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Chamber delivers annual awards

Individuals, businesses and organizations recognized at annual banquet Friday

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce gathered together its members last week to recognize people in the community who have made a difference in the past year.

Local attorney John Bridges was named the 2015 Citizen of the Year at the awards banquet held Friday evening at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Among his many endeavors, Bridges is vice president of the Newberg High School Booster Club, a member of the state and national bar associations and played an integral part in the Newberg-Dundee bypass group and mobilizing business owners to lobby the Legislature to fund construction of the bypass. He has served on the boards of the Chamber and the Newberg Downtown Coalition and as a volunteer for the Oregon Community Foundation.Megan Tarmichael earned the Junior Citizen of the Year award at the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet Friday.

Joining Bridges among the top award winners was Lisa Salmons, named the 2015 Edward Stevens Distinguished Service Award winner. Salmons is the coordinator for volunteers through Providence Newberg Medical Center’s Community Connections program. She also helmed a summer leadership program at the medical center and has been involved in Rotary, Soroptimists and Newberg City Club as well.

Hopp Insurance Agency owners Randy and Allan Hopp were recognized by the Chamber with the 2015 Business People of the Year awards. They were lauded for carrying on the tradition of business set by their father, Ray Hopp, for the past 40-plus years. Allan Hopp has helped raise more than $750,000 for the Newberg chapter of Ducks Unlimited and has served on the boards of directors at the state, regional and national level.

The St. Paul Rodeo Association wrangled the Community Volunteer Organization of the Year award. The group was recognized for their part in riding herd over an event that sees more than 10,000 people a day descend on the town of 421 people to witness the rodeo and accompanying events. The association annually supports the St. Paul Parish, booster club, school and fire districts, as well as the neighboring communities of Newberg and Woodburn to the tune of more than $48,000 every year.

The 2015 Chairman’s Award Winner was bestowed upon Teri Council this year. The award, which recognizes a person who has made significant contributions to the Chamber organization, went to Council because of her deep involvement on the board, volunteering and serving as chairwoman of the Ambassador Committee and as an organizer of the popular Brews & BBQ event during the Old Fashioned Festival. She is a captain for A-dec Inc.’s Relay for Life team and is an assistant property manager for the Fernwood Pioneer Cemetery.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was handed to Carr Biggerstaff, the leading proponent for Newberg’s entry into the America’s Best Communities competition. Biggerstaff led community stakeholders in a process that spanned 16 months to prepare an application for the competition and, as a result, Newberg made it to the quarterfinals and earned $50,000, which will go toward formation of a community revitalization plan. He has also served as treasurer and past chairman of the Chamber board and volunteered for numerous Chamber events, including Brews & BBQ, Oregon Truffle Festival and the annual awards banquet.

The Junior Citizen of the Year award was presented to Megan Tarmichael, a Newberg High School senior who has served extensively as a volunteer in the community. On pace to be one of the student’s valedictorians as well as a honors student, Tarmichael volunteers for Faith in Action, Toy and Joy, Girl Scouts, Medical Teams International, NHS Key Club, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, 4H and with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District. Tarmichael has been accepted in the University of Montana’s environmental science program. After college she plans to serve in the Peace Corps for two years before returning to the Northwest to work in forestry or parks.

The final Chamber award went to Premier Community Bank, named the New Business of the Year award winner. The bank was lauded for its Newberg-centric philosophy, “to invest in the community to partner and develop long-term relationships,” according to the citation read at the banquet.

“We get to live, work and serve alongside out clients every day,” said Ron Wolfe, the bank’s officer manager. “This local focus resonates in our community. Our clients are the reason we are receiving this award. It is because you embraced us.”

Service awards

The Newberg Public Schools Partners in Education award went to Providence Newberg Medical Center. PNMC was recognized for exposing students to careers in health care through job shadows, volunteering, summer programs and the Providence Career Highlights program, as we as an annual scholarships for area youths.

The city of Newberg’s Community Enhancement Award went to George Fox University for the wooden pedestrian bridge it constructed over Hess Creek, and the Brandt Residence Hall on Villa Road.

The Noon Rotary Club recognized Newberg Public Library Director Leah Griffith with the Newberg Noon Rotarian of the Year award. Griffith, recently elected to serve as the club’s 2016-2017 president, has been active in the organization since joining about two and a half years ago. She was instrumental, according to a release, in securing a grant through the Rotary District to help children who do not have access to books. She has served on myriad committees, authored the club newsletter, flipped pancakes at the annual breakfast and volunteered for the Rotary Dictionary Project.

The Kiwanian of the Year award went to Nancy Hughes, who was lauded for her tireless involvement in the club, calm demeanor in the face of chaos, fund-raising abilities and heading up the club’s recycling events, which benefit youth programs.

3D Plastics received the Norm Aldred Ethics in Business Award from the Newberg Early Bird Rotary Club. The Newberg business was recognized because it “maintains high ethical standards, exhibits exemplary leadership within and without the company, and is active in serving the community and Rotary,” according to the citation read at the banquet. Co-owner Kelly Dundas has been active on the club’s community service committee for many years and has donated the company’s time and services to help with the club’s TotaChair fundraising project.