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Q & A with 3RNet’s 2016 Kennedy-Kafer Service Award Winner

About the Award

The Kennedy-Kafer Service Award is presented at 3RNet’s annual conference to a 3RNet member who demonstrates the same passion, dedication, and loyalty toward 3RNet’s mission as the awards namesakes: Nikki Kennedy-Kafer and Jerry Kafer. 3RNet staff members select the Kennedy-Kafer Service Award recipient. The first Award was presented in 2014. This year our winner is Joni Adamson!

Can you talk about your service with 3RNet? 

My service with 3RNet dates back about 15 years. However, I became actively involved 8 years ago when I began working for the MO PCA in a recruitment & workforce development role.

You’ve held several key roles for us throughout the years. What does being part of 3RNet mean to you?

To me, being part of 3RNet means being a part of something bigger than myself. I believe that none of us are as strong or as smart as all of us. Having such a diverse group of members and wide representation across the country is quite an amazing feat and there’s always something to learn and share! When I think about the many great accomplishments we’ve celebrated through the years, I’m confident that many (if not all) of us would not have been able to accomplish these goals and tasks individually. I can think of numerous examples where this is true for us here in Missouri. On a personal level, I feel I’m very driven to do my best, yet I’m not always motivated by my own achievements. I’ve discovered I’m highly motivated when I can align my passion and efforts with something bigger than me. I feel ‘that something’ is 3RNet. I’m hopeful as we all work and partner together our hard work and dedication will outlast and outlive us all.

Any thoughts on Nikki and Jerry? And receiving this award named after them?

I can think of many excellent and true qualities of Nikki and Jerry. Simply put, there isn’t enough paper or adequate words to emphasize how wonderful these two individuals are. I will put it this way and hope that you understand what I’m trying to describe: my life is better because of knowing Nikki and Jerry! They’ve extended kindness, patience, and mercy to me when I messed up time and time again and made their days harder and longer. They’ve embraced, hugged, and comforted me when I was feeling homesick and missing my baby girl while away for strategic planning and annual conferences. They’ve encouraged and supported me on many projects. They’ve brought me great joy and smiles with their humorous stories and life lessons…and the list goes on and on. I was so thrilled when 3RNet created the award to honor their legacy. I really hadn’t thought about ever receiving this award before, but it’s super special to me. It means a great deal. It is something I’m proud of and treasure.

You are always one to contribute to 3RNet projects when needed (which is much appreciated!). What motivates you to always pitch in? 

It kind of goes back to my previous answers, but basically I’m motivated more by helping others and I also enjoy learning new things. If you know me…you know I never turn down a good challenge.  I think being active and participating helps one to grow, expand your horizons, and become more resilient.

We try to keep the recipient of this award a secret. Did we surprise you?!

OH, YES. I had NO idea! 

Jerry Kafer, Joni Adamson, and Nikki Kennedy-Kafer

Joni Adamson and 3RNet Executive Director Mike Shimmens

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