Wallowa County honors top citizens

February 02, 2011 02:52 pm
ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County business leaders, supporters and residents celebrated the 37th annual Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce Citizen Award Banquet Sunday at Cloverleaf Hall. This year’s theme, “Party with the Stars,” recognized the award winners for 2011, which included Steve Kliewer, director of the Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness, who received the president’s award presented by Chamber of Commerce President Doris Woempner.

Kathryn Matthias presented the Business Award to Deve Wolfe of Wolfe Fleece in Joseph.

Employee of the Year went to Judy Bothum of Joseph, presented by her employer, Sandy Warnock, owner of Simply Sandy’s in Joseph.

Mike and Diane Witherrite received the Leaders in Agriculture and Timber Award from Pat Wortman.

Gail Swart, longtime teacher, performer and sponsor of the arts in Wallowa County, Swart, received the Leader in the Arts Award from Janis Carper.

Enterprise student and Chief Joseph Days queen candidate Silje Christoffersen, presented the Educational Leader Award to Enterprise High School biology, environmental science and computer applications teacher Mike Baird, a 24-year veteran at the high school.

The Leader in Events Award was presented to John Hillock, owner-operator of Enterprise Electric. County Commissioner and Master of Ceremonies Mike Hayward recognized Hillock’s many hours of volunteer work for county events such as the Wallowa County Fair, Hells Canyon Mule Days and Chief Joseph Days.

The Unsung Hero Award of 2011 went to Wallowa County native Dave Yost of Joseph. His many hours of work throughout the years in youth programs and most recently in revitalizing the Wallowa County Fairgrounds was recognized and appreciated.

Woempner, the chamber president, said the goals of the Wallowa County chamber for 2011 are to support the “buy local” campaign, increase chamber memberships to 400 and continue to work to retain current members. Two business seminars and trainings will be offered in 2011 as another of the chamber’s goals, as well as continuing to increase community visibility, Woempner said.

The prime rib dinner was prepared by the Enterprise Elks Lodge. Local singers Jessie Borgerding and Craig Nichols entertained the gathering during dinner. Swart played piano during the cocktail hour preceding dinner.