The Labor Appreciation and Recognition Night banquet sponsored by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) raised a record $21,000 for Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA). The annual event recognizes people and businesses for their commitment to helping better the lives of workers and people in their communities. It also doubles as a fundraiser for LCSA. More than 300 people gathered May 20 at the IBEW Local 48 Hall in Northeast Portland. The theme this year was Hawaiian.
Top recognition is the Del Ricks Community Service Award in honor of the late Del Ricks, who was LCSA’s executive director for 17 years. The 2017 recipient is Rob Williamson, an associate member of Office and Professional Employees Local 11. Williamson spent nearly 20 years at the IBEW and United Workers Federal Credit Union. He is constantly volunteering and fundraising at union and community events, including the Unions for Kids motorcycle poker run and LCSA’s Presents from Partners holiday program.
The “Heritage Award” was presented to Ben Fain, a retired member of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757, and Linda Jauron-Mills, also a member of ATU Local 757. A posthumous award went to Leota Clark of the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) Local 6732-American Federation of Teachers. Fain is is a volunteer driver for the Bus Project and “a local legend in Oregon’s activist and labor communities.” Jauron-Mills is a TriMet bus operator and volunteer coordinator for Local 757. She is active with Jobs with Justice and Labor’s Community Service Agency. Clark was a retired library assistant at Estacada High School and a former OSEA president and field rep. She passed away earlier this year.
Spin Catering received the Business Award. Owner Steve Brown has been a labor ally for many years, serving many labor council events, meetings, and special occasions, such as LCSA’s annual Presents from Partners holiday event. “They have always gone above and beyond what was expected, and have become a big supporter of the labor family,” the award stated.
Recognition Awards went to: Rick Ohmie of Laborers Local 737; Michael Pucik, Joshua Taverne, and Rolando Smith-Gloria, members of ATU Local 757; Nate Stokes, a business representative of Operating Engineers Local 701; Scott Oldham, a business representative of Painters Local 10; Lisa Gourley, president of the Linn, Benton, Lincoln Labor Chapter and member of OSEA Local 6732 — and a Sweet Home City Councilor; Amanda Hill and Anna Benefiel, both of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5017 (Hill is vice president for legislation and COPE at Local 5017, and Benefiel works at Kaiser Permanente.); Connie Ashbrook, retiring executive director of Oregon Tradeswomen Inc; and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith. Three organizations were recognized — Laborers Local 737; Machinists Lodge 63 Community Service Group; and the Sheet Metal Institute of Portland.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown stopped by during the social hour. Also attending the festivities were Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard and Commissioners Martha Schrader, Paul Savas, Ken Humberston and Sonya Fischer; Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten, and State Rep. Sherri Malstrom.