W. Mack Lawrence, Utah vice president and chief executive officer for US WEST Communications, once said, "People who sit back and say nothing and do nothing - get nothing. But those who are willing to prepare, to plan and do their homework - for them, opportunity abounds."

For his business accomplishments, public spirit and promotion of Utah, Lawrence was named "Man of the Year" by the Arthritis Foundation, Utah Chapter.The award was presented to Lawrence by Wm. James Mortimer, publisher of the Deseret News and chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's board of directors.

More than 400 of Lawrence's friends and associates gathered in the Little America Hotel to pay homage to Lawrence, who began his 37-year career with the telephone company by picking up nickels from pay telephones. His next assignment was to work with delinquent customers, with whom he tried to establish collection schedules rather than discontinuing their service.

He worked his way up in the telephone firm by following his own advice of planning, preparing and working hard.

According to Mortimer, Lawrence's philosophy is that Utahns have the responsibility not only to keep Utah great, but to make it better.

A leader in his church and numerous civic organizations, Lawrence's latest challenge is as general chairman for the regional fund-raising campaign for the new Primary Children's Medical Center. He says the $67 million project will be worth every penny.

Sharing the spotlight Thursday with Lawrence was the society that honored him. The Arthritis Foundation is the only voluntary organization seeking the cause, cure and treatment of the crippling disease that has afflicted 250,000 Utahns.

Thursday's dinner raised more than $40,000 for programs of the local affiliate.