Ashland Culinary Festival Top Chef 2016- Josh Dorcak- Josh is now a two-time winner of the Ashland Culinary Festival. Additionally, this summer he won the Bite of Oregon in Portland representing Ashlandâ€™s amazing culinary scene so well. Over the last year he has opened his own pop-up restaurant, MĂ„S and we are proud of his efforts.
Green Business of the Year- White Dental Studio- Dr. Brandon White of White Dental Studio values green practices at the core of his business. He is the first and only eco-dentistry gold certified dental office in Ashland and achieves this status through conscious energy and water conservation along with integrating principals throughout his office procedures.
Retail Business of the Year- Ashland Greenhouses- Owners Kelly and Ben Brainard purchased the business in 2007. The provide a vast array of plants, testing each new product to our areaâ€™s climate before putting it on the market. They teach classes and work with groups like the Soroptimist and the Rotary Garden sharing their knowledge and expertise with our entire community.
Service Business of the Year- Ashland Art Center â€“ The Ashland Art Center was founded in 2007 by Denise Baxter and in 2008 expanding to its current location at the historic Provost Building. They offer a space for artists to showcase and sell their work and have classes for artists of all skill level. The Ashland Art Center makes creating art a reality for the entire community.
Manufacturing Business of the Year- FlowJo-
Flowjo moved to Ashland in 2003 and develops software for researchers across the country in cytometry and single-cell analyisis. They are involved in the community through ScienceWorksâ€™ Mini-Maker Faire, most recently, and offer an excellent internship program for students.
Emerging Business of the Year- Sammich & Pastrami Zombie- Melissa McMillan- Melissa is a true entrepreneur. A self-taught chef, she has taken the culinary world by storm both in Ashland with her flagship, Sammich, but expanding to Portland wit her food truck, Pastrami Zombie and is opening Sammich in Portland as well. She has been recognized time and again for her amazing creations and, most recently, won the Peopleâ€™s Choice Sandwich Competition at the Feast in Portland.
Greeter of the Year- Rob Werfel- Rob currently works for Ad Gorilla and is working with local start-up ERNDO to grow the company. He is a long-time Greeter attendee and can be seen volunteering at almost every community event each year. He supports Chamber members and encourages businesses to get involved and network with fellow Chamber members.
Chamber Volunteer of the Year- Bob Horton- Bob, originally from Worchester, England, moved to Ashland from the Bay Area after 39 years at Bayer Bio-Tech. While living in Carmel, he caddied a round of golf at Pebble Beach with Newt Gingerich and Leon Panetta. He is a wonderful volunteer and always available to pick up shifts when needed.
Special Recognition- Judy Howard, Hanson Howard Gallery- We cannot celebrate art in Ashland without recognizing Judy Howard. She came to Ashland with her family in 1966 and taught art in Medford until 1978. She initiated the Artists in the Schools program and then opened Hanson Howard in 1978. She has served on the Oregon Advocates for the Arts Board and the Oregon Arts Commission. She served as a liaison between the state commission and Western States Art Federation. She received the Schneider Museum Award of Excellence for her contributions. She was on the Chamber board and VCB creating the first Taste of Ashland and later became president of the Ashland Gallery Association.
Citizen of the Year- Police Chief Tighe Oâ€™Meara- Tighe Oâ€™Meara is a positive leader in our community and he gets involved in the community in a number of different capacities. He is patient, collaborative and willing to tackle tough issues. Through volunteer efforts he serves on the Ashland Health & Wellbeing Initiative Steering Committee and is on the Board of Directors for La Clinica. He is also the Chair of the Rotary Club of Ashland Lithia Springs CrabFest event.
Honorary Life Member- Cindy Bernard- Cindy has served as President of the Ashland Chamber for two terms. She has served on and chaired multiple Ashland Chamber committees including Legislative Committee Chair, Fire Prevention Task Force, Health & Wellbeing Committee, Annual Dinner Committee, Behavior Task Force, Emergency Prepared Business Program, Festival of Light Chair and served as the Chamber Liaison to the Climate Energy Action Plan.
Photos by Graham Lewis