A Farr West native known for his work on documentaries and other educational films is one of five recipients of the prestigious 2001 Utah Pioneers of Progress award.
The award, in conjunction with the "Days of '47" celebration, honors outstanding Utah citizens who have, in their own areas of endeavor, carried on the pioneering spirit of the original pioneers who first settled Utah.
Lee B. Groberg, recipient in the category of historic and creative arts, is the owner of Groberg Communications, a film production company.
The other four awards were presented in the areas of scientific and technology development, education and welfare, sportsmanship and athletics, and a posthumous legacy, according to a press release.
The culmination of Groberg's work has been two highly acclaimed documentaries which he produced and directed in cooperation with PBS, "Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail," and "American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith."
Both have received numerous national awards for documentaries and have been among the most widely viewed films on the Public Broadcasting System, the press release said.
The company began by producing several industrial films for companies such as Iomega and Nu-Skin, and advertisements for the Utah Transit Authority and the state, and progressed to documentaries such as "Winter: the St. Paul/Saporro Connection." Several of these works have been adapted for educational purposes.
Groberg, born and raised in Farr West in 1951, now resides in Bountiful with his wife, Jeanene. They have seven children.
After a career change, Groberg started out with commercial and industrial filming and in 1987 produced his first documentary film, "Winter: The St. Paul/Saporro Connection" under the business name Prowest Communications.
In 1991 Lee wrote, directed and produced his first film under his permanent film company title, Groberg Communications, for the Utah Bicentennial Commission, "American Gunmaker: The John M. Browning Story," about Utah's own native son and the world's most prolific firearms designer.
All together, Lee has produced and directed three educational films and five documentaries.
His current project, "Nauvoo," has taken him to Egypt, Israel, Greece, England, France and Canada and soon to Finland and Sweden. He has crisscrossed the United States to the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Alabama, Ohio and of course Illinois.
The other Pioneers of Progress recipients are: Scientific and Technology Development, Dr. Mario Capecchi; Education, Health, and Welfare, Dr. Erlend D. Peterson; Sportsmanship and Athletics, William Allen Spencer; Posthumous Legacy, Eugene Jelesnik.
Awardees were honored at a banquet at the Salt Lake City Grand America Hotel.