A night of celebration: Lake Oswego chamber presents awards
After missing the chance to do so last year, the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce had even more honors to give out during its annual Community Awards of Excellence ceremony Saturday, May 22.
The event, which was pre-recorded at Ironlight and broadcast live from Fort West, featured the presentation of two Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Awards (from 2020 and 2021) as well as the 2020 awards for Community Leader of the Year, the Dee Denton Business of the Year and the Chamber Champion, among others. Mayor Joe Buck and Chamber President Christopher Boyer served as co-hosts of the live broadcast.
The 2021 Bob Bigelow award went to Linda and Bob Brown — a local couple who have volunteered in a variety of capacities for decades since moving to Lake Oswego.
"They have been selected for their ongoing, energetic contributions to Lake Oswego since arriving here from Colorado 35 years ago," said presenter Paul Graham. "What has bound Bob and Linda together for the past 44 years is their extreme passion — also one of Bob Bigelow's most notable traits. Linda is passionate about schools and education, resulting in a variety of roles in Lake Oswego, at the state and nationally. … Because Bob is passionate about Linda, he also adds his energy to many of Linda's activities. However, Bob is also passionate about disaster preparedness, sustainability and reducing the size of our carbon footprint."
"We never think of ourselves as 'achievers' — we are more worker bees and cheerleaders," Linda Brown said. "We work in concert with others. When we look at this wonderful celebration the chamber puts on every year, continued in spite of so many difficulties, we are humbled by the energy and enthusiasm of this community. Things don't happen by accident, and in Lake Oswego what happens is often extraordinary."
The rest of the awards presented Saturday were for 2020, and the Bob Bigelow award for that year went to Peter and Cyndie Glazer. The award was presented by Dr. Bill Korach, the former Lake Oswego School District superintendent who also plays a key role in the chamber's Leadership Lake Oswego program.
Peter Glazer is a trial lawyer and former president of the Clackamas County Bar Association. He chaired a governor's committee against drunk driving for 17 years and also received the State of Oregon Crystal Award for his leadership on traffic safety. Glazer is also a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Lake Oswego.
"If it weren't for Peter, there would be no Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Award," Korach said. "After Bob's passing, he reached out to the chamber and the Lake Oswego Review to establish a traditional award thanking people for a lifetime of service to our community."
Cyndie Glazer, meanwhile, added another award to her collection after previously being honored as Community Leader of the Year in 2000.
"If it weren't for Cyndie, there would have been no grand millennial celebration nor the Lake Oswego Millennial Concert Band we have all enjoyed for 20 years," Korach said.
Cyndie Glazer has also volunteered in a number of capacities at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, and along with Bill Baars introduced and directed the Lake Oswego Reads Program while working as the event and volunteer coordinator at the Lake Oswego Public Library.
"This award is even more special because 21 years ago this summer, Cyndie and I were sitting with Bob Bigelow when he lamented that Lake Oswego did not have an award to recognize lifetimes of achievement," Peter Glazer said. "Following Bob's death that summer, this award was created. We're so honored to be its twentieth-year recipients."
The other major award of the evening, Community Leader of the Year, went to Beth Oliphant Hoover, who had the distinction of being the first second-generation recipient of this award (following in the footsteps of her father, the late Doug Oliphant). Oliphant Hoover is primarily known for her work with the Oliphant Hoover Community Charity organization, which puts on the annual Oliphant Golf Tournament.
"Her spirit of volunteerism is a natural part of her life," said Julia Fowler, who presented the award. "Everything she does is with love, and care, and from her heart. She truly believes with hard work and faith in God that anything truly is possible."
While the golf tournament was canceled last year due to the pandemic, the organization pivoted to a raffle that supported a number of organizations including The Lake Oswego Transitional Shelter Ministry, Lake Oswego Meals on Wheels, MIGA — Mobility Impaired Golf Association, the Lake Oswego Police Department Caring Card Program and the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course.
"I am deeply moved and filled with such gratitude," Oliphant Hoover said. "My dad was passionate about the city and serving its citizens. I have loved following his footsteps and those of my ancestors who homesteaded right here in 1870. It's been an amazing journey for me to lead and witness others leaving their lasting and beautiful imprint on Lake Oswego."
The Dee Denton Business of the Year Award went to the creative agency Fort West.
"After launching in 2014, this company has become a dominating force in their industry as well as a unique and innovative member of our city," said Fowler, who also presented the award. "This creative agency develops ownable brand experiences that inspire, educate, motivate, market and sell."
Fort West CEO Erik Olson delivered short remarks before presenting a video the company prepared for the occasion.
"We don't seek recognition, but this award helps remind us that we're building something special," Olson said.
Finally, the Chamber Champion award was presented posthumously to John Hanan. Hanan, who died of cancer last year, was a 25-plus-year member of the chamber who served for six years on the board and one term as president.
"As he did for so many, John Hanan epitomized for me just what it really means to be a champion of the chamber," said Boyer, who presented the award to Hanan's family members. "John's dedication to the community and his willingness to step up and serve is nothing short of truly inspirational."
"He was so pleased to know he was going to receive this award," said Hanan's wife, Eleanor. "I know he's happy today."
The full ceremony can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2RLL2CB.
• Fortuna Award: Joann and Ed Frankle
• C. Herald Campbell Heritage Award: Jim Rathbun (awarded posthumously)
• Kay Vega Arts Champion Award: Fred Breuer
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