Distinguished Public Leadership Award Recipients

2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009


Lisa Kons

This year’s award recipient is Lisa Kons.

Lisa Kons is the traffic programs manager for the Minnesota Safety Council, a chapter of the National Safety Council. Lisa has worked with the council for 25 years, primarily developing, coordinating, and implementing traffic safety programming. She currently serves as the state coordinator for the Minnesota Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), which focuses on providing traffic safety resources and opportunities to employers, media outlets, and traffic safety partners throughout the state.

Through NETS, Lisa has worked with hundreds of Minnesota employers, educating thousands of employees on topics such as distracted driving, impaired driving, fatigued driving, and seat belt safety. She has helped employers write and strengthen their traffic safety policies to keep their employees safety behind the wheel both on and off the job, and she has attended hundreds of employer safety and health events throughout the years demonstrating fatal vision goggles and the distracted driving simulator.

The Minnesota Safety Council and NETS work very closely with all traffic safety partners and Safe Roads Grantees to help engage employers in traffic safety and to support mobilizations. Some of the past activities include the AT&T It Can Wait Challenge, Txting Klls wristbands, and numerous free brochures, publications, and an interactive website.

In addition, Lisa has worked and testified passionately and diligently with advocates, traffic safety partners, and the legislature over the past two years to pass hands-free cell phone use. She is a nationally recognized dynamic speaker and an influencer in Minnesota, always working behind the scenes to ensure the right connections are made and wheels continue to turn to make the state’s roads safer.


  • David Bernstein, Minnesota DWI Task Force chair and Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney


  • Gary Kroells, West Hennepin Public Safety Department


  • Gordy Pehrson, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety
  • Captain Michael Hanson, Minnesota State Patrol


  • Lynne Goughler, Mothers Against Drunk Driving 
  • Tim Held, Minnesota Department of Health


  • Tom Sorel, AAA Minneapolis


  • Steve Simn, University of Minnesota


  • Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Michael Campion, Department of Public Safety


  • Jean Ryan, Department of Public Safety


  • Jim Carlson, Minnesota Senate
  • Melissa Hortman, Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Cheri Marti, Department of Public Safety
  • Steve Murphy, Minnesota Senate
  • Kim Norton, Minnesota House of Representatives