“Innovator,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 70
When James W. Hansen, president of the Evansville Indiana Stake, recently received his local Scouting district’s highest recognition for volunteer service, it was apparent that he was genuinely surprised. But as Martin Rowland, Buffalo Trace Council program director, puts it: “Dr. Hansen is one of the finest volunteer Scouters I have ever known. He is an excellent role model for young people as well as adults.”
Minimizing his own accomplishments is characteristic of this friendly, multitalented physician and scientist who, in addition to being a father of nine children and a director of research for a major pharmaceutical company, is the stake president for 2,300 Saints living in parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois.
His wife, Karen, says, “Can’t is simply not in his vocabulary.” He recently wrote a computer program, saving the Church considerable expense in development costs. The program processes records kept by the stake physical facilities clerk, reducing a task that once took eight hours a month to a mere thirty minutes. James is a master at assembling audiovisual material to create special media presentations and has made use of this talent in both Church and community situations.
Important also is his quiet but substantial impact on the spiritual affairs of the Evansville Indiana Stake, especially its youth.
“I had strong feelings about how the temple can enrich the lives and testimonies of youth,” he remembers. So he provided the moving force for organizing youth temple trips to the nearest temple.
He likewise promotes youth activities and early-morning seminary. His approach has always been personal, and he never expects others to do what he would not. Once when a summer camp seemed doomed for want of a waterfront director, he quietly enrolled in a twelve-week Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course to qualify himself to fill that critical role.
“The Lord’s influence in our lives is such a joy that it’s a privilege to help build his kingdom,” says President Hansen.—Mark A. Schauss, Evansville, Indiana