Larry Meister has been chosen as this year’s Solon Beef Days Cornerstone Grand Marshal of the 2021 Celebration. This special recognition is awarded for their involvement in community activities that have made a positive impact on the Solon community and surrounding area.
Family Background / Highlights: Larry and his wife Delores have lived in the Solon area for the past 56 years. Their two children, Brad and Julie live nearby in North Liberty.
Business / Career Highlights: Larry’s distinguished career with the Solon Community School District began in 1962 after earning his B.A. from the University of Iowa, followed by two years in the Armed Forces, and then earning his M.A. in Education back at the University of Iowa. Larry also later earned an Educational Specialist Degree. Serving as the Solon High School Principal for 35 years is a testament of his legacy to education in the Solon community. His time as an educator and principal in Solon were marked with honors and recognition along the way including Iowa Association for Counseling and Development Outstanding Administrator of the Year 1989, Brain Injury Association of Iowa Outstanding Educator of East Central Group 1997, and Iowa High School Athletic Association School Administrator’s Award 1999.
Larry also served on education committees including Iowa Department of Education on the Regional Telecommunications Council and the University of Iowa College of Education Field Advisory Committee. He was the PA announcer of Solon Spartan Football for 20 years. Being the “voice of Solon” was a lot of fun and allowed him to show the students and community members another side of their principal. While making an impact on students in the Solon School district and betterment of the education field, Larry also has a servant’s heart which led him to service on several boards and commissions in the area. Larry is a founding member of the Vislisel Family Foundation which offers four-year scholarships to Solon graduates and is also a founding member of the Solon Area Community Foundation (SACF) where he served 40 years a president. SACF provides support for major projects to better the community and the Solon area.
He continues to serve on these boards today. Retirement in 1999 did not mean it was time to slow down for Larry, rather it allowed for him to volunteer his time and focus on supporting the senior citizen population in Solon and Johnson County. He served six years on the Livable Community for Successful Aging and continues to serve on the Solon Senior Advocates Board of Directors which focuses on promoting the health and wellbeing of Solon’s senior population. As a member of Our Lord’s Church in Solon, he enjoyed being a part helping with the weekend soup ministry and free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.