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Wow, did we have a great evening this past Saturday with the Bay Area Chamber Awards Banquet-Step UP! Wonderful food, unique entertainment featuring a return of the Chamber Pots, and a variety of awards and recognitions which truly make this a community celebration.

Citizen of the year is an honor given to a member of our community who, by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources, has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2018 that award was given to Jennifer Groth. Besides serving 8 years on the Coos Bay City Council, she actively stepped in many other tough issues important to the community, which included the gas tax increase proposal, the Community Enhancement Plan and county wide tourism. Jennifer has made volunteer service a way of life.

The Business of the Year award is given to a business that has exhibited excellence in products and customer service; contributed time, manpower and resources to community improvement projects; and excelled in employee relations and training. The 2018 award went to 7 Devils Brewing Company, honoring their excellence in business and strong commitment to the community.

Chamber Member of the Year is given to that member, who through their efforts, has carried us to a new level of community service and impact. In 2018 This honor went to Deena Gisholt. She has been a red coated Ambassador, on the Leadership Coos steering committee, an active Membership team organizer, part of the Chamber Board of Directors and an officer for several years. A strong supporter of the Chamber, Deena also encourages her staff to be involved.

Additionally, Nicole Ault, a first-grade teacher at Blossom Gulch Elementary School, was recognized as Educator of the Year. The city councils of Coos Bay and North Bend received the Community Award as a dedicated group of volunteers doing difficult and sometimes thankless work to keep local government on track for their citizens.

What a great evening! See you at next year’s Banquet on the last Saturday of January.

Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.

Timm Slater is executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on your Chamber, email us at timmslater@oregonsbayarea.org.

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