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Chamber awards leadership amid adversity


More than 100 members of the business community gave standing ovations to surprise winners at an awards banquet on Thursday at Gray Gables.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - From left, Char Shinn and Emily Spall of Oregonians Credit Union accept the North Clackamas County Chamber Business of the Year Award from CEO David Kelly as Sam Launius of Oregonians looks on.Leadership Clackamas County Steering Committee Chairman Gary Young took his own time off from working at PGE to lead the program. He thanked them for helping spruce up a lot of playground equipment that was in need of repair at the Wichita Center in Milwaukie before winning the Rohn Bly Memorial Volunteer of the Year award, which remained secret until the presentation.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Chip Sammons of Holistic Pet Center received the Irwin Adams Lifetime Achievement Award from Chamber CEO David Kelly, with returning Chamber Chairman Rob Wheeler at the microphone.North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce CEO David Kelly then presented Dennis Curtis, general manager of Clackamas Town Center with a special award “for outstanding service and leadership to the businesses and people of Clackamas County” in the wake of the Dec. 11 mall shooting. Kelly said Curtis was “an inspiration to all of us” in his “incredible efforts under the worst of circumstances.”

Choking up while accepting the award, Curtis could barely speak, but mentioned the hundreds of phone calls and emails he received that month.

“The overwhelming support we got from the community made a tremendous difference in the wake of that incident,” he said.

Chamber leaders also honored two other exceptional business people and one outstanding company as part of its annual Awards and Installation Banquet on June 27.

Marc Burnham of American Medical Response was recognized as the Business Person of the Year and Oregonians Credit Union as Business of the Year. Chip Sammons of Holistic Pet Center received the Irwin Adams Lifetime Achievement Award.

A member of the board of directors, Burnham has been an active chamber member for several years and has been involved in many community projects. Oregonians Credit Union’s active involvement in the community sponsors numerous events in the area, highlights local businesses on their website and encourages shopping locally. Two of its staff members are involved in several chamber committees.

Sammons’ many volunteer contributions have included leadership roles at FIDO, Veteran’s Memorial, the Chamber, the Clackamas County Business Alliance and Exceed Enterprises.