Former Ksnab City Mayor, Kanab resident, and volunteer extraordinaire Nina Laycook, was honored by the American Legion Auxiliary A Clair Ford Unit 69 on January 8 as the 2020 Woman of the Year.

The following was a part of the dedication/introduction provided by her brother Brian Chickering.


“I have been given this unique opportunity to share my thoughts, experiences and perspectives as Nina’s younger brother. She has many talents. She enjoys learning new skills. She loves to be involved with church and community activities. She is more organized than anyone I know, yet she can think and adapt “outside the box”. My remarks have four topics: History, present, future, and family.

Before Nina and her husband Lloyd moved to Kanab, they lived in Tehachapi California and Nina worked as a deputy supervisor of Kern County for 15 years. At the same time working in county government, Nina owned and operated a five-acre apple orchard on her property. This included every task necessary of running a full time business, meeting payroll, and equipment maintenance. Complying with health and safety guidelines, and of course, paying taxes.

Nina and Lloyd moved to Kanab in 1997 and then Nina, in 2010, was elected the Mayor of Kanab. I Googled some articles in the Southern Utah News (The Mayor’s Column). As the mayor of Kanab for two terms, Nina submitted news articles that highlighted her way of informing the public on ongoing city projects and her recognition of the outstanding work of everyone involved in those endeavors.

ln addition, you can find her news article of the Kanab flood August 2010. She wanted everyone to know her appreciation and gratitude to the community. She noted the cleanup and rebuilding efforts and how proud she was of the spirit of unselfish volunteerism.

Nina has an accounting degree, 15 years experience in county government and has been a successful small businesswoman. This was the solid foundation she needed to be an effective leader as Mayor of Kanab.

Nina is intrigued about local and American history. She was one of Kanab’s many citizens that learned about the First All-Woman City Council for Kanab way back in 1912.

In 2012, Kanab’s Mayor Nina Laycook (with a lot of help) put together a traveling play honoring the council, marking the 100-year anniversary of the election. She provided historical information that produced a DVD that offered a concise picture of events surrounding the election of 1911. Through reenactments, interviews and photos, we come to understand what made these pioneering women so extraordinary.

Now let’s move on to Nina’s contribution for the American future.

Nina is currently the liaison for the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) to the American Legion Post 69. Boys and girls state programs is one of the most respected experimental learning programs presented in the United States.

Nina is active in other American Legion events... she coordinates the following:

• The Easter Egg Hunt. She has volunteers put candy into all the plastic eggs. Between me and you and the fence post, all these eggs need to be hidden at a top secret location in a covert mission that is done by top secret agents of the ALA.

She arranges for a volunteer to play the main character…donning the realistic Easter Bunny costume. Someone told me Nina has this main character pass a ridged rehearsal process before the big day.

• The annual fundraiser See’s Candy Drive. She accurately orders the correct amount and variety of candy. She coordinates volunteers to run the small trailer that’s in the Honey’s Marketplace parking lot. This has been an excellent way to raise money for the Legion.

No man or woman is an island – Nina could not do all of this by herself. The American Legion Auxiliary has one great contribute to the accomplishments of the aims and purposes of The American Legion.

A wise man once said that the work of the world is done largely by men and women of ordinary talents who have honed their skills and has produced work in an extraordinary manner. Life is a matter of being consistent with goodness and decency, doing without fanfare, what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

Let’s switch gears to some family reflections. Nina has a special gift of discernment in finding good in individuals.

Nina has been the “rock” of our family. She stood by our parents, sisters and brothers come what may. In terms of family achievements and trials, she always knew what to do or say and to effectively convey her thoughts.

Ok, this is a good as place as here’s a side of Nina that y’all probably don’t know:

She knows how to ride a horse and a 650 Yamaha dirt bike. She also knows how to operate a John Deere tractor and a Bobcat skid steer.

Question? Has Nina made a difference in your life? I would like to propose a little request. If you know Nina, perhaps you can spend a few moments this evening and search a time or two when you had some positive interaction that involved Nina. I thank each and every one for your valuable time.

Nina, I love you and thanks for the memories.”