Simms named community leader of the year

John Simms

John Simms

Being involved in his community and working with kids is what John Simms has loved to do for more than 20 years.

"It's fun, and it's rewarding," said Simms, who will be honored by the Ron Wood Family Resource Center as Community Leader of the Year at the Governor's Mansion on Friday evening.

A native Nevadan, Simms, 48, joined the Carson City Juvenile Probation Department in 1984 and has been youth counselor, senior youth counselor, juvenile probation officer, juvenile services program coordinator, juvenile detention administrator, and is currently chief juvenile probation officer.

He attended the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in human health resources and criminal justice.

"There were a lot of people who when I was going through tough times as a kid, who had a positive influence on me," Simms said. "That had more of an impact on me than anything.

"Possibly that's why I work in the field I do.

"I like coaching athletics, being involved and working with kids. And when you have four kids who also have to live in the community, you do what you can to show how important it is to volunteer and hope they also make a better community."

Simms is married to Karen; their children are Jason, 25, Kendra, 19, Tyler, 17, and Zachariah, 10.

"I really am appreciative to be honored with this award," he said. "And very touched."

Simms, who is one of the founders of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, said it means a lot to him.

"I've got a lot of good memories of that place, and of working hard, very hard," he said. "We nearly had to close it down because of no resources and no money. We did our best to keep it open."

"John really deserves this award," said Joyce Buckingham, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center. "He has done so much not only for us, but the entire community. It's about time he got such great recognition."

Simms touted Carson City as a user-friendly community that welcomes involvement.

"Like the board of supervisors has advisory boards, they're always looking for people from the public to participate. I like that.

"And the board of the resource center - they're not only committed, but connected.

"I feel touched (by this honor). It's kind of emotional for me, and I'm very appreciative."

Simms said he has been active in the community since college, when volunteer work was mandatory, and his has always been youth oriented.

He has been an officer and coach for Carson City Little League for more than 20 years, belongs to the Youth Sports Association and served on the Parks and Recreation Board for 5 years.

"Through his tireless efforts, the community has realized many services, programs and positive growth to promote healthy, happy and successful family relationships," Buckingham said.

"He has left his mark on many young people looking for direction and guidance. We welcome the public in honoring John and supporting the efforts of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center."

Tickets are $45 per person or $320 for a table of eight, and are available at the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, 212 E. Winnie Lane. The event includes wine tasting, appetizers, a raffle and auction.

The event will be hosted by Mark Amodei - auctioneer, with many community leaders serving wine and finger foods.

For information, call 884-2269.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.


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