Community members win DSA honors
Jeb Bladine, Man of the Year
Bladine “exemplifies important responsibilities — service to his employees and business, service to the community and commitment to family,” said presented Walt Gowell, last year’s winner.
Gowell, partner in a local law firm, termed Bladine “inspirational” and “dogged” in his service to McMinnville. “I know he cares very, very deeply for his community,” the presenter said.
Bladine grew up in McMinnville. He graduated from Mac High in 1965, then attended Linfield College for a time before switching to the University of Oregon. He went on to serve in the National Guard for six years.
Though raised in the family business, the News-Register, he got his post-graduate start with the Milwaukie Review and Sellwood Bee before returning to the N-R in 1974. He went on to follow his father, Phil, as publisher and president.
Gowell said Bladine has held “unending service positions.”
He was named to the Yamhill County Service Committee and Chemeketa Community College’s McMinnville Campus Committee. He served as president of Rainbow Family Services, sponsor of programs for troubled youth, from 1981 to 2004.
A member of the Jaycees in the early part of his career, he shared the 1981 Junior Citizen award with Don Dix.
He helped launch the McMinnville Downtown Association and served as its secretary and president. He served for 10 years on the board of the statewide downtown development organization. He has served on a long list of city boards and committees, his most recent appointment being to the Northeast Gateway Study Committee.
Bladine said he has had a lot of fun with the MDA and other projects. He said he’s honored to join the list of DSA winners, representing the families and institutions at the heart of McMinnville.
He also thanked his family for being supportive and tolerant of the hours he’s invested in service activities.
Kathy Cabe and Pam Watts, Woman of the Year
Kathy Cabe and Pam Watts were introduced by Kellie Menke, last year’s Woman of the Year.
Menke knows Cabe well, as they’ve worked together for 18 years. “She’s my right-hand person,” said Menke, a CPA.
Cabe, a Linfield College graduate, has been in public accounting for 21 years. She specializes in small business and tax accounting.
Not long after moving to McMinnville in 1990, she volunteered for two terms on the school district budget committee. She then was appointed to the school board, and is now finishing her 15th and final year.
She was active as a parent in the schools and helps with the Mayor’s Ball each year. She has served on the library foundation board and helped establish the McMinnville Education Foundation. She has been a member of the Oregon League of Women Voters since 1985.
Cabe said she enjoys McMinnville and taking an active part in the community. She has helped with educational programs because she values public eduction highly and believes every child deserves a good education.
Watts, a Yamhill County native, grew up in Newberg. Her marriage brought her to McMinnville.
As a legal secretary, she was active in local state and national professional organizations. And she was named state legal secretary of the year in 1986.
More recently, she has worked in sales and marketing for local firms. She is now serving as community relations coordinator at First Federal.
She has been lauded for her initiative, accuracy and dedication, Menke said, and the same characteristics apply to her success in community work.
Watts started as a volunteer with the Mayor’s Ball, then became its director for several years. She is co-chair with her husband, Cliff, of the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center’s Farm Fest and Harvest Fest events.
She has been active in the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, Relay for Life, Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation and McMinnville Rotary Club, and is a charter member of Susan Sokol Blosser’s Yamhill Enrichment Society.
In accepting the award, Watts said she is happy to be involved in her community. She said she likes living here, where she knows “when we have a project or a worthy cause, we just have to put the word out” and there’s an outpouring of support.
She also thanked local employers for allowing their workers the flexibility to help with community projects.
Brooke Ehret, Junior Citizen
Ehret is a McMinnville native who chose to return after college and become an active part of the community, said presenter Kristy Mackay, the 2010 winner.
Ehret graduated from McMinnvile High School.
When she returned to town, she worked for Evergreen International Aviation and Oregon Lithoprint Inc. before joining Menke and Cabe at Kathy Bernards’ CPA firm. She recently competed her own CPA certification.
Outside of work, Ehret has volunteered her skills with Ghana Hope, Kids on the Block, Women Who Like to Have Fun for Charity and Carlton Together Cares. She also is involved with Young Professionals.
Ehret said she is honored and humbled to have been chosen for the award, “especially in a community filled with so many active and involved citizens.”
Angela Newport, Outstanding Educator
Newport was chosen as Outstanding Educator because she is an inspiration to both students and her colleagues, said Cory Eklund, last year’s winner and a colleague at McMinnville High.
She volunteers for every committee and team possible, he said. She gives her best effort to everything she does.
“She has inspired many to do their best,” Eklund said. “She wants students to be good citizens and be set up for life feeling that their voice truly matters.”
Newport said she was humbled by the award, as she is privileged to work in a district filled with outstanding educators.
As a teacher, she said, she learns every day in order to keep up with quickly changing technology as well as with her students. She has been fortunate, she said, that the McMinnville School District invests in the continued education of its teachers.
She said she’s also been fortunate to live in McMinnville, where she frequently runs into former students who are doing amazing things. She thanked her husband and son for supporting her.
Andre and Sheila Jaillet, Outstanding Farmer
The Jaillets run Growing Wild Farms, a community-supported agriculture enterprise located just outside McMinnville. They grow vegetables and raise meat and eggs, which they sell through their CSA and local farmers’ markets.
Although not certified organic, the Jaillets use many organic principles, said presenter Brian Wilson, last year’s winner. They believe natural methods are better for their products and better for sustainability, he said.
Andre Jaillet accepted the award, but credited his wife, who is in the late stages of a pregnancy, with being “more of a farmer” than he is. He said they both love the McMinnville area and appreciate what it provides for local farmers.