by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Accepting the Oregon City Chamber's Community Enhancement award is Kristin Jones of Oregon City Shopping Center, pictured with Craig Danielson of Danielson Hilltop Mall.For Amber Holveck, executive director of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce, the best part about the Chamber’s Awards Dinner and Auction on Saturday night was “getting to present the awards, seeing the looks on the recipients’ faces and the audience response.”

She added, “There were some very touching moments.”

There were three categories of awards presented at the event: the annual business awards, chosen by last year’s winners; the best-of awards, voted on by the general public; and special awards. Chamber members provided the nominations for both the business awards and the best-of awards.

The winners included: Business Leader of the Year — Mike McCarroll, Minute Man Press; Small Business of the year — Serres Greenhouse and Farm; Large Business of the Year — Lewis & Clark Bank; Community Enhancement Award — Oregon City Shopping Center; Outstanding Member of the Year — Dick Orr, BCT; New Member of the Year — Matthew Perry, Big Dog Coffee; and Community Partner of the Year — Living Hope Church.

Three special awards were also presented, and they were:

The Chairperson’s Award, presented this year to Ray Stobie of Oregonians Credit Union, by Mike McCarroll, the chairman of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; and the City of Oregon City Awards, presented by Mayor Doug Neeley.

“When the mayor presents his awards, he always puts his own character into them,” Holveck said. This year he named Lloyd Purdy, Main Street Oregon City and all the downtown businesses as Citizens of the Pentad, for all their hard work in the last five years.

He also named Nancy Kraushaar as the Citizen of the Sesquidecade, for all her hard work in the last 16 years, starting and completing a number of huge public works projects.

Holveck said another special moment at the event occurred when Neeley and his wife, Beth Miles, were brought up on stage and honored for their 50th wedding anniversary, and for their commitment to the city of Oregon City.

There are so many reasons to be optimistic about the business climate in Oregon City, Holveck said, citing the renovation of downtown Oregon City while retaining its historic flavor, the re-opening of the Arch Bridge, the completion of the Jughandle Project and the upgrading of the Oregon City Shopping Center.

Holveck added, “We are seeing a new enthusiasm for what’s to be; all these projects put Oregon City in the position to be a place for new businesses and new employment. It is a great place to live and work.”

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