House honors first responders

Dec. 13 — The Medford and Jackson County House bestowed a special tribute on law enforcement, firefighters and healthcare workers at its annual Excellence in Business Awards ceremony held this this month in Medford.

In September 2020, law enforcement and firefighters fought an exhausting and heroic battle to evacuate residents and fight the Almeda fire that swept through Ashland, Talent and Phoenix until it s ‘stops on the southern outskirts of Medford. At the same time, the South Obenchain wildfire burned down in rural Jackson County, but firefighters kept it away from towns such as Shady Cove.

Healthcare workers have worked grueling and emotionally draining shifts as they treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a special recognition award to recognize the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of first responders after what we have been through not only with COVID-19, but the fires,” said the president and CEO of the House, Eli Matthews after the ceremony. “We really want to thank them. “

Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler and Jackson County Fire District No.5 Chief Charles Hanley attended the ceremony and explained how the Almeda fire taxed their colleagues mentally, physically and emotionally. They said they appreciated the community’s gratitude.

Appearing on video, Asante’s vice president of nursing, Amanda Cotler, accepted the award on behalf of healthcare workers.

“It’s our community. It’s our family,” Matthews said. “We wanted to honor the sectors that are literally on the front line.

For the Outstanding Corporate Citizen award, Harry & David was honored in the for-profit category, and the Northwest Seasonal Workers Association was recognized in the non-profit category.

Matthews said Harry & David have been an incredible partner to the chamber, the business community, and non-profit organizations. As an example of the company’s generosity, he said Harry and David donated treats for thousands of gift bags distributed to healthcare workers.

The Northwest Seasonal Workers Association advocates for seasonal workers in industries that include agriculture.

“They do an amazing job for the people who put food on our tables, and it was time to honor the work they do serving the people who work on our farms and in our fields to bring us amazing products. “Matthews said.

The First Citizen’s Award, essentially the chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Randy Jones, Managing Director of Mahar Homes.

Jones has worked with dozens of community groups and has been involved in projects such as renovating Dunn House in Rogue Valley for survivors of domestic violence, and building and selling portable homes to raise funds for survivors. of the hurricane in Honduras.

He has performed dozens of rescues as a helicopter pilot participating in search and rescue missions.

Matthews said Jones really made the community a better place to live.

The Business Excellence Awards for Service, Leadership and Community Engagement were presented to Lowe’s, Rogue Regency and Blue Phoenix Branding.

Ellie George of Home Quest Realty took home the New Member of the Year award, Skyler Tacchini of Farmers Insurance took home the Rising Star award and Grange Co-op was named Retailer of the Year.

InfoStructure won the Member of the Year award.

Contact Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

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