(MANHATTAN, Kansas – Press Release) – The 2018 Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year for Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce is longtime area businessman Phil Howe. The award was announced during the Chamber’s Feb. 15 Annual Meeting and Banquet at Manhattan Conference Center.
Howe is the 52nd recipient of the Citizen of the Year award. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he worked for United National Bank (later merger as Commerce Bank) and in 1969, applied for and received the charter for his own bank and oversaw the rapid growth of Kansas State Bank. With total assets of more than $950 million today, KS StateBank has seen 25 percent increases in capital during that period.
His distinguished career includes president at Griffith Oil Company. He has founded Baystone Financial Group (1988) and Master Medical Company out of Scottsdale, Ariz., which he guided as the company’s president. Howe has been active in the Manhattan Chamber, served as board member and president of Riley County United Way, helped establish the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation and its YES! Fund (Youth Empowerment for Success).
Howe serves on the Dean’s Business Advisory Council for the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University and is a past member of the KSU Foundation Board. Kansas State’s Center for Advancement of Entrepreneurship – in the College of Business – would not be possible without Howe’s integral contribution. He helped to shape many functional aspects to drive future generations’ entrepreneurial resolve within the business college.
The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award is named in honor of long-tenured former Manhattan Chamber president Lud Fiser, who served from 1948 to 1975 and was responsible for such community developments as CiCo Park and Manhattan Industrial Park.
The 51st winner for the 2017 calendar year was The Master Teacher’s Bob DeBruyn.