Rich Duncan (second from left) and some of his team at Rich Duncan Construction, named as 2022 Business of the Year (Salem Area Chamber of Commerce)

When much of the mountain community of Detroit burned in the 2020 wildfires, recovery seemed uncertain.

But a Salem contractor rounded up those he knew in the building industry to make sure the Santiam Canyon community once again had a central building.

The work that led to recent ribbon cutting of the Detroit Community was one factor that led to this week’s announcement that Rich Duncan Construction had been selected as Business of the Year by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber held its awards ceremony on Monday to cite the construction company and other winners:

•Small Business of the Year – West Salem Ace Hardware

•New Business of the Year – Active Recovery TMS

•Salem Business Legacy Award – Enchanted Forest

•Employer of the Year – Pfiefer Roofing

•Agricultural Producer of the Year – Oregon Fruit Products

•Nonprofit/Community Initiative of the Year – Salem Angels

Tom Hoffert, chamber chief executive officer, said in presenting the Business of the Year Award that “Rich Duncan Construction’s community-minded approach in business has inspired us.”

He said the company formed in 2002 and handles all scale of buildings.

“Rich Duncan Construction is a crucial leader in Salem when it comes to a business who puts the community and its people as a top priority,” said the nominating form. “Helping Salem and the surrounding communities grow is the top priority of all decisions in the company.”

Hoffert recounted the company’s role in helping Detroit recover with the community center.

“Rich Duncan Construction donated all preconstruction costs and spearheaded the building industry’s response up and down the canyon,” he said.

The community involvement of the owners of West Salem Ace Hardware was one reason it was selected as Small Business of the Year, according to Hoffert.

The business is owned by Jeremy and Heidi Mackay, who recently opened East Salem Ace Hardware.

“The Mackays and their helpful Ace team are heavily involved in numerous community organizations and local fundraisers every year,” Hoffert said.

He said the owners “are perhaps best known for their longtime involvement in the Salem Dream Center, a nonprofit that supports children and families in need."

Craig Oviatt, Dream Center director, wrote that “the Mackays’ investment in our nonprofit has been crucial to our ability to empower and equip youth and families in our community. With their hands-on support, lives have been changed and the chains of generational poverty have been broken.”

Contact Editor Les Zaitz by email: [email protected]

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