Key Knife is unique in that they are employee owned. Their employee/owners thrive on developing custom solutions and take pride in delivering value through leveraging their knowledge, products, and services. From the beginning, the founders wanted an organization with a culture that would allow employees the opportunity to learn, grow and make a difference in the workplace and community. That culture has continued when they transitioned to employee owned. As one of the new hires who came from a very large company a year ago shared “The thing I admire most about working at Key Knife is that we are one family, supporting one another, working together to continuously grow, and improve the home that we all share! It just doesn’t get any better than that!”
Key Knife embraces the Chamber’s motto of Business and Community Working Together. Whenever possible, they do business with local companies and Chamber members such as Express Employment Professionals, Thermal Modification Technologies and Dalton’s NW Catering. Their VP of Finance, Les Boatsman, is a Tualatin resident, and has been president of the Tualatin Lacrosse Club for several years. Thus, Key Knife has supported that program through hosting meetings and raising funds. They also encourage their employees to volunteer in the community and you can see them supporting: Tree planting in Tualatin Parks, Tualatin Wildlife Refuge, food drives for the Tualatin School House Pantry, the Good Neighbor Center and several more.
They are very proud to have been pioneers in developing the disposable knife system for the wood products industry and now in their 33d year, they continue to be the leaders. They successfully transitioned from the founding shareholders to employee ownership, survived the great recession of 08-09 that seriously impacted our industry and rebounded to be stronger than ever, and continue to innovate and improve their product offerings.
Key Knife embodies the Spirit of Tualatin through all they do. As an employee owned company, their mission and values drive their culture, expectations and behaviors. Employees and managers have a voice which by working together has created a great place to work.
Charlie credits their success to the wonderful people he has been able to surround himself with. Thanks to his long-term employees and partners he’s been able to receive and implement terrific expertise on areas that he many not be the expert in. They are now considered to be a landmark in the community and the longevity has allowed people get to know, like and trust that the Century Hotel and Hayden Lakefront Grill will always offer great lodging and quality food for a fair price on the beautiful Lake of the Commons.
From the beginning, community service has been a part of their model. Although they can’t do everything they’ve been able to support many local organizations and there’s no doubt that he has a soft spot in his heart for youth sports since they played such a positive part of his own life experiences. He’s also been actively involved in supporting Chamber events, programs and tourism marketing initiatives.
Charlie says, “it’s been a good run and they are thankful for the foresight of community leaders who imagined and built the Lake of the Commons.” It’s also been fun to see that some of the young people who started working with him in the beginning are having kids who are now working for him. Additionally, “a cool part about the job is that every day is a new day. You never know who you’re going to run or who might come by to say hi”.
Congratulations to All Nominees!
Rookie of the Year
Stephanie Kramer, Einstein Bros Bagels
Stephanie and the team at Einstein Bros Bagels joined in 2018 and immediately made connections and got engaged in the right ways. They are committed to giving back and being an active member of our community. For starters, as “our neighborhood bagel shop,” since joining many of our weekly AM Networking hosts have purchased their morning refreshments from Einstein Bros Bagels. They provided delicious lunches for our golfers at the 2018 Swing for the Wolves/Crawdaddy Open Golf Classic and added an element we will definitely always be providing from now on, bagels and coffee in the morning. In addition to these connections, they are actively ensuring that they minimize their food waste and give back then they can. Whether it’s sponsoring a third of the Tualatin Chamber’s Kick Start Lunches or much larger contributions Einstein Bros Bagels is committed to doing their part. For example, they donate all of their end-of-day bagels to non-profits in the area, notably the Tualatin School House Pantry. When asking Stephanie about our business community, she said, “I love being a part of this community…This year it really feels like home and a big part of that is being involved with the other businesses that I have met since joining the Chamber.”
Glenn Thorstensen, Tutor Doctor
Glenn and Amanda from Tutor Doctor joined the Tualatin Chamber in 2018 and immediately made sure they got involved where they needed to. Attending regular AM Networking events, learning about our workforce development programs, and making mutually-beneficial connections with members. Tutor Doctor provides personalized in-home tutoring at a time when the student is available. Their team also works with students on organizational skills, test anxiety, learning disabilities, etc. The tutor and program created are personal to every student and support them in furthering their education long-term. Glenn is a regular volunteer at Hazelbrook Middle School with the Tualatin Chamber STEAM Team program. Additionally, Tutor Doctor has supported the Veterans of Foreign War Auxiliary by becoming a sponsor of the annual Memorial Day Picnic and donating magazines to the Auxiliary that are delivered to veterans at the VA hospital in Portland while they recover from surgery. Glenn and Amanda share a passion for getting involved in the community, especially when it relates to students and children.
New Business of the Year
When you have the opportunity to speak to somebody who is living their dream, the passion and fervor exudes from them. That’s the impression you get when speaking with Mark Carruth about Avanti Restaurant. Mark has worked as a chef for many years and dreamed of owning his restaurant for most of them. After an outstanding amount of “scratching and clawing,” the initial shock of getting open and the ball rolling, long nights/early mornings, countless hours of searching for the right team, and much more, Avanti Restaurant opened its doors in 2018. In addition to their passion for the quality of food, Mark and his team care greatly for Avanti’s environmental impact. They source their ingredients and materials locally whenever possible. Furthermore, they have supported many local causes (including several Tualatin Chamber events). When asking Mark about their proudest accomplishments since being open, he said, “Definitely the process of getting open and diving in. People are happy we’re here, and it’s our dream! I’ve been working up to this my whole life.” Even though Avanti has only been open a few months, they have made a massive impact on Tualatin. Every time we stop by; their guests are beaming. Their regulars are increasing every month, and it’s easy to see why. Their small, cozy atmosphere with high quality – freshly made food with the finest ingredients speak for themselves. One of their regular guests said, “Wow, wow! I could not be more pleased with my experiences at Avanti. Everything from the food and drinks to the staff is divine. Tualatin has many delicious food options, but none like Avanti. We are so happy to have this gem right in our neighborhood. Thank you to Mark and Jean for choosing Tualatin!”
Candy Castle Co.
Is there a better place to spend your days than at a candy store? For most of us, the hours we spent in candy stores as children are ancient memories. Alicia and Barbara, the daughter-mother duo’s mission is to bring those memories to the next generation. With Candy Castle Co., the stunning candy store in Bridgeport Village, Alicia and Barbara have brought the perfect combination of nostalgic, staple, and trendy sweet treats right to us. You can find a Big Hunk bar, their wall of candies, house-made fudge and caramel, the sourest of sour candies, a wide variety of indulgent truffles, caramel corn, edible cookie dough, and SO MUCH more. At Candy Castle Co., they can not only meet your “candy needs,” but they can also create the perfect, unique decorations for your next dinner party. Their social media pages are full of fun and creative ways to utilize the beauty of candy for its aesthetic (especially their famous candy corn turkeys). Their customers can’t seem to get enough, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to all of the above, Alicia and Barbara keep their calendar full of entertaining candy-related community events. In 2018 they hosted a free cookie-decorating class for the holidays, an opportunity to meet Cinderella for Halloween, and many more. When asking a parent of one of their regular customers, she said, “I am so excited to have Candy Castle here. I can’t believe there aren’t more candy stores around. It’s such a fun place for us to come. Every time we come to Bridgeport I plan an extra half hour for my kids to explore all of their new items and pick their favorites of the week. Alicia and Barbara are so patient and kind with them, I don’t know how they do it. My husband and I enjoy exploring too. There are so many candies and treats that we haven’t seen since we were children. It’s one of our happy places.”
Chamber Volunteer of the Year
Bill Cohen, Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants, LLC
Since Bill joined the Tualatin Chamber, he immediately made an impression as someone you needed to know. There are few who can network and make connections like Bill. His passion and wealth of knowledge precedes him. All of these qualities make him an outstanding volunteer at the Tualatin Chamber. He is often the first to raise his hand when we need an extra hand. Whether it’s helping with check-in at the Swing for the Wolves/Crawdaddy Open Golf Classic, helping members get connected at AM Networking events, or being in charge of the day-of volunteers for the Holiday Auction, Bill’s volunteer work has benefitted the Chamber in many ways. Arguably the most notable, he is directly responsible for the creation of our newest program, Health & Wellness Wednesday. Bill saw the need to better support the Health & Wellness industry (second largest business industry in Tualatin), came to staff, and said we needed to “make it happen.” Thanks to his drive, commitment, and hard work, we now have a new and thriving program. Bill currently chairs the Health & Wellness team, and tirelessly works to ensure we have the best programs possible. “Bill is the type of person who will do what needs to be done to get results. His follow-through is exceptional, and he always sticks to his commitments. These are qualities I greatly admire in a person, and in a professional.”
Doyle Dillon, Caliber Home Loans
If you’ve attended one of our AM Networking, you have met Doyle Dillon. One or most engaging and visible volunteers, Doyle contributes to member events and supports others selflessly. He conducts his volunteer work with “professionalism yet appropriate humor. He keeps an eye on time but is always respectful to speakers. He is efficient and helpful regarding business and nonprofit announcements. I look forward to his ‘turn at bat.’” Whenever called on to volunteer for an event, his response without hesitation is, “tell me what time and where and I’ll help however you need me.” Doyle is one of our most reliable volunteers, and truly cares about the work he does. Additionally, Doyle regularly gives and receives shout outs, the latter being a testament to how he helps people and does business. And, he meets with and supports members enthusiastically. “To me, the ‘poster child’ for a selfless volunteer is Doyle Dillon. He is an excellent role model for others and [an] impactful contributor to our Chamber and community.
Business Leader of the Year
Lisa Balmes, Pilot Property Management, LLC
Most of us know the value of giving and shopping local. Lisa is the kind of business leader who embodies that value in everything she does. Pilot Property Management, LLC is a family-owned company which deals in real estate holdings for three generations. Lisa has a fantastic team that provides a variety of rental services to her clients. But she and they are so much more than that. Giving back is an integral part of who she is, and what she does. She is a regular giver and volunteer to countless organizations including the Salvation Army, the Oregon Food Bank, The Gentle Barn (pet sanctuary), Meals on Wheels, Boys and Girls Club, Police Activities League, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, United Cerebral Palsy Oregon, Oregon for Affordable Housing, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Oregon, Union Gospel Mission, ARS, and the Tualatin Chamber. She is an active member of the HBA Executive Committee for Street of Dreams, the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors Task Force for selecting students to receive scholarships (for 7 years), the PMAR Masters Circle Executive Committee, the Celebrate Tualatin Nominating Committee, and more. Lisa doesn’t stop with her contributions; her team is paid to volunteer in many of the above organizations monthly. In 2018, Lisa and Chris were recognized as the #50 in the Most Generous Corporate Philanthropists for Small Company in the Portland Business Journal. All of this is in addition to managing and owning Pilot Property Management, LLC. When asking her team member what it’s like to work with Lisa, she said, “She puts a lot of faith in her team, pushes us to do our best and holds work to very high standards. She is very kind and generous both as a supervisor and as a friend. She is strong and a huge inspiration to all of us to be emboldened, not timid, to learn and exceed in our positions past what we thought possible.”
Bill Jordan, Family Dentistry – Bill Jordan, DMD, PC
Last year Dr. Jordan celebrated 30 years in practice in Tualatin. He has served on the City Advisory for 30 years, was on the Urban Renewal Committee, and instrumental in bringing the lake to the Commons. He has coached youth sports teams for 15 years (at least 175 teams over the years). Dr. Jordan was acting President of the Oregon academy of General Dentistry for two years and just signed a lease in Tigard to open a clinic for continued education within community service for the dental community. Dr. Jordan is very involved with the Tualatin Rotary which took him to Brazil twice opening dental clinics. He also visited India last year with students with a make-shift clinic that served an orphanage (which included children he sponsors). Dr. Jordan is involved with supporting Head Start kids (low-income seniors). He regularly provides these students with free dental services, dentures, and more. Dr. Jordan is someone the Tualatin Chamber turns to as a resource for supporting continued education in the dental field. We have directed many students to him, and he has given them knowledge, resources, opportunities, and more. Furthermore, the entire team of 8 at Family Dentistry has been there for 26 years or more. When speaking with his team, they shared how exceptionally kind Dr. Jordan is, how he takes care of his team, and how they have never worked for or with a kinder person. Bill loves Tualatin, the community and the people and is grateful for the place he chose to call home.
Spirit of Tualatin – Individual
Sandra Andrade, Universal Crystal Cleaning
“A Good Samaritan is not simply one whose heart is touched in an immediate act of care and charity, but one who provides a system of sustained care.” Sandra is the ultimate Good Samaritan in Tualatin. Sandra is the person who those in need often turn to for help and support. Whether her neighbors need a little help feeding their families that month, a warm coat for their children, help cleaning their home that week, or somebody to talk to, Sandra is that person. Often Sandra’s son’s friends will come to her for mentoring or tutoring, and she immediately obliges. Math and reading homework are the most frequently requested subjects. A few hours of help from Sandra in these subjects results in these students having an easier year and stronger foundation to support their education moving forward. Sandra is also involved with Road to Success, an organization that works directly with schools and students to improve the literacy of children. Sandra knits hats and blankets for newborn babies at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. If you know of a baby born in the past couple years at that hospital, chances are they have a hat that was hand-knit by Sandra. Sandra is also active with the Seven Day Adventist Church, volunteers in programs with them and gives whenever she can. Sandra is the type of person who will not let a needy person walk by without making sure they were fed and warm. She actively ensures those around her have what they need to support their families. “Sandra is a blessing to have in Tualatin, she was there for me at a time when I had nowhere else to turn. I will forever be grateful to her impact on my life.”
Robert Kellogg, Robert E. Kellogg, P.C.
In addition to being an exceptional lawyer, Robert Kellogg is a favorite on the Tualatin City Council. One conversation with him is enough to see why. Robert is the kind of person who exemplifies service. During his first two years on Council, Robert served as the Council’s representative on the Core Area Parking Board, as a commissioner of the Metro Area Cable Commission and chaired a subcommittee that developed procedural and administrative rules for Council. Prior to his service on the Council, Robert was the president of the Ibach Citizens Involvement Organization and a member of the City’s Budget Advisory Committee and Tualatin Tomorrow Advisory Committee. He has also served on regional committees, including the Budget Committees for Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency and the Tigard-Tualatin School District, as well as being a member of the Study Advisory Committee for the Washington County Transportation Futures Study. He also serves as a director of Neighbors Nourishing Communities, a Tualatin-based non-profit that provides nutrition assistance to low-income families in the region and supports education for the agriculture curriculum at Tualatin’s MITCH charter school and Bridgeport Elementary School. Additionally, Robert is an active Tualatin Chamber member and has served on our Business Advocacy Council since joining in 2011. The work Robert has done in the community is second to none. Those who have worked with him sing his praises, “He is exceptionally dedicated to Tualatin, but even more than that he is a wonderful person. He is a great listener who will hear from all stakeholders in a situation before acting. Tualatin is lucky to have him.”
Spirit of Tualatin – Small/Medium Business
At Auto-Chlor, service and people are front of mind. They provide a much-needed service for our restaurants while serving the Tualatin community as well. Every year employees give back through a variety of service projects and volunteering. They work on projects such as helping the City of Tualatin put lights around the lake, service projects with St. Anthony’s, food drives, and more. Another one of their core values is supporting the environment. Their clients are in an industry that uses a lot of energy and generates a lot of waste. Auto-Chlor does their part to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” When the corporate office was looking for their culture statement, they visited every location and interviewed employees at all levels. The result of these interviews is a page of “How We Work,” “What We Believe,” and “How We Behave” statements that make up what makes them special. This includes lines such as, “We build life-long relationships with our customers,” “We do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” and “We explain the why and how, not just the what and where.”
When you walk into our local Banner Bank branch, you’ll notice that it isn’t like most banks. They are a neighborhood bank with bankers who know our names and care about the financial success of Tualatin community members. Furthermore, they support the communities where they do business. For example, every September, Banner Bank branches collect non-perishable food items and cash donations to support the Tualatin School House Pantry. September is a time when supplies often run low and are greatly needed. Additionally, Banner Bank contributes financially and through volunteers to “organizations that provide shelter or housing.” More specifically, employees support many Habitat for Humanity projects across the Pacific Northwest. Banner Bank employees were also active volunteers and fundraisers for the Tigard-Tualatin Relay for Life supporting the American Cancer Society. And of course, Banner Bank is a regular sponsor and supporter of Tualatin Chamber events. Banks who support and invest in their communities help us thrive. Banner Bank is an exceptional example of this.
We will never be able to truly repay our first responders for the life-saving work that they do. On our worst days, these brave men and women are there, often risking their lives for us. Firehouse Subs takes that gratefulness a step further and supports our first responders in their never-ending need for more resources. A portion of all Firehouse Subs locations goes to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and is used to provide equipment, training, and support to our hometown heroes. Not only do they donate, but most of their customers donate as well by rounding up to the nearest dollar with each purchase. By being the liaison for seemingly little donations, Firehouse Subs harnesses the good in the community and turns it into major contributions. Since 2005, first-responders in Oregon have received over $273,746. A trip to Firehouse Subs is so much more than a delicious sandwich and award-winning customer service, it’s a contribution to Tualatin.
Spirit of Tualatin – Medium/Large Business
CUI Global Inc.
CUI is an electronic components manufacturer specializing in a diverse range of product technologies. As a leader in power electronics, they support their customers as they strive to improve the energy efficiency and environmental credentials of their application.
CUI’s original founding owner had a philanthropic attitude of investing in the community, whether through donations or direct involvement, it has always been important to them. Their Core Values of: relationships, excellence and service are at the heart of who they are as a company. They recognize their potential to give and are thankful for all the opportunities they have had to share with their global community. It’s been good for their employees, company and community.
CUI employees regularly serve our community with their time and talents both in teams and as individuals to put their core values into action. Each January CUI offices shut down on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the company spends their time volunteering at local charities to give back and build relationships within their community. Throughout the year CUI employees volunteer with the Tualatin School House Pantry, Tualatin Rotary, Tualatin Chamber and the Tualatin STEAM Team, Tualatin Library, Friends of the Trees, Cat Adoption Team, and Hands On Greater Portland to connect employees with local volunteer opportunities. They’ve also discovered its great for team building which has led to high employee retention. Employees feel safe with a sense of belonging and are surrounded by a stable environment.
Additionally, who they are extends to their customers. CUI looks to create long-term partnerships, not short-term transactional relationships. They realize that their customers are what drive their business, so they do everything in their power to see their partners’ success through to fruition.” One of their largest distributors has been with them for over 30 years, and they continue to be recognized as that company’s best partner.
As per Katie McKenzie, VP of HR “We love Tualatin and are very proud to be an investor in this community!”
Landmark Ford Lincoln
Most people don’t know this, but Tualatin does not allow car lots within our city limits. We therefore look to communities around us to provide those products and services. Family owned and operated, Landmark Ford Lincoln has supported Tualatin and Tualatin has happily reciprocated that support for almost 40 years. With their high standards for customer support, they have also grown to be one of the top 300 dealers in the United States out of about 16,000 dealers for total dollar volume as ranked by Wards. Additionally, their customer satisfaction as rated by Ford is among the highest in the northwest and has earned them multiple President’s Awards.
Throughout their growth from 32 employees in 1979 to 227 today, they are most proud of the longevity of their employees with many reaching between 20 and 30 years. And, thanks to their great employees they receive many repeat customers and referrals from their customers. Thanks again to their great employees, they have also won virtually every award Ford gives.
Landmark Ford Lincoln has been a wonderful partner with the Chamber through their membership and sponsorship of events and programs. A good example of their partnership came one year due to losing our annual sponsor for the “Hole in One” car give-a-way at the Swing for the Wolves/Crawdaddy Open Golf Tournament. Late in the game, we approached Landmark Ford Lincoln and they immediately stepped up to be the sponsor and have done so ever since. Additionally, they actively support our schools and local area non-profits such as their “Driven to Give” event with the TuHS Packbackers which raises over $8,000 annually.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ryan Miller, Miller Insurance
Ryan Miller’s longevity in business has allowed him to look beyond the simple transaction of insurance and use the experience of his team to look at the entire picture, to create solutions that best serve the needs of his clients. Additionally, he and his team have built a supportive culture that is best defined as Servant Leadership! He has continued to support the Tualatin business community by volunteering as a former Chamber Board member, Chair of the Thrive Business Team on various committees and by investing in sponsorship opportunities.
Ryan has a passionate desire to help others and he will not hesitate to share valuable insight on efficiency, having an engaged workforce, and what Ryan is best known for…turning risk into opportunity. “I am very thankful for the leadership traits and qualities I have learned from Ryan. He is truly an inspiration.”
Ryan has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the Tualatin community. He has participated and supported the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, many little league teams, the Tualatin School House Pantry, programs for at risk kids, blood drives and so much more.
In 2014, Miller Insurance was recognized for the Spirit of Tualatin Award. Ryan said it was one of his proudest moments, to have been recognized not only for his work but also for continuing the great work of his father. It was a very emotional and humbling experience.
When he started, many people in the business told him that his greatest reward would come from the relationships that he would make. Now that he’s 20 years into the business, Ryan can see that they were right, it’s the relationships that represent his “Richest Measure of Success”.
NW Natural has a long and rich tradition of community involvement. For more than 160 years the company has been committed to the growth and prosperity of the communities it serves. And that tradition is evident in their work processes, policies and through the company’s mission and values. Because they grew up here, they’re committed to investing every day, right here where they live based on their five core values:
- Safety is critically important in all aspects of the company’s operations whether in training for employees, education of consumers, or exceeding all regulatory requirements for pipeline safety. They continuously invest in their infrastructure by replacing pipes with the latest coated steel or poly which leads to high safety and reliability. Here locally, they also train first responders in safety at the Sherwood Facility.
- Integrity means being honest and ethical in everything they do and being true to their word. For six years, JD Powers, known for their independent customer service surveys, has awarded NW Natural the “Best in the West” Award based on receiving the highest score for Residential Customer Satisfaction amongst Utility companies.
- Service ethic underlies the company’s commitment to reliable and efficient operations as well as the desire to help others and solve problems. “We treat our customers and employees with respect.”
- Caring is reflected in the importance of teamwork, family, and fun as well as in the valuing of diversity, community involvement, and employee volunteerism. They focus their efforts on Workforce Development, Environment, Children & Families as Risk and Affordable Housing.
You’ll see them volunteering at the Pumpkin Regatta or Crawfish festivals and they’ve been a strong advocate, partner and Platinum Sponsor of our Chamber work and programs.
- Environmental stewardship is reflected in their commitment to conservation and a cleaner environment. Energy efficiency matters, it’s better for their customers, the economy and the environment.
For over 160 years, NW Natural has demonstrated a “Lifetime of Achieving Excellence.”
We could not be happier or prouder to support our business community with these and many more outstanding individuals and businesses. Thank you!