Myron Vogt, of the Olympic Peninsula Bluebills, was named Citizen of the Year, while Hans Frederickson, of Frederickson Electric in Port Townsend, was named Business Leader of the Year at the Jefferson County Community Leadership Awards for 2018.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce conducted the awards ceremony April 7 at the Old Alcohol Plant in Port Hadlock, with Chamber President Karen Best pointing out this marked not only the 70th year of a ceremony that started in 1949, but also the first year for two new categories: Future Business Leader of the Year, and Rising Entrepreneur of 2018.
Best described the past 70 years’ winners as “a Who’s Who of Jefferson County,” and noted it was particularly difficult for the nominating committee to narrow their choices down to three nominees for each category this year.
Best credited Jefferson County with having the largest percentage of entrepreneurs in the state, and praised community members present for “giving so much of yourselves, with your tireless volunteerism, your business acumen,” and “sharing of yourselves and your visions.”
Executive Director Arlene Alen had only been in Washington state for two weeks when last year’s awards ceremony rolled around.
Over the past year, Alen has come to know Jefferson County “as a community where servant leadership is the norm, not the exception,” and she assured the nominees that simply being named is an honor, “because it means that, out of all the special people in this community, your peers think you are so special.”
After singling out two-term Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson, Jefferson County Commission Chair Kate Dean and chamber veteran Tim Caldwell for their contributions, 24th Legislative District Rep. Mike Chapman explained how cumbersome it can be to pass legislation, before he complimented the nominees for making Jefferson County a special place.
“This is a wonderful district, and you do more for it every day than I can do on your behalf,” Chapman said.
County Commissioner Greg Brotherton, who won the Young Professional of the Year award a couple of years ago, cited it as “my first step toward a new job” on the Board of Commissioners. Brotherton announced Tyler Meeks, of the Disco Bay Outdoor Exchange, as the Young Professional of the Year for 2018.
“He fulfilled a community need, by helping people experience nature firsthand,” Brotherton said. “His outdoor gear makes sustainable, nature-based activities possible for many people.”
The other nominees were Jen Lee, of Jen Lee Light photography, and Thysen and Debi Scott, of GBF (God Bless Food) Catering.
Emily Ingram presented the Future Business Leader of the Year award to Chimacum High School senior Renee Woods, even as she took care to commend all three student nominees as “high achievers” and “principled role models.”
Ingram lauded Woods for serving as editor of her school’s newspaper, captain of the tennis and volleyball teams, student liaison to the school board and senior class co-president who has also helped build a community church in Haiti.
“She lives her life with intentionality, and is focused on achieving her goals,” Ingram said.
The other nominees were Quilcene High School senior Quillan Gallagher and homeschooled Port Townsend student Ella Ashford.
Andy Cochrane, of Power Trip Energy, presented the Rising Entrepreneur award to Scott Ross and Deborah Taylor, of Finistere Restaurant, for applying their roughly 20 years of experience in the food service industry to provide “a comfortable setting for diners, complete with “innovative” reservation-scheduling software.
The other nominees were Chris Brignoli and Matt Mortensen, of Revision Marine, and Joel Carben, of Ideal Seat.
Rita Hubbard presented Vogt with the Citizen of the Year award for co-founding and helping to lead the Olympic Peninsula Bluebills for more than 20 years, during which the chapter’s membership grew from 15 to nearly 200, and even expanded into Kitsap and Clallam counties, as they furnished elderly and ailing residents with ramps and railings. Bluebills are Boeing retirees who work together on community improvement projects.
“I want to thank all the Boeing Bluebills who actually do all this work,” Vogt said.
The other nominees were Debbi Steele, founder of the Wearable Art Show, and Gwendolyn Tracy and Pam Petranek, of the Port Townsend Marine Trades Association.
The Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building’s Betsy Davis, who won the Business Leader of the Year award for 2017, presented it to Frederickson for 2018.
“He treats his employees respectfully, promotes sustainable practices and has created an electrical internship program,” Davis said, before pointing out that Frederickson’s father, Erik, was named Citizen of the Year for 2003. “He also has two people enrolled in a five-year apprenticeship program.”
Frederickson thanked his father for passing on “a terrific team” to him, before sharing credit for the award with his wife, Mia, and everyone on that team.
The other nominees were Cochrane and the Pourhouse’s Ned Herbert and Virginia Marsden.