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Here's the winners at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards from the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: STEVEN BROWN - Jan Weston, left, owner of Weston Buick GMC Kia in Gresham, accepts the Honoree Award, the highest honor given during the Business Excellenece Awards event held at Pathways Church in Gresham. Warner Allen, the 2017 recipient, presented the award. The Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the annual Chamber Business of Excellence Awards during a ceremony on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 25, at Pathways Church on Southeast Division Street.

The awards honor local businesses and individuals for their success inside and outside their corporate structure. This year the winners have totaled thousands of dollars, hundreds of volunteer hours and community improvements, while building up their businesses boosting the Gresham-area economy.

Chamber CEO Lynn Snodgrass presided over the event with help from the likes of 2018 Chamber President Stayce Blume, Gresham Rotary Club member Larry Schwartz and Gresham Ford owner Bess Wills.

Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, who was attending a national conference in Washington, D.C., recorded a video message to the audience thanking the chamber and offering special congratulations to Volunteer Award Winner Joan Albertson, Large Business winner Gresham Fire and Emergency Services and Chief Greg Matthews, Honoree Winner Jan Weston of Weston Buick GMC Kia, and Rising Star winner Michelle Kosta of Family of Friends Mentoring.

Albertson, a retired accountant, was honored for her years of service around East Multnomah County, including the chamber, Gresham Citizen Volunteers in Policing, and March of Dimes, for which she received the White Rose Award in 2012.

"Nobody told me I was too old, too short, or too fat to do it, so I did,' Albertson once told The Outlook of her dedication to public safety-oriented service.

Accepting her chamber award, she emphasized how glad she was to be part of a vibrant community.

"I'm so proud to live in Gresham," she said. "Gresham is the best."

OUTLOOK PHOTO: SHANNON O. WELLS - Mike Schofiled, chief financial officer of the Gresham-Barlow School District, accepts the Try Local Winner Award at the annual luncheon. Marty Jones, CEO of MetroEast Community Media, expressed similar sentiments.

"We make media accessible and usable for everyone," he said of the audio-visual media mission of MetroEast. "It's incredible to be recognized at such an important time in our development," adding how good it feels to be "in the most exciting Zip Code in Oregon."

Gresham Ford co-owner Bess Wills introduced Mike Schofield, chief financial officer of the Gresham-Barlow School District, who accepted the Try Local First award on behalf of the district.

"Once in a lifetime is a really big deal," Wills noted. "We are blessed the district has championed and believes in the concept of Try Local First."

Schofield responded that he was "honored you have given us this opportunity to make life-changing improvements for students," he said.

Here is a list of winners at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards:

• Volunteer: Joan Albertson

• Family Business: Burns Feed Store, Shelley Burns-Giusto

• Rotary Ethics Award: Sanctuary Church

• Try Local: Mike Schofield, CFO of Gresham-Barlow School District

• Small Business: Stamp-Connection, John Clark

• Medium Business: Gresham Animal Hospital, Chris Holenstein

• Large Business: Gresham Fire and Emergency Services, Chief Greg Matthews

• Family Business: Burns Feed Store, Shelley Burns-Giusto

• Nonprofit: MetroEast Community Media, Martin Jones

• Rising Star: Michelle Kosta, Family of Friends MentoringOUTLOOK PHOTO: SHANNON O. WELLS - Longtime Gresham-area volunteer Joan Albertson accepts her Volunteer Award from businesswoman Judy Han at the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Luncheon on Thursday afternoon.

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