The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Annual Banquet kicked off in style as it honored local “Home Grown Heroes.“
The banquet took place on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Dalles Civic Auditorium.
The Chamber’s 2014 Annual Banquet was held to honor the citizens and members of the business community of The Dalles area; welcome new members to the Chamber Board of Directors; and say farewell to the outgoing Chamber Board Members. The event was sold out and had an attendance of 240 people.
The Chamber’s 2013 Board Chairman, Jared Sawyer, started out the festivities with a parting speech and turned over the gavel to incoming 2014 Chairman Bev Eagy.
Chip Wood served as master of ceremonies and music services were provided by Randy Haines Productions. The annual banquet featured a three course meal catered by Four C’s Catering.
Chamber awards went to:
Tina Springsted, Ambassador of the Year: Springsted has served on The Chamber Ambassadors Committee for over 4 years. She rarely misses a meeting, event or function of any kind and played a key role in helping to bring a little Christmas magic to The Dalles this year.
Addie Case, Board Member of the Year: In addition to her role as board member, Case has been active in a variety of activities this year, including downtown trick or treating, Jammin’ July and serving on the tourism committee, among others.
Merchant Committee, Committee of the Year: Committees and their members are responsible for implementing the chamber’s program of work and carrying out its mission. The merchant committee helped implement the Sunsational Charm Trail and has found other ways to encourage people to support their own community and its businesses.
Gary Honald, Volunteer of the Year: Serving as Santa’s sleigh chauffeur at Christmastime is only one way Honald serves the community. He’s also an active member of The Dalles Mural Society.
Jorge Barragan, Outstanding Business Professional: Barragan came to The Dalles more than 20 years ago. He opened his own business in 1994 and has served on many organizations, and helped the community in a variety of ways. He now owns two businesses in town, Casa el Mirador and Double Berry Yogurt.
The chamber also recognized four categories as “distinguished”:
Aletta Maier, Outstanding Youth: Maier is a leader of her peers in making sure that everyone is valued. She serves in a variety of ways to help others and better her community, including Youth Haven, National Honor Society, theater, computers and technology.
Sunshine Mill, Quenett and Copa di Vino, Business of the Year: Business owner James Martin has long been active in the community. The businesses employ 120 people. Their goal has always been to put the community first and a continuing desire to keep their business local and thriving. They have been high-profile members of The Dalles business community, hosting events, and entertaining travel writers in the hope that they too will fall in love with The Dalles.
Dan and Jeanne Carver, Imperial Stock Ranch, Agricultural Achievement Award: Imperial Ranch is made up of over 40 old homesteads and in an effort to conserve the history of the ranch, the family has maintained what remnants they can of the old cabins, rehanging doors to keep varmints out and even copying down notes and poetry written on the walls. While honoring the past, including a heritage sheep bloodline, they’ve also implemented innovative farming methods to help keep the ranch viable. The Carvers began selling their product direct to high-end chefs in Central Oregon, but it wasn’t just the meat they sold. They sold the ranch history and its conservation stewardship. It sold, returning about $2 more per pound than the lamb at general market.
The Carvers conduct agritours and have been featured on the Norm Thompson Catalog, OPB’s “Oregon Field Guide” and caught the eye of Ralph Lauren, who invited Jeannie Carver to tell the ranch’s story and then placed an order for enough American wool to supply U.S. Olympic athletes with sweaters and mittens at the opening of the winter games in Russia next month.
Mary Stocks, Woman of the Year: Stocks has been an advocate for children and young women in the community as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, leader in the Distinguished Young Woman program, HAVEN, and served with The Dalles Mural Society, Wasco County Historical Society, the Kiwanis Club, Girl Scouts, and The Dalles Civic Auditorium.
Hank Brown, Man of the Year: As the primary caregiver for his wife and relying on the Heart of Hospice, Brown grabbed the hearts of its staff. A year later, he was volunteering on their behalf. He also volunteered to help the Heart of Hospice Flower Club with generous support of Claudia Leash at Sigman’s Flowers and residents of The Springs at Mill Creek, they make bouquets to share with those who need a little cheer. Brown has also served as “Santa on the Porch” for the past 15 years, benefitting Neighborhood Watch. He is also an usher at Calvary Baptist Church.