SEDCOR Chair Daryl Knox at the group's annual awards ceremony in Salem on Friday, Sept. 6.

Business owners and entrepreneurs gathered at the Salem Convention Center on Friday, Sept. 6, for the annual awards celebration of the Strategic Economic Development Corp. The Salem organization leads economic development discussions in the mid-Willamette Valley, recruiting and supporting  businesses.

Board Chair Daryl Knox of the Aldrich group led the event.  Many elected officials attended, including state Reps. Paul Evans and Raquel Moore-Green and the mayors of Salem, Keizer and Monmouth.  

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett presented a special award to the Salem Art Association in honor of its 100th Anniversary.  Association Director Sandra Burnett reminded the attendees that the arts create jobs and improve the quality of life in other region.  Sponsor David Briggs from Saalfeld, Griggs did magic tricks.

The following awards were given:

Community Service: Indy Commons

Located in Independence, Indy Commons is a coworking community and shared office space that provides training and support to businesses and entrepreneurs. Owner Kate Schwarzler accepted the honor presented by Nate Levin.

Business Partner of the Year:  Salem Electric

Wells Fargo’s Lesa Goff presented the award to Salem Electric.  Along with being a great player in the community, the utility cares about the environment. One wayis by placing nesting poles for osprey in places where birds might nest near their poles.  General Manager Tony Schacher accepted.

Agri-Business of the Year:  Crosby Hop Farm

Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron recognized Zak Ray, marketing manager of Crosby Hop Farm, one of the leading hop growers in the United States.

Entrepreneur of the Year:  LivBar

LivBar makes an organic superfood energy bar. Started in 2012 right here in Salem, the company now distributes nationally.  Wade Brooks, its CEO, accepted the award from Rich Duncan, former SEDCOR president.

Manufacturer of the Year:  A.R.E. Manufacturing

Michael Fowler of Cabinet Door Services presented the award to A.R.E. Manufacturing, accepted by owner Alvin Elbert. The family-owned company started in a garage in 1980 and specializes in high-tech automation, dental, marine, recreational and hydraulic industries.

Alvin Elbert of A.R.E. Manufacturing.

The event concluded with SEDCOR President Erik Andersson recognizing outgoing Chair Mark Hoyt and  saying goodbye to longtime staffer Tami Lundy.   She received a standing ovation in recognition of her 22 years of service to the organization.  Andersson said she has been considered the “heart of SEDCOR operations.”

Lundy will be moving to Denver, Colorado with her husband to be closer to her daughter.

In closing comments, Andersson  focused on the hundreds of jobs created by companies such as Amazon that SEDCOR has helped attract to the community.

For more information about SEDCOR visit www.SEDCOR.com

Daryl Knox, SEDCOR chair, Sandra Burnett, director of the Salem Art Association and Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett at the SEDCOR awards luncheon in Salem on Friday, Sept. 6.

Tami Lundy enjoys David Briggs' magic tricks at the SEDCOR awards luncheon in Salem on Friday, Sept. 6.

SEDCOR President Erik Andersson recognizes Mark Hoyt for his service as president of SEDCOR at the group's awards ceremony in Salem on Friday, Sept. 6.

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing a regular column for Salem Reporter. Tell her about your upcoming event at mlvg@prsalem.com or follow her on Facebook.