Chamber Awards Take Center Stage

William Ganong speaks after being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 97th Annual Chamber Gala Awards. (Brian Gailey)

William Ganong speaks after being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 97th Annual Chamber Gala Awards. (Brian Gailey)

Klamath Falls, Ore. - The 97th Annual Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala was held Saturday night. It is a chance for the Chamber to recognize people and businesses for their innovation, commitments, generosity and overall positive stewardship of the Klamath Basin. 

"The Gala is truly one of my favorite nights of the year," says Heather Tramp, Executive Director of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce. "It's a night of celebration, an evening of hope, and a time for all of us to come together and get inspired. The energy on this night is always really electric."

Over 250 people attended the annual Oscar inspired event held at the Ross Ragland Theater where ten awards were given out during the celebration. The awards are: 

Big IDEA Innovation Award, sponsored by Klamath IDEA
Awarded to an organization in any industry that employs new ideas or approaches to doing business. Innovation could fill an unmet need, create attention, be different or better than existing products, exceed market expectations, achieve financial success, or improve business systems.

Environmental Leadership Award, sponsored by Waste Management
Awarded to any organization in any industry that demonstrates an alignment with clean energy or clean technology practices.

Commitment to Community Award, sponsored by Rachel Spoon State Farm
Awarded to any organization in any industry that demonstrates a successful approach to corporate social responsibility and can show a positive impact on the community.

Best Place to Work Award, sponsored by Klamath Basin Home Builders Assoc. 
Two categories: 15 or less employees and 16 or more employees; presented to an organization that, through its innovation and dedication, provides employees with an outstanding positive, healthy and productive workplace.

Spirit of Entrepreneurism Award, sponsored by KCC Small Business Development Center
Awarded to an individual who exhibits an entrepreneurial spirit, originality, personal integrity, and influence. Awarded to an individual who has taken risks in business (could be started a new venture, expanded into a new area, taken on a difficult project, demonstrates “outside the box” thinking, or demonstrate a vision for the future).

Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Sky Lakes Medical Center
Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional business achievement and outstanding commitment to Klamath’s business community over their lifetime. Must be a business leader in Klamath County and be a member of the Chamber. Must have participated in the Klamath business community for a minimum of 20 years.

Pathfinder Award, sponsored by Avista Utilities
Awarded to presidents, principals or chief executive officers for devoting time and energy to strengthen and transform the organization that they lead. This includes specific situations or initiatives where the recipient's insight, discernment and ability to lead and inspire have guided their organization to a new level of growth, achievement and recognition. This individual should:

  • actively support advancement of their organization,
  • create a vision and inspire others
  • establish a positive image for his or her business while leading it to higher levels of success,
  • encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees, and
  • give back to the community.

2018 Award Recipients

  • Lifetime Achievement: William Ganong
  • Commitment to Community: Millard Dental
  • Pathfinder Award: Chad Olney, Pacific Crest FCU
  • Big IDEA Innovation Award: Klamath Works
  • Environmental Leadership: Eco Solar
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurism: Chelsea Brosterhous
  • Best Place to Work 16 or More Employees: Pacific Crest FCU
  • Best Place to Work 15 or Fewer Employees: Bogatay Construction
  • Presidents Award: John Longley, 2017 Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee
  • Ambassador of the Year: Johanna Scholer

This annual event is a culmination of much hard work from several individuals, the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce thanks all who helped make the 98th Annual Gala a success and congratulates all the winners. For more information on the Klamath County Chamber or the Awards Gala, visit or call 541-884-5193.

Editors Note:
Klamath Falls News was nominated in the Big IDEA Innovation Award. Although we did not win, we are honored to have been nominated along side some great organizations. This years winner Klamath Works is an amazing organization. They do some awesome things for the basin and are extremely deserving of the award.  Klamath Falls News, congratulates Klamath Works on the award. We also tip our hat and congratulate all award recipients of the 98th Annual Awards Gala. ~ Brian Gailey, Publisher, Klamath Falls News. 

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