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Salem Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards  

Written by Wyatt Jones on Jun. 17th, 2022
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SALEM OR: The Salem Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year awards took place earlier this week. Walking into the convention center downtown you would have never guessed this was the first time they had done this since 2017. People flooded under the Willamette Valley Bank banner coming together over a meal and remembrance of the prosperous community we find ourselves in.

 

It started with an introduction by the chamber CEO, Tom Hoffert. Hoffert summed up most of the mindset of attendees, mentioning “the 40 nominations of local businesses were all catalysts to economic prosperity and small business relationships.” before announcing the chamber’s main sponsor was in the top 100 companies to work for in the State of Oregon and giving some words by Willamette Valley Banks CEO.

The awards started with the Non-Profit Business of the Year. This was taken home by the Salem Angels. The Angels started in the Salem area in 2020 and have since recruited over 120 volunteers. The Angel’s mission is to walk alongside children, youth, and families in the foster care community by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship building, and mentorship.

 

They moved on to the second award the New Business of the Year for 2022, which was taken by Active Recovery TMS. Active Recovery TMS is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive, nonmedication, alternative treatment for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. After repeated treatments, TMS can decrease the symptoms of depression or OCD. The good news is that many insurance providers cover TMS treatment for patients with major depressive disorder. Active Recovery TMS works with most commercial insurance plans as well as Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, and TriWest.

 

The third award was given to a business that kept 100% of its employees during the pandemic. Oregon Fruit Products, whose roots are firmly planted in the Willamette Valley for over 85 years. Unparalleled in quality, flavor, color, and natural sweetness from working with growers right up the road was the Agricultural Producer of the Year

Small Business of the Year was awarded to West Salem Ace Hardware. While they could have gone on about the contributions this business and its owners have given to the community, they didn’t miss the opportunity to make sure we know the community functions together, and they are opening a second location thanks to our support.

 

The Employer of the Year award has to be employee nominated. Among all the nominations, Pfeifer Roofing was chosen as the winner. We’re sure Pfeifer was as happy as their employees must be to take home the award. Pfeifer Roofing Inc. is a family-owned business operating in the greater Willamette Valley since 1978. Over the years the business has grown into one of the largest and most diverse roofing companies in the valley. Now running through two generations. 

 

A new award was drawn upon as a Salem Business Legacy was handed out to The Enchanted Forest Amusement Park. The room was full of hands in the air when asked who’d been to the park before. Hearts were equally as full while stories of being hand-built starting in 64’, it was still being operated by the family three generations later and as many knows is still a community icon. We were all just as fond to hear it is open again full time as we are fond of the memories most of us have there. 

 

The last award given by the Chamber of Commerce to a business in the community was the Business of the Year. This business was highlighted before the award was even brought to the podium for building the Oregon School for the Deaf on a well-known television show, for opening businesses and homes back up after the Santiam fires, and for dozens of other things I’m sure the community is thinking about right now. The 2022 Salem Business of the Year was Rich Duncan Construction. When Rich’s team accepted the award they thanked the Clients they had over 2021-22 for the trust and faith they had in the company to get them through the pandemic and allow them to rebuild what was lost to the fires. The crowd took a picture to send to Rich who was gone for his birthday. Before the crowd dispersed and Tom and the Chamber thanked retiring and previous board members, attributed to their wine cellars and thanked everyone for coming.  It was a great place to see how through the toughest of times the community can hold together when it consists of great people and businesses. It was the perfect capstone to the awards at a rekindling of a long-held tradition of recognition in the community and something to look forward to as we think about next years already.

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Willamette Valley Bank CEO Ryan Dempster and the Rich Duncan team with their award
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