Klamath Co. Chamber of Commerce
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News Release
Chamber Celebrates 99th Annual Awards Gala (Photo) - 01/13/20

  • Big IDEA Innovation: Fiber Light
  • Environmental Leadership: IFA Nurseries
  • Commitment to Community: Fast Break Convenience Stores
  • Best Place to Work (Small): Amcom Tax & Accounting
  • Best Place to Work (Large): Ed Staub & Sons
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurism (Civil/Social): Solid Ground Equine Therapy
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurism (For Profit): Skyline Brewing Co
  • Lifetime Achievement: Bocchi Family
  • Pathfinder: Paul Stewart
  • Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Brienne Humphrey
  • President’s Award: Joe Spendolini
  • Community Organization Supporting Education: Klamath Basin Home Builders Association


On the 11th of January, the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce presented 12 esteemed awards to 12 businesses, organizations, and individuals from around the Klamath basin. Along with the awards show, nearly 250 guests enjoyed food, drink, live entertainment and a glittering casino night sponsored by US Bank.

Almost 80 nominations were submitted for the different awards based on efforts, achievements, and community presence over the last year.

The Best Place to Work award is broken into two categories, small businesses and large ones. A small business in the basin is typically one with 15 or less employees, while a large one is 16 employees or more. These nominations are often turned in by employees who feel they are in a healthy, positive, and productive work environment, or sometimes even customers who admire the workplace. This year’s small Best Place to Work was awarded to Amcom Tax and Accounting. The nominator spoke on the empowering environment at Amcom, where employees feel heard and supported to grow. The large Best Place to Work award was presented to Ed Staub and Sons. While this business is one that is considered large and has underwent great growth over the last 10 years, the nominator notes, it still maintains “the small company feel. maintaining humility and genuine care for their employees.”

The Big IDEA Innovation Award goes to a business that adopts new ideas and approaches to business and industry. The business that made the biggest splash with their big ideas was Fiber Light Fire Starter. Their nomination was based on their innovative use of reclaimed materials, their commitment to their product, and developing business that will “enhance our lives for years to come.”

The Commitment to Community Award is awarded to an organization gives back to the community through time and donations. This commitment can be short and long-term, and is done without the need for a recognition, but simply for the good of others. This self-giving manner has been acknowledged in Fast Break Convenience Stores. Fast Break was nominated for collecting money for several local education programs and school, different community projects, and an overall desire for giving back to the Klamath Basin.

The 2020 Award for Environmental Leadership has been granted to IFA Nurseries. This award recognizes IFA Nurseries for an above and beyond effort to maintain environmentally safe practices. The nomination credited them for their exemplary work in growing high quality seedlings and practices in reforestation with their use of Klamath County’s abundant resource of geothermal heating.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual or family who has dedicated themselves to the betterment of the Klamath community. The 2020 Lifetime Achievement award went to the Bocchi family, who “has been an active part of our community for nearly 70 years.” Their nominator praised the family saying, “their love for the area spreads beyond their existence as a large employer within the region and is made through the constant support the family provides to serve Klamath.”

The recipient of the 2020 Pathfinder Award is the President and CEO of Sky Lakes Medical Center, Paul Stewart. He received this award for his steadfast devotion to not only Sky Lakes, but the entire Klamath Basin. His nominator noted “some examples of his leadership are his roles in helping to bring the Blue Zones to Klamath Falls and then supporting the renewal for a second three year term, the renovations and improvements in the Kit Carson Park, the creation of the Klamath Commons Park, and of course his role in the building of the Sky Lakes Collaborative Health Center.”

This year, the Chamber presented the Spirit of Entrepreneurism award in two categories: Civic and For Profit. This award recognized risk taking, vision, and dedication to an idea. The Civic award went to Solid Ground Equine Therapy while the For Profit recipient was Skyline Brewing. Shelley Trumbly of Solid Ground Equine Therapy was nominated for her “vision of how to help some of them and was willing to risk her time, energy, money, and personal property to see what she could do. Her entrepreneurial spirit made it happen.”

The Kliewers of Skyline Brewery were awarded the Spirit of Entrepreneurism For Profit award for bringing “a new level of technology to brewing in the Klamath Basin. From Designing and building an electronically controlled Keg Washer that is as advanced, or more advanced than any available in the industry, to designing and building thermostatically controlled  brewing to automate the brewing process.  Allowing for production to happen with less human intervention. These innovations and Skyline's visibility and quality of product in the Klamath Basin is creating a road map for others in the basin to follow.”

Chamber Ambassadors recognized Brienne Humphrey for her contributions to the Ambassador’s group. Humphrey has been a member of the Chamber Ambassadors for about a year, but has already energized the group, bringing fresh ideas and positive organization. The Ambassadors recognized Brienne for her willingness to volunteer, her leadership, and her ability to get things done. The Ambassadors are a volunteer committee within the Chamber that helps with member retention. They help facilitate networking meetings, attend ribbon cuttings, and help promote Chamber member businesses.

The President’s Award was given to Joe Spendolini, who is known for his “relentless seeking to improve the business environment and economy of Klamath County.” He has spent countless hours doing volunteer work for many organizations, including the Klamath Chamber of Commerce.

In partnership with the Klamath Promise, the Chamber presented the Businesses Supporting Education Award to the Klamath Basin Home Builders Association. This organization reached over 30 businesses and 100 volunteers to support a day-long event that brought 288 youth, spanning across 12 different schools, 3 counties, and 2 states together to learn about different career pathways and the way to success.

The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who made a nomination for these awards and congratulates all of the recipients. For more information on this event or the Chamber, call (541) 884-5193 or visit www.klamath.org.





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