2015-06-19 / Your City

Wiiks, LeBlanc named Citizens of the Year

Jim LeBlanc, assistant director of the Leominster Emergency Management Agency. Kimberly Petalas photo Jim LeBlanc, assistant director of the Leominster Emergency Management Agency. Kimberly Petalas photo About an hour before fireworks lit up the sky, Leominster’s Citizens of the Year were announced at Starburst 2015 on Saturday, June 13.

This year’s honorees are Wendy Wiiks, grant administrator for the mayor’s office, and Jim LeBlanc, assistant director of the Leominster Emergency Management Agency.

Here is information on the two winners, as printed in the Starburst program:

Wiiks is a lifelong resident of Leominster who has worked on behalf of the city for more than two decades. After graduating from Leominster High School and Fitchburg State College, her first full-time job was with Congressman John Olver, serving as a constituent case worker and as economic development coordinator until she went to work for Sen. Bob Antonioni in the same capacity.

When Antonioni left the Senate, Wiiks went to work as grant administrator for Mayor Dean Mazzarella. During that time, she has secured million of dollars for the city’s parks and infrastructure, including funds for projects such as the Southeast playground, the Adams Street revitalization project and, her personal favorite, a new ladder truck for the Fire Department.

Wendy Wiiks, grant administrator for the mayor’s office. Vincent J. Apollonio photo Wendy Wiiks, grant administrator for the mayor’s office. Vincent J. Apollonio photo In her spare time, Wiiks enjoys taking on what some might consider odd projects. But to her, these projects add to what makes Leominster special and memorable. She is oftenhssed as a roller-skating clown at city events, painting used up city vehicles purple to benefit cancer research, or mending the huge Christmas inflatables when they manage to get a little hole along the way.

Wiiks’ passion has always been, and will always be, politics. So in between her grants, she will always be following the next political story.

LeBlanc has a long and full history of volunteering in many capacities in the city of Leominster. He is currently the assistant director for the Leominster Emergency Management Agency. His affiliation with this agency dates back more than 50 years, where he has served in a variety of volunteer roles and managed many facets of the Office of Emergency Management. His strengths are in the field of incident command, project management, hazardous material operations, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER).

Additionally, LeBlanc has served for 16 years as a member of the auxiliary police and its motorcycle squad. He is a nationally registered medical technician and a member of the LEMA Divers and a SCUBA instructor.

In 1967, LeBlanc was a member of the committee to develop CPR training for the Heart Association. He has trained more than 1,500 people in a 17-year span in two countries.

LeBlanc has been recognized by the American Legion, the Rotary Club, the House of Representatives and the Massachusetts State Senate for his lifesaving actions.

Professionally, LeBlanc has been employed by Foster Grant and then Fosta Tek Optics throughout his career. He currently serves as vice president of Fosta Tek, where he oversees quality objectives and budgets.

LeBlanc is a man who has devoted both his volunteer hours and his career hours to the city of Leominster in one way or another.

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