It's hard for many folks in the Warren area to bring to mind an image of John Hanna dressed in anything other than a business suit, looking ever more the part of a banker even though he retired from that trade some time ago.
It's also difficult to imagine him wearing a hat, although in a figurative sense, he wears many.
John Hanna, the man who built a local savings and loan into a regional banking giant, is being honored by the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry on Nov. 3, not because of his business savvy or banking acumen, but for what he has done directly for the Warren County community.
It's also difficult to understand why it took the chamber so long to honor the man who, in his "retirement" is the mentor of that very organization.
The soft-spoken, humble man in the gray suit wearing an easy smile has been responsible over the past several decades for much of what is positive. He has been the go-to guy for advice when there was a community need to be filled. Perhaps more than anyone else in the business community, Hanna has quietly helped organize and operate countless programs that have touched those on every economic level in a positive way.
From his involvement in the Community Foundation of Warren County, the area's largest philanthropic organization, to his support of the arts, youth organizations and athletics, Hanna has seldom been the public face of those endeavors. As Dr. Charles MacKenzie, executive director of the Community Foundation, said, "A lot of it has been under the radar. He's a modest fellow who likes to keep a low key."
We offer our congratulations to the man who will receive the 2011 recipient of the Chamber's Community Service Award, and we will declare that it is long overdue.