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CHAMBER HANDS OUT HONORS

It was recognition time Saturday night for volunteers and businesses that have served the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the community during the fiscal year ending June 30.

The chambers annual awards banquet, held at the Elks Club, was well-attended by chamber members, chamber volunteers, and guests.

The biggest round of applause of the evening was for Curry County Sheriff Kent Owen, when he was recognized early in the evening.

Also recognized as special guests were Brookings Mayor Bob Hagbom; Gold Beach Mayor Marilyn Schafer, Brookings City Councilor Larry Curry, Port of Brookings Harbor Commissioner Ken Byrtus; and Port of Gold Beach Assistant Manger Lucie La Bont.

Two volunteers, Hope Hansen and Elaine Kern, received plaques recognizing 10 years of serving as visitor information center volunteers.

Sitting next to Kern was Ruth MacIvor, who said she received her 10-year plaque six years ago.

Other information center volunteers recognized included Marilyn Argo, Ann Bogner, Naomi Bradfield, Barbara Cleland, Carmen Dillard, Phyllis Gabler, Jane Heaney, Frances Johns, Marie Kern, Doris McIntire, Rhea Schreiner, Lorraine Sigourney, Joan Sweeney, Wayne VanWaverern and Barbara Wilson.

The chamber has only three employees. Volunteers have made it possible for the chamber to succeed in being selected as one of Oregons top 1,000 businesses by Oregon Business Magazine, and Brookings-Harbor to be named Outstanding Community by national relocation service.

Les Cohen, executive director, and Carol Smith, executive assistant, are full-time employees, and Lisa Orozco, administrative assistant, works part time.

Orozco came to the chamber this year through the work experience program of Southwestern Oregon Community College.

All members of the board of directors, information center receptionists, Ambassadors, committee members, and service providers, are volunteers.

As Cohen said, The chamber is run by volunteers.

Others recognized at the dinner included Frances Johns and Barbara Cleland who are stepping down as co-chairs of the Ambassadors and Genie Gillian, who was honored as Volunteer-of-the-Year.

The award for Business-of-the-Year, presented to CompanionLink Software Inc., was accepted by Jim Frerichs on behalf of business owner Wayland Bruns, who was out of town on business.

Officers and directors for the 2000-2001 year, beginning July 1, are:

Richard Gyuro, Morys, who said he is serving his fourth one-year term as president.

Jo Mochulski, The Book Dock, first vice president

Peggy Goergen, Southwestern Community College, second vice president

Dan McKee, Fred Meyer, secretary

Peter Spratt, Best Western Brookings Inn, treasurer

Board members:

Georgine Pauline, Oh My Goodness Candy

Sheila Hagbom, The Stage

Charles Kocher, Curry Coastal Pilot

Paul Prevenas, Brookings-Harbor School District

Roger Thompson, Driftwood R.V. Park

Marilyn Deards, Nurses for You, Inc.

Spike Bruggeman, Pacific Wood Laminates and South Coast Lumber

Dennis Kalista, Tsunami Computer Services

Linda Kelley, Banana Belt Trading Co.

Nancy Shute, Dawson House Designs.

Executive director Cohen was named vice president of Oregon Chamber Executives for the coming year.

He told the group that the Brookings-Harbor chamber takes a stand on issues with a goal of helping to provide good paying jobs that keep money flowing into the economy.

Other noted chamber accomplishments for the year include: 45 new members, which is a 13 percent increase; 10.5 percent more visitors; 16 percent increase in requests for information, up 45 percent during the last two years; in partnership with the Pilot and the port, developed a monthly activities map; TV co-op advertising program for members; satellite Visitor Information Center at Fred Meyer; enhanced and expanded website; renegotiated lower local and long-distance telephone rates for members through United Communications Inc.; established five-year strategic plan; formed a task force to explore feasibility of an all-events Center; organized a third Business Outlook Conference; hosted annual Back To School Community Breakfast; hosted annual Festival of Lights contest; maintained holiday lighting of Chetco Avenue; for third year sponsored Leadership Brookings Harbor program.

Cohen presented a complimentary scholarship to the Leadership Brookings Harbor program to Signa Fischer, representing Oasis House.

He explained that the chamber presents a scholarship for the program to a non-profit service organization each year.

The program, presented in cooperation with the community college, provides a nine-month series of educational sessions about the services, opportunities and assets of the community, and job-skills training.

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