WALLOWA COUNTY CHAMBER HONORS COMMUNITY LEADERS

February 12, 2003 12:00 am

JOSEPH — A new president has been elected and 10 community leaders have been honored by the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce.

Marilyn Dalton of Joseph is the new chamber president. Dalton has been on the chamber board for four years. She was vice president last year, and previously was treasurer.

As the county services representative, Dalton is in charge of the Training and Employment Consortium in Enterprise, where she has worked 13 years.

During the chamber's annual banquet held earlier this month, outgoing president Gina Barstad of Joseph presented the President's Award to community volunteer EMT Sharon Nall of Joseph, who rescued herself and a ski partner from an avalanche last year.

Nall has volunteered to be a mentor in a new Wallowa County Youth Services community-based mentoring program for local students.

Jim and Denny Dawson of Enterprise were the recipients of the Agriculture Leaders award. The Dawsons have been involved in agriculture in Wallowa County all their lives. At their Glencarol farm/ranch they raise grain, timothy grass and Hereford cattle.

The Dawsons are on the Enterprise Education Foundation board.

Jim is on the county health care foundation and the Wallowa Soil and Water Conservation boards.

Denny has coached for and organizes the Amateur Athletics Union program and tournaments.

Cathy Johnson of Lostine was named Business Leader. Johnson started her Silver Creek Financial Services in her living room in 1977. Now she pays family wages to six employees whom she takes to Las Vegas after each tax season.

She serves on the Wallowa School Foundation board and the school budget committee.

Ben Boswell of Lostine was named Civic Leader. He has been a county commissioner for 10 years, and was on the county planning commission. He serves on 32 social, governmental and civic organizations. He is active in local granges and the Wallowa County Band.

Ed Jensen of Wallowa was named Education Leader. Jensen started in 1988 as the Wallowa School K-12 principal, then became superintendent of that school district. He is

now the Wallowa County ESD superintendent.

Under Jensen's leadership, the Wallowa School went through a major building renovation. The fully networked school uses multi-media, digital technology and long-distance learning.

Jensen is now offering that experience in working toward establishing a wireless system for all county schools, local government and non-profit organizations. Jensen chairs the county health district board.

Meg Mitchell was named Forestry Leader. Mitchell has been the Wallowa Valley ranger of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for two years.

Mitchell was credited with helping get more work done on public land. Examples cited were the Buck Stewardship pilot project and the Carrol Creek Salvage Sale.

Mitchell is a community

volunteer.

Gladys Kinsley was named Unsung Hero. Kinsley was a state human services case worker for 23 years. After her 1983 retirement she began volunteering even more. Kinsley helped establish the Wallowa County Interfaith Caregivers Program. She drives people to appointments, is in the hospital auxiliary and serves at the senior meal site.

She has long been involved in the Elks Christmas Basket program, the Tree of Giving, the American Cancer Society and is responsible for Wigs Etc., a program for cancer patients.

Jacinda Mitchell and Matt Williams, both juniors at Enterprise High School, were honored as Youth Leaders. Mitchell and Williams are active in sports, 4-H and FFA.

Mitchell, a cheerleader, is a state FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) director. She is the youth council member of the Red Cross and is a member of the Wallowa County Leadership project that is raising funds to paint the new Wallowa Union Railroad Authority's train.

Williams was praised for spending countless hours cleaning, painting and fixing the fairgrounds each year for the county fair.

In the fall, Williams started the 4-H Community Service Club. It has adopted the Vial of Life program to make sure in case of emergency, important medical information is immediately available in participants' homes and cars.