Oregon City Chamber awards eight citizens in virtual gala
Oregon City Chamber of Commerce's annual gala took place virtually Wednesday, Jan. 6, to honor New Member of the Year, Community Impact, Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, Emerging Professional, Volunteer of the Year and the Mike McCarrol Award.
The 2020 Gala, scheduled initially last March to honor those in 2019, was canceled three days before its start due to COVID. During the Jan. 6 gala, sponsors such as the Chair Circle, Advocates, Supporters and Gold Members all received recognition for their contributions, but the highlight of the evening was the awards, according to Chamber CEO Victoria Alley Meinig. Awardees included:
New Member of the Year
Matthew Broderick of Jolly Good Media was honored for using the chamber's benefits and opportunities, contributing to its progress and showing commitment to the community. Broderick moved from England in 2013, joined the chamber in June of 2019, and became a regular attendee at the weekly Good Morning Oregon City meetings and other small business meetings. He also holds a regular virtual tutorial for social media marketing.
"Matthew's contributions to the chamber have been instrumental," Meinig said. "He redesigned the chamber website and volunteers more than two hours per week, setting up podcast capabilities and improving access to the chamber website."
Kevin Rumgay of Grand Marshall Services and Children's Housing Foundation was honored for addressing the chamber's and Oregon City's needs, making an impact on the entire community though his commitment to public service. Rumgay's two organizations were both founded in 2013 and have raised funds to support the community.
Grand Marshal Services, which provides parking at the St. Paul Rodeo, uses the parking fees to purchase Christmas trees and toys for low-income and foster families through the Oregon City DHS office. Children's Housing Foundation raises money to support foster and low-income children, donating over $2,000 in toys and gift cards during the 2019 holiday season and supporting the Blooming Boutique in Oregon City.
Business of the Year
Dan and Sarah Mills, owners of Oregon City Grocery Outlet Store since 2014, were recognized for being responsive to the needs of Oregon City by demonstrating business ethics, customer service, business innovation and growth.
Within the first two years of opening the store, OC Grocery Outlet increased sales by more than 35%. The OC Grocery Outlet now serves as a "training store" for new Grocery Outlet franchise owners and received the "Award of Excellence" from the Grocery Outlet Corp.
"Dan's business achievements are impressive," Meinig said. "Oregon City is fortunate to have a business that supports our city in so many ways."
Dan Mills serves on the Chamber Board of Directors, the OC School Foundation and the OC Police Chief's Advisory Committee. He also supports the American Military Encouragement Network and the OCPD's National Night Out. In 2019, OC Grocery Outlet sponsored a donation drive to support the Pioneer Pantry and One Love Laundry; it raised $14,000, which was split between the two organizations.
Business Leader of the Year
Jan Hochstatter, a lifelong resident of Oregon City, was honored for her "meaningful impact on our community." Hochstatter has fostered future leaders by building relationships, being an innovative problem solver and addressing significant concerns facing the community, Meinig said.
Hochstatter has contributed to Oregon City's success through a network of physicians who elect to treat patients each month who have no insurance and helping starting a clinic in Oregon City that serves the uninsured. She has served as a chamber secretary and ambassador, a founding member of Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine, chairwoman for St. John the Apostle Cemetery, volunteer for the Welcome Café at St. John the Apostle Church, executive director of the Clackamas County Medical Society, member of the Project Access of Northern Oregon and Washington, and past president of Project Access and the Clackamas County Medical Assistants.
Emerging Professional of the Year
LaDonna Cox, owner of Geeks and Games, is active within the chamber and the community. She was honored for her engagement in activities that increases professional growth while helping the community.
"Just like her store, which markets board games, LaDonna focuses on community connection and support through the art of play," Meinig said.
Cox's community events include:
• An annual Easter Egg Hunt, bringing together the business community and the public.
• Are you Naughty or Nice holiday event where people can have pictures taken for free with either Santa Claus or Darth Vader. Donations are encouraged at the event and given to a local charity.
• Food for the Blood God tournament — participants are asked to pay in food. Collections are donated to Backpack Buddies, which helps feed children in need during the weekends.
Cox also provides free activities for special needs groups; hosts kids club activities at the Farmers Market; runs camps for kids during school breaks; holds free board game nights at nursing homes, schools and churches; provides a space for other businesses to host community classes; and opens the store for a potluck Thanksgiving.
Volunteer of the Year
Trieste Andrews, Three Rivers Artist Guild, was hired in 2018 as the chamber's operations manager. When the chamber's director left later that year, Andrews stepped in to keep the Chamber operating while a new CEO was found. When Meinig took the position of CEO, Andrews continued as a volunteer to ensure a smooth transition and still volunteers a few hours a month for administrative needs.
Oregon City's Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of its reliance upon member engagement to increase its impact on the economic community, annually awards the Volunteer of the Year to someone who engages in chamber activities and is willing to invest time and energy to make the chamber successful and makes the community a better place to live.
Andrews' volunteerism includes serving as president of the Three Rivers Artist Guild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting art in the community. She chairs the OC Festival of the Arts, organizes other community art events, helped reinstitute a mural program and works in TRAG's art gallery. She is currently serving as secretary of the OC Rotary Club, whose motto "service above self" mirrors her own beliefs.
The Mike McCarroll Award
Claire Met received the Mike McCarroll Award, given in commemoration of a former chair of the Chamber Board who unexpectedly died in January 2013. McCarroll was also committed to the Oregon City Lions, Rotary Club, Fill a Stocking Fill a Heart, and Angels in the Outfield. As the award recipient, Met portrayed some of the same attributes that McCarroll was admired for: integrity, service, friendship, leadership, empathy, loyalty and generosity.
In 1978, Met moved to Oregon from Hawaii with her husband and "love of her life," Tom, who died in 2002.
"Their legacy continues in their children and grandchildren's lives," Meinig said. "Claire's legacy is also depicted in her contributions to Oregon City."
Met has been a chamber member since 1989, is president of the Optimist Club and a member of the Women's Club. She also serves on the Willamette Falls & Landing Heritage Coalition. She was an integral part of creating the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and the restoring the historic Ainsworth House. She has served several terms on the Historic Review Board. She worked from 2009-2015 at the Pioneer Center and 2005-2009 at the chamber. Met is also one of the founding members of the Open Aire Antique Fair and has worked on numerous community activities.
"Claire's smile and laughter permeate any event or committee she is involved with, and her unending enthusiasm is the impetus that brings ideas to life," Meinig said. "Mike would have been proud to call her the 2019 recipient of the Mike McCarroll award."
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