OBI Announces First-ever Oregon Visionary Award Honorees
Oregon Business & Industry is thrilled to announce the selection of three honorees to receive the first-ever Oregon Visionary Award – OBI’s highest honor – at our inaugural Vision Oregon Dinner, taking place at the Portland Art Museum on Oct. 27, 2021.
“These tremendous honorees represent our state’s unlimited potential,” said OBI Board Chair Karen Vineyard. “Each of them – through their professional work as well as community service – have shown their dedication to shared prosperity and opportunity for all Oregonians. They have set aside individual interests and traditional political allegiances to bring Oregonians from all walks of life together around a common set of values. We are grateful to honor these true Oregon visionaries at OBI’s biggest event of the year.”
A nominating committee from the OBI board of directors evaluated the many nominations from OBI members and community leaders. While the committee received several qualified and deserving nominees, they ultimately selected three honorees 2021.
- Bill and Karla Chambers, owners of Stahlbush Island Farms in Corvallis. Bill and Karla were leaders in the development of large, commercial organic farming in Oregon, and they are active advocates for the agriculture industry in our state. They are also very engaged in Oregon’s civic life, with Karla recently joining the State Board of Forestry.
- Alando Simpson, CEO of City of Roses Disposal and Recycling in Portland. Alando is a leading community activist focused on equity and inclusion in Oregon and a major voice for the need to encourage the growth and vitality of Black-owned businesses throughout the state. A second-generation owner of City of Roses, he also is demonstrating a business-based approach to environmental stewardship. City of Roses does large-scale recycling at construction sites, and they are converting their vehicle fleet to all electric.
- Rogue Food Unites. This extraordinary effort in Southern Oregon brought together farmers, restaurants and others in the food industry, all challenged by COVID, to feed Oregonians displaced by the Alameda/Glendower wildfires. This kept restaurant and farm workers employed during the height of the pandemic and provided much-needed assistance to community residents. The effort was spearheaded by local businesspeople looking out for their communities.
While the October event will mark the inaugural Vision Oregon Dinner, it has a long and cherished history in the state. Previously known as the Statesman Dinner, OBI’s flagship event has been one of the largest convenings of Oregon political and business leaders for 20 years now.
The Statesman of the Year Award is now known as the Oregon Visionary Award, a change that the OBI board made to demonstrate that the spirit of the event, and that of our honorees, is focused on the future of our state. Past recipients of the Statesman Award include Phil and Penny Knight; U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, Gordon Smith and the late Mark Hatfield; the late Portland Mayor Vera Katz, Oregon Historical Society President Kerry Tymchuk, and Gert Boyle, the late chair of Columbia Sportswear.
Learn more about the Vision Oregon Dinner here.