level, Gilman has served on the boards of the Foundation for Shawnee Mission Health continuously since 1977, Missouri Repertory Theatre from 1980 to 1996, and JCCC Foundation since 1989. He was a member of the Kansas Arts Commission from 2001 to 2004.

Gilman received a Pinnacle Award from the Johnson County Library Foundation in 2011 and the Sally Wood Spirit Award from Quality Hill Playhouse in 2013. JCCC honored Gilman with a Performing Arts Endowment Award for his donation to the Yardley Fund during the 2007 Campaign for the Community.

The Polsky Theatre’s LARES digital acoustic enhancement system, a unique system which dramatically improved the listening experience in the theatre, was made possible by a gift to JCCC Performing Arts by Gilman. Polsky Theatre is now one of about 200 venues using this acoustical enhancement system, which receives critical acclaim from some of the world’s foremost musicians, performers and conductors.

Louis J. Gehring, senior executive director of The Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, said Gilman has provided service not only to JCCC, but the community at large.

“Mark Gilman knows the true meaning of community,” Gehring said. “He creates community to further many causes: the arts, culture, healthcare and children with special needs. Mark understands our community and has invested his own energy, capital and passion to make Johnson County a better place for all. I congratulate him on a well-deserved honor.”

Gilman will be honored at the JCCC Foundation’s 31st annual Some Enchanted Evening gala on November 11, 2017, at the Overland Park Marriott Hotel. Some Enchanted Evening is a black-tie event that includes a gourmet dinner, entertainment and dancing. Proceeds from the event support student scholarships at JCCC. Over the past 31 years, the Foundation has raised more than $6.7 million for the college’s scholarship program through Some Enchanted Evening.

“The JCCC Foundation is privileged to recognize Mark through this award for his service to the community and the college,” said Brad Bergman, JCCC Foundation president. “His civic contributions throughout the years have touched the lives of many people in the community and at our college. We look forward to celebrating his achievements at our Some Enchanted event this fall.”

Through events like Some Enchanted Evening, the JCCC Foundation has helped thousands of students pursue their dreams of a college education. Students with exceptional needs, such as single parents and displaced workers, and talented students in all areas of study benefit from Foundation scholarships.

Clint and Britton Robinson, Overland Park, are chairs for the 2017 Some Enchanted Evening gala.

Past Johnson Countians of the Year are Adam Hamilton, 2016; Mary Davidson Cohen, 2015; Dr. Gary Morsch, 2014; Lynn Mitchelson, 2013; Audrey Langworthy, 2012; David Wysong, 2010; Terry and Peggy Dunn, 2009; Fred Logan, 2008; Dick and Barbara Shull, 2007; Norman and Elaine Polsky, 2006; Ed Eilert, 2005; Robert D. Regnier, 2004; Walter Hiersteiner, 2003; Mary Birch, 2002; Drue Jennings, 2001; Betty Keim, 2000; Steve Rose, 1999; Charles J. Carlsen, 1998; George and Floriene Lieberman, 1997; Dick Bond, 1996; William Dunn, 1995; Adele Hall, 1994; SuEllen Fried, 1993; James P. Sunderland, 1992; Stan and Shirley Rose, 1991; John H. Robinson, 1990; Paul H. Henson, 1989; Ben Craig, 1988; and Robert H. Meneilly, 1987. In 2011, all previous Johnson Countians of the Year were honored for the 25th anniversary of Some Enchanted Evening. 

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