Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce honors community leaders
"The city is coming to life again."
This was how Matt Chrisman, branch manager at Lake Oswego's Columbia Bank, described the scene Tuesday, June 7, at the start of the 2022 Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce Community Awards. Gathered at the Ironlight event space were an array of elected officials, city and school district representatives, business leaders and dedicated volunteers, each relishing the chance to celebrate the work of fellow community members in person for the first time since 2019 (the event was taped at Ironlight last year).
Headlining the evening were the Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Award and the Community Leader of the Year, which went to Mary Puskas and Lynn Brokaw respectively. St. Honoré Bakery was named Business of the Year.
"It is important to note that the people being honored here this evening do not and have not sought out recognition," said Christopher Boyer, past president of the chamber, in his opening remarks. "They are leaders, each in their own way, setting the examples that contribute toward a successful community. We recognize them not to put them on a pedestal but to recognize that wonderful communities don't just happen."
Puskas, for her part, was honored with the Bigelow award for her work in an array of fields including as a former Lake Oswego city councilor, a volunteer at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Oswego and the president of the Lake Oswego Women's Coalition. She credited her time with the Leadership Lake Oswego program for introducing her to many of the city's prominent organizations and volunteers.
"The organizations I've been able to be a part of have so many outstanding people donating their time … and talent, and that is what really sets Lake Oswego apart and makes it such an outstanding place," Puskas said. "The civic infrastructure is rich and broad in what it contributes to the community."
Brokaw, a longtime chamber member who began his volunteer work with the Court Appointed Special Advocate organization and is now best known for his efforts on behalf of Lake Oswego Meals on Wheels, was unable to attend the event but passed along remarks that were read by former chamber president Julia Fowler. In her introductory remarks, Fowler noted that Brokaw "outworks everyone" and recalled when he rode his bike from home to help her clean up after hosting a booth at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
"He always seemed to show up at the right moment," Fowler said. "And he still does."
"I know that there are a lot of individuals out there deserving of this honor," Brokaw wrote. "I wish I could be there to celebrate all of those individuals who volunteer for nonprofit organizations and donate to these causes.
"The world is in a lot of need right now. Go out and help someone."
Headlee Beautification Awards (six winners): Beacon, The Springs at Lake Oswego, Mercato Grove, Lakeridge Middle School, Lake Oswego City Hall, Oswego Pioneer Cemetery
Lake Oswego Arts Council Fortuna Award: Bonnie Cartwright
C. Herald Campbell Heritage Award: Scott Haven
Kay Vega Lakewood Arts Award: Joanne Kantor
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