DSA celebrates community and traditions of McMinnville
When it comes to recognizing local contributions to our community with Distinguished Service Awards, an honored tradition now in its 58th year, some of the same families and firms keep coming to the fore.
This year’s Man of the Year is Jeb Bladine, president and publisher at the News-Register. It’s hard not to notice that DSA honors went to his father, Phil (1976), and mother, Meg (1977), and that he was Junior Citizen in 1981. What’s more, former News-Register executive Cassie Sollars was Woman of the Year in 2004.
One of this year’s Woman of the Year co-winners is Pam Watts, a steady volunteer whose diverse local career started with the law firm of Haugeberg, Rueter, Gowell, Fredericks & Higgins.
Last year’s Man of the Year, Walt Gowell, also the 1989 Junior Citizen, is a partner in that law firm. So are Dave Haugeberg, 1969 Junior Citizen and 1992 Man of the Year, and Gary Rueter, 1976 Junior Citizen. What’s more, Haugeberg’s wife, Cathy, was named Junior Citizen in 1977 and Woman of the Year in 2003, and their daughter, Dianne, 2007 Junior Citizen.
The connections just seem to multiply:
Kathy Cabe, co-winner of this year’s Woman of the Year honor, is a longtime CPA who works for last year’s Woman of the Year, Kellie Menke. They share facilities with another CPA firm headed by former Woman of the Year Kathy Bernards, and which employs new CPA Brooke Ehret, this year’s Junior Citizen.
Four members of the Macy family have been honored, including parents Glen and Eleanor and brothers Steve and Scott. In all, we count 23 sets of spouses, siblings or parent/child who have received DSA recognition — names such as Koch, Huwaldt and Browne; Craig, Gormley and Hurl; Wortman, Osborne and Compton; Davison, Dell, Walker and Wolff.
Among local institutions, Linfield College has contributed a lengthy list of winners, as has the city of McMinnville.
We also applaud the ad hoc committee that rescued this year’s DSA banquet — and turned it into a blazing success — after the Jaycees decided they could not pull it off this year. The lineup featured Sollars, Haugeberg and Gowell, along with fellow heavy-hitters Stevie Whited, Jodi Christensen, Linda Schwichtenberg, Sherl Hill and Ed Gormley.
If you want something done and done right in McMinnville, your go-to person inevitably will be someone who’s already too busy tackling similar chores, but somehow will manage to fit in one more. That’s how things have always gotten done here and a trait that characterizes so many on the long list of McMinnville DSA winners.