Port Townsend Citizen of the Year, Business Leader of the Year named

PORT TOWNSEND — A retired school principal still active in youth affairs was named 2004 Citizen of the Year on Sunday, and the couple who opened the city and state ferries to wireless Internet last year received the Business Leader of the Year award.

George Earl received the 2004 top citizen award during a midday brunch at The Commons at Fort Worden State Park.

The Port Townsend Business Leader of the Year award was presented to Nelson and Bonnie Ludlow, founders of the Port Townsend-based wireless technology company, Mobilisa Inc.

About 100 civic and business leaders attended the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored brunch.

“I am surprised, I am in awe, and I am honored,” said Earl, who received the Citizen of the Year award, which was established in 1949.

“I am in awe of what’s been done in the city of Port Townsend.”

Earl, selected by a special panel from nine nominees for the 2004 award, received a plaque from the 2003 recipient, Erik Frederickson.

The Ludlows, co-owners of 3½-year-old Mobilisa, received the chamber’s 2004 business award for demonstrating accomplishment in such areas as business expansion, community involvement, innovation in the workplace and promoting the overall interests of the community.

“We try to work globally and bring contacts here — and we try to spend money locally,” said Nelson Ludlow.

“This is perfect community to build business,” he said, after receiving his award with his wife standing next to him.

“I couldn’t have done it without Bonnie,” he said.

“She is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

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