Avery Osen, a former Winfield resident, has been named a recipient of the inaugural Governor’s NextGen Under30 Kansas Award. He was recognized at the NextGen Dinner and Award Ceremony on Dec. 2 at the Hotel Topeka at City Center in Topeka, according to a press release.
The NextGen Under30 Kansas Award was implemented with the mission to identify and honor talented young adults; to encourage them to follow their lifetime family and career goals in Kansas.
Osen, a 2013 graduate of Winfield High School, was nominated and selected in the media category.
He currently serves as co-host of “Good Day, Kansas” which airs from 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Wichita’s KSN-TV. Osen also writes for the Associated Press covering University of Kansas and Kansas State sports among others, as well as writing for the Kansas City Royals and other Major League Baseball teams. He is a member of the video production crew for the Kansas City Chiefs and is the emcee for the Wichita Thunder Hockey team.
Osen started his journalism/media career as an intern at the Winfield Daily Courier when he was still a student at Winfield High School.
He graduated from Cowley College before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism/mass communications from Kansas State University. After completing his master’s degree, Osen taught for the A. Q Miller School of Media and Communications at Kansas State as an adjunct professor. He currently resides in Derby.
Kansas Senator Tom Hawk said two years ago he visited a neighboring state and became aware of and was inspired by their award program.
“(Their) banquet was about recognizing young people who are already doing great things in their businesses, organizations and careers,” Hawk said.
According to Paul Hughes, Deputy Director of the Kansas Department of Commerce, legislative leaders felt that a similar program was warranted in Kansas.
“The state of Kansas wanted to have a recognition program encouraging leaders, difference makers, someone who embodies your vision of the best and brightest in our state,” said Kansas Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Commerce David Toland.
Kansans were invited to submit nominations during the nomination launch from March 15 until August 31. Nominees were to be innovative, creative-thinking, and inspiring young individuals who push the boundaries beyond their years, who were worthy of winning. Nominees had to be 30 years old any time in 2022 or younger.
Nominations were accepted in 27 various categories including Adult and Higher Education, Aviation, The Arts, BioTech and Ag Tech, Education K-12, Media, Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising, and Healthcare among many others. Nominees were notified of their nomination and were then asked to submit a resume and other information.
Award winners were selected based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities. A panel of business and civic leaders served as judges.
Title sponsors for the NextGen Under30 Award are the more than 180 Masonic Lodges statewide.
“We are proud to help highlight Kansas’ top young professionals who are making an impact in their workplace, their communities, and the State of Kansas,” said Robert F. Nelson, Kansas Masonic Foundation President.