Mount Angel announces First Citizen Awards
The Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce has announced its annual First Citizen Award winners, and it looks like a family affair.
This year's First Citizen is Tommy Riedman, business owner of Riedman Construction, and Junior First Citizen happens to be his daughter Tressa Riedman, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School.
Other awards include Business of the Year to the Glockenspiel Restaurant, Distinguished Service Award to Stephen and Connie Miller, Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Lauzon, and a President's Award to Kathy Eder-Deshon.
The First Citizen Awards banquet is scheduled for Monday, March 19 at the Mount Angel Festhalle.
Tommy Riedman, First Citizen
Riedman was nominated largely because of his heavy involvement with the Mount Angel School District for many years.
He has served as chairman of the district's Long Range Facility Planning Committee for two years, the result of which led to the passage of a $10 million bond to renovate district buildings. It also included the construction of a new district office building, for which Riedman's company won the bid. It finished on schedule and under budget, the nomination form said.
"Tommy's best interest is always for his clients, and in our case, the interest of our students, our schools and our responsible use of public funds," the nomination reads.
Riedman has also coached youth sports and provided contributions of time and materials to the improvement and maintenance of district athletic facilities.
Most recently, Riedman, as owner of Riedman Construction, has donated time to the newly reborn career technical education program at Kennedy High School. He has presented lessons and demonstrations to students in the classroom and during career fairs, exposing students to opportunities in the building trades. He also taught students how to construct a garden shed. Materials were donated by the chamber and Wither's Lumber for the project. For this project, Riedman mentored students two or three times a week over the course of three months.
Multiple nominations for Riedman, who is also a volunteer firefighter, were submitted from this class and the school district.
"Tommy Riedman has taught us many different things," one nomination reads. "He has donated his time to helping us make a shed when he could be doing other things. Not only has he taught us various skills when building a shed, but he has taught us how important patience and a hard work ethic is. Tommy possesses many qualities that have inspired us."
Tressa Riedman, Junior First Citizen
Tressa Riedman is an active senior at Kennedy High School. Not only is she athletic, servicing as captain of the softball team and the volleyball team, she's also president of National Honor Society, president of Kennedy's chapter of Health Occupations Students of America, president and founder of the club Students Promoting Equality And Kindness (SPEAK), Associated Student Body vice president, member of the JFK For Life club, and a representative at the American Legion Auxiliary's Girls State event, where she served as mock county treasurer and was voted mock U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Riedman has received merit awards in Spanish, psychology and history, has received a 4.0 Academic Award and a Daughters of the American Revolution Citizen Award.
In her spare time, she volunteers at Oktoberfest, at St. Mary's Parish, at Providence Benedictine Nursing Home and at school activities, like concession stands and school dances.
She wrote that the nursing home volunteer work has been the most rewarding experience.
"Volunteering for the nursing home has helped me develop skills in interacting with people in an older generation," she wrote. "It has also helped me to develop a sense of empathy towards others who are in a more dire situation than me."
On top of that, she works for Riedman Construction and held a summer job working 54 hours a week for 4B Farms.
When asked what sets her apart, Tress Riedman actually quoted her father, who told her "They may be more talented than you, but they should never outhustle or outwork you."
"This quote is the basis of how I strive to live my life," she explained. "My work ethic is something I pride myself on. If my mind is set to do something, I will get it done."
After graduation, Tressa Riedman plans to attend medical school and become a doctor. She added she hopes to attend medical missions in developing countries as well as continuing to volunteer wherever she lives.
Glockenspiel Restaurant, Business of the Year
The Glockenspiel Restaurant was nominated for its support of the community. Not only does the restaurant on Charles Street support local farms by using Oregon grown produce and meat products, but it's involved in youth programs, like the Mount Angel Public Library's summer reading program, the promotion of school events and participation in the Mount Angel School District's student work experience program to bring in job shadows.
The restaurant is also a sponsor for North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity, which also submitted a nomination.
"Every interaction with Mary Grant, Kelsi Weeks and all of the staff reflects warmth and hospitality," the nomination reads. "Service is always friendly, and you can count on quick communications and answers for all of your catering needs. Glockenspiel Restaurant cares about the community."
It has also supported other community fundraisers like Relay for Life, Cruizin' 4 Life and the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police.
The restaurant, which turned 10 in 2017, is a sponsor of the Mount Angel Hazelnut Festival and the Mount Angel Senior Center. It was recognized by the state for its diversity and inclusion program for people with disabilities.
One of the nominations was actually submitted by an employee, who wrote, "I believe they deserve Business of the Year because all the work they have done with Habitat for Humanity, the way they take care of their employees. The owners have helped me grow and have always been there to offer love and support."
Another nominator wrote, "They have always participated in all events in the town. I think it is about time they were recognized for their achievements."
Stephen and Connie Miller, Distinguished Service Award
A nomination form states that Stephen and Connie Miller epitomize volunteerism and commitment to the Mount Angel community. They volunteer for Oktoberfest, the Oregon Garden, Mount Angel Abbey, Wurstfest, the American Legion and more.
"They consistently go above and beyond what is asked of them and do so quietly without drawing attention to themselves or to their many positive deeds," it reads.
Stephen Miller is a retired volunteer firefighter and a 23-year veteran of the National Guard.
At Oktoberfest, the couple has worked in the Alpinegarten for 16 years, allowing them to provide institutional knowledge of the building and how everything is supposed to work. They've renovated the token booths, built storage shelves, painted and helped maintain the building.
"I have worked with them during Oktoberfest for the past four years and appreciate their work and attention to detail," the nominator wrote. "They are selfless and dedicated in their work and commitment to volunteerism."
The nomination continues to praise the humble contributions of the couple.
"They do what the best volunteers do: quietly get the work done that needs to be done and look for any opportunity to help or make the lives of others better. Through their kindness and strong work ethic, they set an example for others to strive towards."
Jerry Lauzon, Lifetime Achievement Award
When Jerry Lauzon moved to Mount Angel 28 years ago, he quickly started volunteering wherever he saw a need. He was elected to the Oktoberfest board in 1992 and served for 20 years. He is one of the main reasons the event has been so successful, his nominator wrote.
Additionally, he has volunteered consistently at St. Mary's Parish, for the city of Mount Angel as a councilor and planning commissioner and with the Mount Angel Community Foundation, the William Annen Family Foundation, Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce, Mount Angel Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Angel Trekkers folks sport walking club, Lions Club, Fine Arts Mini Experience School District and Oregon Festival and Events Association.
Not only that, but Lauzon's warm personality is well-known around town.
"As Jerry walked the sidewalks of Mount Angel, if he didn't know the person, he would introduce himself," the nomination said.
"Just think where this town would be if he had been here his entire life," the nominator continued. "They make special awards like this because of people like Jerry Lauzon. No one deserves it more."
Kathy Eder-Deshon, President's Award
The President's Award, which isn't necessarily given to someone every year, is given by the chamber president on behalf of the chamber for people who have given service directly to the chamber.
Kathy Eder-Deshon has taken care of the flowers and the area around the Main Street fountain almost since it was erected more than 30 years ago.
According to chamber President Pete Wall, the garden club initially did the landscaping, but Eder-Deshon took over when that fell through.
"Kathy took it on herself to do the landscaping from that time until just this last year," Wall said. "It's a focal point of the community, so for somebody to put that many years in is pretty extraordinary."