VANCOUVER — A capacity crowd of union members, politicians, family and friends attended the annual Labor Roundtable of Southwest Washington awards banquet Sept. 26 at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Convention Center.
Awards are given to individuals or organizations whose leadership has made a significant impact on organized labor and the community at large. Awards are presented in a variety of categories.
This year, the Roundtable announced a new award — the Phil Parker Public Service Award for Excellence. Parker was the longtime chair of the Labor Roundtable who died of a heart attack last April.
The inaugural award went to Mike Ciraulo, division chief for Clark County Fire & Rescue, and a former city councilor in Battle Ground.
Roy Jennings, a bus operator at C-TRAN and member of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, was named “Union Member of the Year.” Jennings serves as secretary-treasurer for both the Labor Roundtable and the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council.
Ed Barnes, a retired business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48, was awarded “Labor Leader of the Year.” Barnes, 81, succeeded Parker as chair of the Labor Roundtable. He also serves as a Clark County commissioner. He was appointed to the post in June to fill the unexpired term of Steve Stuart. A new commissioner will be elected in November.
IBEW Local 48 was named “Labor Union of the Year.” Accepting the award on behalf of the union were business reps Bob Carroll and Mike Bridges.
Carroll later received a special “In Solidarity Award” for his work in the community and politics.
The “Lifetime Achievement Award” went to Robert “Bob” Schaeffer, a former state representative from the 49th District and a tireless community activist. Schaeffer, 84, was not able to attend the banquet. Accepting the award on his behalf was his friend Tom Hunt.
Port of Vancouver Commissioner Nancy Baker took home the “Labor Service” award, and Kelly Love Parker, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, received the “Community Service Award.” Love is a former member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
Special presentations were made to former Vancouver mayor Royce Pollard, and to former state senator Al Bauer, for their military service. Bauer, 86, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Pollard, 75, had a career as a U.S. Army officer beginning in 1961. He was deployed during the Vietnam War, and was commander of the Vancouver Barracks, from which he retired in 1988.
Both men received a plaque and a U.S. flag that at one time had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
The keynote speaker was Robert Knight, president of Clark College. Congratulatory messages were received from Washington U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Third District Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler.