Corvallis Chamber of Commerce to host 74th annual Celebrate Corvallis event

The Corvallis Chamber of Commerce building in Corvallis, Ore on Feb. 14. The Corvallis Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 74th annual Celebrate Corvallis event to commemorate local businesses under the theme “Maskerade.”

Katterlea MacGregor, News Contributor

The Corvallis Chamber of Commerce will hold its 74th annual Celebrate Corvallis event on March 18 to honor local businesses and community members at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on the Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore. campus.

At the event, accolades are presented to local businesses and community members by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.  

Each recipient will receive a “fancy trophy,” according to Simon Date, president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, and time to give a speech. There will also be time during the event to reflect on obituaries. In total, the event is planned to be about two hours long.

Voting will open in the next few weeks as the event gets closer and be available via the Chamber’s website. 

Tables at the event were previously sold to raise funds for the Chamber. These funds will be reinvested into Corvallis to support local businesses and other philanthropic endeavors.

“For us, it’s a big deal because it’s going to be the first big event for the community,” Date said. “It’ll kind of be like the first dog shot into outer space; we’ll see how it goes. Everybody’s excited about it.”

Last year’s 2021 event was canceled because of COVID-19. This year’s event embraces the pandemic with a “Maskerade” theme.

“It’ll look like a normal event, just with less people,” Date said.

Accolades include Small, Medium and Large Business of the Year as well as First, Junior First and Senior First Citizen of the Year. There are also categories for Business Person of the Year, Patron of the Arts, Sustainable Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year and People’s Choice.

Nominations opened about three months prior to the event. The local community was invited to nominate businesses for each of the selected categories. Nominations are then sifted through by the Chamber to assure each nominee fits the requirements. Five nominees are selected for each category, besides Nonprofit of the Year and People’s Choice, which have 10.

Nominations are left anonymously. For some business owners, like Adrienne Fritze, being nominated can be a surprise. Fritze is the co-owner of Conundrum House, which consists of a library of mystery books, a game room and a gallery that showcases both Fritze and co-owner Mark van der Pol’s artwork. Fritze is also co-founder of Remarkable Arts, a place where Frtize and van der Pol share their passion for using technology and art to transform the human experience. Conundrum House is nominated for Small Business of the Year, and Fritze is nominated for Patron of the Arts.

“Just being nominated is such an honor,” Fritze said. “I didn’t realize anybody knew what I was doing.”

Each category will be reviewed by a different selection panel. Altogether, there are 47 people involved in deciding the recipients of these awards.

 Receiving these accolades could also help businesses and nonprofits gain more awareness from the public.

“It would open people’s eyes to exactly what we do,” said Michelle Robinson, executive director at Furniture Share, which is nominated for Nonprofit of the Year. “It would just get our name out there… It will also open the doors to new grants… Open the door to be able to serve more families in need.”

Furniture Share is a local nonprofit that redistributes donated furniture, runs a Beds for Kids Program and provides food boxes. They also provided rapid response to intense fire damage during the summer of 2021.

Gaining local awareness from receiving these awards could be the next big break in some businesses’ entrepreneurial success.

“Then we can start to hire people, get some jobs going in this world around here related to playing games, creativity, writing, design,” Fritze said. “We could contribute more than we do now.”

CELEBRATE CORVALLIS NOMINEES

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Queen B Organizing

Terra’s Tastee Treats

10D Tech

Hendrick & Kellison CPA

Running Princess Athletic

Conundrum House

MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

High Quality

Gillott Home Team

Papa’s Pizza

Corvallis Custom

LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Henderer Design + Build

NuScale

Block 15

2 Towns Cider House

Central Willamette Credit Union

Citizen’s Bank

BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

Bre Miller – Corvallis Knights

Michele Dobson – Gillott Home Team

Michelle Goodrick – Lift Marketing

Kourtni Rader – Seoul Sisters Boutique

Dane Happeny – Healing Motion PT

Kate Porsche – City of Corvallis

PATRON OF THE ARTS

Irene Zenev – Benton County Historical Society

Jennifer Moreland – The Corvallis Mural Project

Jen Hernandez – Jen Hernandez Art

Adrienne Fritze – Remarkable Arts

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

G. Christianson Construction

Raw Hair Society

Furniture Share

Soft Star Shoes

Dev Northwest

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Marti Strapans Barlow – Hospitality Vision

Andrew Grenville – Inpria Group

Marty Fulford – Town & Country Realty

JUNIOR FIRST CITIZEN

Rev. Jennifer Butler

Ashlee Chavez

Kierra Woekel

Jamie Ely

Jason Dorsette

FIRST CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Lorena Reynolds

Chris Quaka

Michele Colomb

Melissa Carter-Goodrum

Rebecca Yu

Inge King

SENIOR FIRST CITIZEN

Kate Caldwell

Ilene Kleinsorge

Carol Mason

Hal Pritchett

FUTURE FIRST CITIZEN

Dylan Hyde – Corvallis HS

Sophia Perakis – Crescent Valley HS

Sadie Schumaker – Corvallis HS

Kate Voltz – Crescent Valley HS

NON-PROFIT OF THE YEAR

Chintimini Wildlife Center

The Arc of Benton County

Pathfinder Clubhouse

Jackson Street Youth Services

Corvallis Sewing Brigade

Heartland Humane Society

CARDV

Unity Shelter

Grace Center for Adult Day Services

Corvallis Public Schools Foundation

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Healing Motion Physical Therapy

Common Fields

High Quality

Seoul Sisters

Valley Rock Gym

Central Willamette Credit Union

Squirrels

Corvallis Knights Baseball

Haugen’s Galleri

Running Princess Athletic