Mike Karren Receives Quarterly Outstanding Public Service Award

Mike Karren was presented the Quarterly Outstanding Public Service Award by the Public Relations Committee on Tuesday at Chamber Luncheon. Michael Dan Karren, better known as Mike, was born the youngest of three Children to Durrell and Mary Karren of Vernal. Growing up in Uintah County was never short of adventures. From Farming, raising livestock, Fishing, Hunting, Dirt bikes, Winter Snowmobiling in the hay fields, church, Scouting and anything else that kept him on the move. 
    Mike graduated Uintah High School with honors earning a scholarship to College of his choice. He attend Utah Valley College in Orem graduating with a Associate’s degree in Diesel and Heavy Duty Mechanics. While in college Mike was on the Rodeo Team traveling throughout Utah and Idaho. He said he wasn’t good enough to turn pro, but had a great time anyway.    
    After college, Mike moved to Denver Colorado and while in Denver, was introduced to the love of his life, married and he and Loretta have three children, Colleen, Kevin and Bryan. Throughout their lives, Mike has volunteered and help out any way he could. He was their Scout Leader, on the PTA and never missed a chance to chaperone a school field trip. One day, he decided that he didn’t want to raise their kids in the City, so it was decided to move back home to Vernal. They packed up and here they are.  
     Once again, Mike started volunteering where ever he could and helping with events around the County like Vernal’s Balloon Festival, Tree’s for Charity, Vernal’s Holly Day to the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo.
     Mike said he helped out for a couple years with the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo, then was Vice President for one year. Mike has served as the President of Vernal's Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo Committee since 2015. With his 7th consecutive year of leadership, he is now tied with Dewey Caldwell for the most consecutive years as committee president.
     During Mike's service, Vernal’s Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo has reclaimed the national spotlight, and has been a part of the elite PRCA Pro Rodeo Tour for three straight years, which include televised broadcasts. Mike always leads the committee in securing the best performers in the business, with the rodeo's entertainment always being selected for the National Finals Rodeo and other top awards. In 2020, the committee was a top 5 finalist in the PRCA's Sowing Good Deeds Award Program which is a recognition the PRCA awards to those committees who are involved in their communities.
     One of Mike's priorities has been to give back to the community that supports the rodeo in so many ways. Throughout his tenure, the Special Needs Rodeo has tripled in size, providing a safe location for special needs residents and their families to experience the Western Lifestyle. Over the past few years, the rodeo has been able to be a part of Trees Charity, Holly Days, various fundraisers, and local junior rodeos. This year, the committee has secured a grant from the state of Utah to help promote anti-tobacco, vaping, and marijuana use among the youth in the tri-county area.
     Mike says the past 7 years has been a real honor and privilege to be part of such a great group of volunteers. Working with City officials and County government has been, to say the least, a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Mike said he can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for him.