Parkrose business group celebrates successful year

Find out who won this year’s Parkrose Business Association Artie Johnson and Karl F. Lind awards – and see what happened at their festive Holiday party …

William Keller CPA and Venture Portland Parkrose Business Association Associate Adrienne Sweetwater check in guests at the annual Holiday event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Members and guests of the typically-jolly Parkrose Business Association (PBA) were in a yet more ebullient mood – even after suffering through city-wide gridlock to get there – as they arrived at the Portland Holiday Inn Airport Hotel ballroom on the evening of December 11.

Their annual year-end party is a combination of an annual meeting, awards ceremony, fundraiser for the Parkrose Business Foundation, and a social networking opportunity.

Guest Ben Pizanelli is doing his best to estimate the number of M&Ms in the jar held by Karen Taylor, in her Parkrose Business Foundation fundraising game, while Judy Kennedy looks on.

As the evening got started, Karen Taylor, a Mary Kay Representative, took around a sealed jar containing M&M candies – both regular and peanut varieties. Taylor wrote down the estimates, at $1 per guess, of the total number of candies the jar contained.

Later in the evening, Taylor revealed that long-time member Bob Brown came closest to the correct number: 1,033 M&Ms in the jar. The Foundation keeps all the money; Mr. Brown got the jar of candy.

Under the direction of Parkrose High School Choral Director Lesley Bossert, the Debutantes entertain with both traditional and contemporary songs of the season.

Kelly Brown makes another bid in the Parkrose Business Foundation silent auction.

On either side of the buffet line, PBA members Earl Swenson and Jason Zwick select from delicious and plentiful food at the PBA’s Holiday event.

Again this year, the Holiday Inn Airport catering staff set out a magnificent banquet buffet – offering salads, a fruit bowl, three entrees, and side dishes…but not desserts. There’s more to the story; please read on.

Throughout the evening, attendees talked with one another at their tables, checked on their silent auction bids, and visited with those at other tables.

Holiday Inn Airport Sales Manager Sharen Fowler wins a bar of “Ashton’s Macadamia Madness” chocolate candy, provided by East Portland News.

Mark Eves, Attorney at Law, offers guests the opportunity to “dip into a lawyer’s pocket” by donating money for Salvation Army – which he doubles. This year, he collected $1,373, making the total donation $2,746.

2015 PBA Awards Presentations

Venture Portland PBA Associate Adrienne Sweetwater receives a “President’s Certificate of Appreciation” from outgoing PBA President Mike Taylor.

As dinner service concluded, the PBA’s outgoing President Mike Taylor officiated a brief awards program in which those who have given outstanding volunteer service to the organization were honored.

Taylor presented the “President’s Award” to Sharen Fowler of Holiday Inn Airport, extolling her service to the PBA.

Each with a “President’s Certificate of Appreciation” in hand, Mark W. Eves and William Keller flank the presentation of the “President’s Award” to Sharen Fowler, as Mike Taylor looks on.

As is their custom, the people presented with the PBA’s two major awards last year tell about and introduce the award’s newly-named recipient.

Artie Johnson Award

Last year’s recipient, Karen Taylor, presents to Dave Borer of Burgerville USA the 2015 Artie Johnson Award.

The 2014 recipient of the PBA’s Artie Johnson Award, Karen Taylor, began by hinting about who was honored this year.

“Words to describe this person are: Respectful, community involvement, generous, carrying a positive, friendly, fun, and a good joke teller,” Taylor began.

“This person attended Mt. Hood Community College,” Taylor continued. “This person likes video games, board games, and Starbucks. He takes part in community involvement and fundraisers at numerous events.

“He has lived in Santa Barbara, California; a land of Georgia; Boring Oregon; Vancouver, Washington; and was born in Moscow, Idaho,” Taylor went on. He’s been a restaurant manager for 32 years at Wendy’s, Round Table Pizza, Izzy’s Pizza, and Chipotle.

“He is a member of the PBA and of our Board of Directors; and he’s been at Burgerville for nine years as general manager. One of the employees told me, ‘He’s the best boss I’ve ever had’. And, he’s been married for 18 years.

“If you don’t know by now who this is,” Taylor concluded, “The Artie Johnson Award this year goes to David Borer.”

Karl F. Lind Award

Alison Stoll tells about this year’s “Karl F. Lind Service Award” winner.

This is a person who’s been serving on our board of directors,” began Alison Stoll, telling about the person about to be presented the PBA “Karl F. Lind Service Award”.

“This person came to us with a really terrific idea,” Stoll said. “And more, she followed through and created a very successful fall event called Trunk or Treat’ event on Hallowe’en afternoon. She was the driving force behind this event and, with the help of a few others recruited, she visited many businesses in our district and asked them to participate.

“For those who didn’t get to go to this event, it was wonderful,” Stoll added. “And even though it was held on one of the rainiest Hallowe’ens we’ve had in a long time, it was very successful, and as many as 700 people came out in the pouring rain to participate.

“It is with great pleasure that I present the 2015 PBA Karl F Lind award to Parkrose US Bank manager KT Goeke, who is in Hawai’i, and not here with us tonight,” Still said.

This “Dessert Dash ambassador” scores a delicious-looking chocolate cake for his table.

A banquet wouldn’t be complete without dessert. Those seated at each table were invited to collectively “bid” to have a representative select a treat from the “Dessert Dash” table. The table that raised the most money for the Foundation got first choice; and the table raising the least got the dessert that was left over.

There were no losers in this game; all of the “Dessert Dash” desserts were delectable.

Outgoing PBA President Mike Taylor hands the ceremonial gavel to Angie Jenkins with Hookset Automotive, Inc.

As the event was concluding, incoming PBA President Angie Jenkins talked with East Portland News about her plans for the organization.

“I aspire to help make our business association as strong, vibrant, and prosperous as possible,” Jenkins said. “I’m glad I won’t be doing it by myself – but will have the help of our Board of Directors and members.

“We believe that when Parkrose businesses prosper, the neighborhood will do well also,” Jenkins said.

Meet with the Parkrose Business Association on January 21.

This, one of our favorite business groups, gets together next at 11:30 a.m. on January 21. Come and meet this group of fun and energized business people. The meeting is at Holiday Inn Airport, 8439 NE Columbia Blvd. (in the hotel building, around the back at the former Flirt’s entrance – not the Convention Center next door).

The meeting is free, and the delicious three-course hot buffet lunch is $18 including dessert and gratuity; reservations are NOT required.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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