Timm Slater

Timm Slater, executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

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The first virtual Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Award banquet was held March 27.

Besides acknowledging the officers, board members and committee chairs for the past year and introducing the members who will serve in those roles for the upcoming year, the chamber had a variety of awards and recognitions that made it a community celebration.

Citizen of the year is an honor given to a member of the community who, by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources, has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2020 that award was given to Deena Gisholt.

The citizen of the year has focused much of her community volunteer work on the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce programs and projects. Besides her own efforts, she encourages her employees to participate and supports the chamber through her business. Her work covers many aspects of chamber operations. In addition, she has served on the chamber board as a director for six years and as part of the executive committee for several of those. Gisholt leads by example and invites you come along. She is a successful business person, but her main business is people and this community.

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. This year’s business recipient is well known for their excellent service and professional quality. They have continued to expand their operation for even better results for customers and employees. Beyond business their focus is community.

They provide a drop off site for Cell phones for Soldiers and blessing bags given at Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and more and Halloween giveaways for the kids. They also contributed 2020 senior high school graduation gifts. The 2020 award went to Tom’s Bulldog Automotive Inc., 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 the chamber to a new level of community service and impact. In 2020, the chamber member of this year is actually a group.

They looked at the financial challenges facing the chamber and crafted solutions to enable it to succeed in its mission. For their drive, vision and dedication to see things through, the 2020 Chamber Member of the Year is the 2020 BACC Executive Committee.

Additionally, Chef Frank Murphy, North Bend High School culinary arts teacher, was recognized as the Educator of the Year. Frontline health care workers were given the 2020 Community Award to honor a group of volunteers that continuously works toward a healthier future for our communities while taking on significant personal risk to ensure we get the care we need.

The current crisis demonstrates the essential, tireless, innovative and too-often undervalued role of health care workers in ensuring strong, resilient heath systems for everyone, everywhere.   

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

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