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SEDCOR Honors Outstanding Achievements of Local Business at Annual Luncheon

Wednesday, June 3, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Peters
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Strategic Economic Development Corporation, the lead economic development group for Marion Polk and Yamhill Counties, held its Annual Honors Luncheon June 3, 2015 at the Salem Convention Center to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of local businesses.


"These awards honor local businesses and organizations who create new jobs or economic opportunities" said SEDCOR Chair Theresa Haskins, Business Markets Manager with PGE. "The event gives us an opportunity to see different slices of our regional economy and how important vision and creativity are to growing healthy businesses and communities."


More than 300 SEDCOR members, civic and government officials were in attendance. The event was sponsored by Bank of the Cascades and Willamette University MBA.


The awards honored the following outstanding companies and individuals:

  • Community Service: Withers Lumber
  • Business Partner of the Year: Rich Duncan Construction
  • Outstanding Public/Private Partnership: Salem-Keizer Schools and Mountain West Investment Corporation.
  • Agri-Business of the Year Award: Wilcox Farms
  • Outstanding SEDCOR Construction Alliance Member: Todd Londin, ABC Windows & Building Maintenance
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Garmin AT

SEDCOR President Chad Freeman reported that in the last three years the region has gained $139 in capital investment and 2,004 new and retained jobs.


"The companies we honor today are located here because this region is an exceptional place to do business," said Chad Freeman, SEDCOR President. "Companies thrive here. We have an ideal location on I-5, low cost of business, a ready workforce, and well-coordinated economic development support across the three counties and with the state of Oregon."


Details about the awards, and the award recipients, are provided below.







Community Service: Withers Lumber


This award is given to the organization that provides services to the community, has been active with SEDCOR, and who exemplifies the highest business ethical standards.


The award was received by Trent Withers, President and John Gooley, VP of Sales.


For more than eighty years, this family owned business has made a difference in the Willamette Valley for its commitment to community. When Lee and Ann Withers started in the lumber business in 1928, they struggled through the Great Depression and nearly shuttered their business many times. However, the community’s loyalty and support helped keep them going.


That loyalty was returned in part through a promise to help their neighbors in any way they could. That commitment was passed on to future generations of the Withers family.


Lee and Ann’s promise has continued to this day and Withers Lumber is living this out. The company donates tens of thousands of dollars worth of materials, cash and labor each year to area schools and non-profits including The Oregon Garden, the Fourth of July Parade in Molalla, athletic teams and many more.


Withers Lumber is an active SEDCOR member, a strong community partner. The company exemplifies the highest business ethical standards.


Business Partner of the Year: Rich Duncan Construction


This award is given to a company who has been active with SEDCOR and who has exemplified the best qualities of corporate citizenship by contributing significantly to the community and to the successful operation of SEDCOR programs. 


The award was received by Rich Duncan.


In 2001, Rich Duncan strapped on his tool belt and climbed into his white Ford pickup truck to begin his own journey in the building and remodeling industry.


Fourteen years later, Rich Duncan Construction has become one of Oregon and southwest Washington’s premier contractors, trusted by small businesses, non-profits and large corporations to get the job done right.


Rich Duncan’s commitment extends well beyond his clients. This year his company was named one of Oregon’s best 100 companies to work for. Rich Duncan Construction is also a valuable SEDCOR partner.


Rich has served on the board of directors and recently with the Executive Council and marketing committee. He is a pivotal part of the SEDCOR Construction Alliance and is actively engaged in the group’s outreach and community service projects.


Rich Duncan and his team exemplify the best qualities of corporate citizenship by contributing significantly to the community and the successful operation of SEDCOR programs.


Outstanding Public/Private Partnership: Salem/Keizer Schools and Mountain West Investment Corporation


This award recognizes outstanding cooperation on a project or initiative with public benefit in mind. The award celebrates the collaboration of private industry and public sector organizations.


The award was received by Christy Perry, Superintendant & John Honey, Principal of the CTE School and Chuck Lee, President of Mountain West Career and Technical Institute.


CTEC is Salem-Keizer’s new Career and Technical Education Center that is being constructed on Portland road. It is the result of a public-private partnership with the Mountain West Career Technical Institute.


Mountain West purchased a 150,000 square foot facility that will house up to 12 different CTE programs for high school students. It will open this fall with two programs, residential construction and commercial manufacturing.


In residential construction, students will have the opportunity to build or remodel a home that will be sold to the public. In commercial manufacturing, students will develop an understanding of the manufacturing field and learn to operate machinery, such as welders, lasers, lathes and mills that make parts and products used by consumers and businesses.


CTEC students will remain enrolled at their resident school, while spending part of their school day at the center. Transportation will be provided for CTEC students.


CTEC’s mission is to prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers while developing the skills, technical knowledge, academic foundation and real-world experience to assure their success upon graduation, whether in the work place or in college.


Agri-Business of the Year Award: Wilcox Farms


This award is presented to a business who has been active in SEDCOR, has demonstrated excellence in agri-business and who supports and maintains the significant role and future of agriculture in our economy.


Chris Wilcox, Oregon Director of Farm Operations received the award.


A legacy was hatched in 1909 when Judson and Elizabeth Wilcox set out to build a family farm.


Wilcox Family Farms is now a fourth generation, family-owned business and Andy, Brent and Chris Wilcox continue to embody the ideals of sustainable farming passed down to them by their great grandfather.


Today Wilcox has farms in Oregon and Washington and a processing facility in Montana. Its customers include Fred Meyer, Safeway, Roth’s, Lamb’s, Natural Grocers, New Seasons, Costco and LifeSource Natural Foods. If you’ve eaten eggs in the Pacific Northwest, chances are you’ve enjoyed an egg from Wilcox Family Farms.


In 2005, Wilcox Family Farms began its transition to farming with cage free, organic methods. It’s chickens all have outdoor access to roam freely and eat organically.


Certified Humane, Food Alliance, Salmon Safe, and Oregon Tilth have all recognized the farm for its commitment to its animals and products. It’s part of the Wilcox family’s desire to sustain the land, community and company for the future.


Additionally, Kevin Pierson, General Manager of the Oregon farm and 25 year employee, has utilized SEDCOR as a resource for business expansion and workforce development.


Wilcox Family Farms has demonstrated an excellence in business and champions the significant and promising future of agriculture in our economy.


Outstanding SEDCOR Construction Alliance Member: Todd Londin, ABC Windows and Building Maintenance


As the recession hit the U.S. economy in 2008, twelve local companies met with one objective – to build integrity and excellence in the local construction industry.


The SEDCOR Construction Alliance (SCA) is now working with potential employees to improve their skills, providing certification of SCA education, improving performance and work quality and recruiting the best in their fields.


That group of twelve has grown to more than 120 companies that meet monthly to reach these goals and objectives. They have worked with local high schools and issued Certificates of Competency to dozens of students who have shown their abilities in fundamental construction skills.


Together, the SEDCOR Construction Alliance employs more than eleven hundred people with a payroll of more than fifty five million dollars. These companies reflect gross annual sales of nearly three hundred eighty million dollars.


Todd Londin was part of that initial group and has given his time and resources to make the program a success. He has taken on speaking engagements and worked to inspire young people about careers in construction.


Manufacturer of the Year: Garmin AT


This award recognizes an outstanding manufacturer that is making world-class products, creating job opportunities and strengthening communities. It is given to the individual or company who has been active in SEDCOR, made contributions to the industry and community and is considered a successful operator exemplifying the highest business ethical standards.


The award was received by Steve Van Arsdale, General Manager.


The lives of nearly everyone in the United States is enhanced in some way by products and technology developed by Garmin A-T.  


For more than 30 years, this Salem-based company has developed G-P-S technologies that are used in aircraft, navigators, communications, controls and displays and much more.


Garmin AT started in 1982 and has continued to grow and expand its operations. The company now employs more than 550 people in Salem and boasts more than 180,000 square feet of space devoted to research, engineering, manufacturing and customer service.


Garmin AT and its employees are active contributors to the local community. Its employees are among the leading contributors to the Mid-Willamette United Way and donate their time and money to support local schools and increase STEM education throughout the region.


Garmin AT works closely with local universities to grow the next generation of talent and is an active member of SEDCOR.





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