Citizen of the Year

Each year the Citizen of the Year Committee seeks nominations from the community of people who could be selected as Novato Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year is always a well kept Novato secret until the night of Novato’s Birthday Party. The 2020 Citizen of the Year was announced during Novato’s Birthday Party, January 22, 2021.

You can view our “virtual party”, celebrating Novato’s “history, traditions and reflections” and our 2020 Citizen of the Year on our YouTube link

Novato Citizen of the Year 2020
Previous Novato Citizens of the Year
Want to Nominate Someone?
Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year 2020

Susan Mathews, the executive director of the nonprofit School Fuel since she co-founded it in 2003, was the 2020 honoree awarded during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, since there was no in-person gathering for the annual City Birthday Party, she was notified about the accolade with a knock on her front door and a drive-by tribute from dear friends.

Mathews, a Novato resident since 1999 and a longtime attorney, had volunteered as School Fuel’s leader since 2008, donating thousands of hours each year for the benefit of local kids. School Fuel raised and distributed roughly $3.5 million to Novato public schools since its inception, largely supporting programs that might’ve been eliminated during tight budget years.

Nominators cited Susan’s involvement in countless other community-building programs as well. They included the countywide Schools Rule-Marin (she’s a founder of that as well), the Marin Promise Partnership, the PTAs of six Novato schools, the North Marin Council of PTAs, Marin School of the Arts, and the Novato Unified School District. She has also been a passionate contributor at her church, on the Marin Independent Journal’s editorial board, and a staunch supporter of local businesses.

Want to Nominate Someone?

2021 Citizen of the Year Nomination – Deadline November 25, 2021! 
Do you know anyone who might qualify for Citizen of the Year? Don’t be shy! If a member of your family or organization you belong to deserves to be nominated, please do so. If you have nominated someone in the past who was not selected, please do so again as it is always a difficult choice and this may be the year that your candidate is selected.

Nomination Guidelines

  1. A nominee must have resided or worked within the Novato Geographic Area for at least seven (7) years.
  2. Nominations are to be made and resumes obtained, with no prior knowledge on the part of the nominee.
  3. Nominee names will not be divulged. Prior to the public announcement, the chosen recipient’s name will only be disclosed to the appropriate organizations i.e., City of Novato, Senator, Assemblyperson, Congressional Representative and nominator etc. The media will not be advised of the recipient’s identity until the award is made at the virtual event.
  4. Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year, but all nominations must be received by November 25, 2021. Please send nominations to: Novato Citizen of the Year Committee, PO Box 1347, Novato, CA 94948 OR email
  5. The person or organization making the nomination will be responsible for obtaining the necessary information concerning the nominee. And, responsible for assuring the 2021 COTY recipient’s availability to attend the event on January 22, 2022. There will need to be close coordination with the PTTR liaison and nominator to make this successful for the recipient!
  6. Nominees for this award should be a person who has been an outstanding volunteer in the Novato Community. His/her contributions should be in a number of different areas i.e., youth, senior, religious, community organizations, in addition to his/her business and/or profession. The nominee cannot hold public office at the time of nomination.
  7. Only one person can receive this award for a given year. A couple, should they be nominated, will be considered as one person.

Nomination Form

Applications will be reviewed by the committee. The Citizen of the Year is always a well kept Novato secret until the night of Novato’s Birthday Party.

Download, fill out and mail your nomination to:

Novato Citizen of the Year Committee
P.O. Box 1347
Novato, CA 94948

Download Form