Toraj & Irene Khavari Named 2019 Tigard Shining Stars “From the Heart” Volunteer of the Year

Toraj and Irene Khavari have been selected as the 2019 Tigard Shining Stars “From the Heart” Volunteer of the Year, named in honor of Jim Hartman.  Jim Hartman set the standard for this award by his example of giving from the heart to his community, and the “From the Heart” award honors a person who has dedicated their time and energy to a specific cause in the Tigard community.  This person gives willingly, energetically and consistently; they might be well known or might be a “quiet” volunteer, unrecognized until now, but always gives “from the heart”!  This person may have worked on the same project for many years.

Friends of Bull Mountain – A park is born

You know that wooded area behind your house that looks like a scary jungle of prickly blackberry bushes, overgrown weeds and mosquitos? But when you get up close you start to notice the canopy of oak trees offering shade to blooming Trilliums, unruly ferns and wild mushrooms.  As you stand there, you start to hear Song Sparrows chirping warnings of your presence to each other and the flutter of underbrush lending cover to a critter…then a vision starts to form.

That’s sort of what happened for Toraj & Irene Khavari and their neighbors living adjacent to undeveloped property on Bull Mountain.  Armed with relentless energy, enthusiasm and optimism for what “could be”, Toraj & Irene brought a community together and turned a wild, wooded lot into a neighborhood jewel accessible to all Tigard residents.

It wasn’t easy. They worked tirelessly to fundraise and recruit hundreds of volunteers to help with tasks like ivy pulling, path clearing, planting, planning and more. It took monumental commitment, more than 2,000 hours of sweat equity, ingenious ideas to raise money, many visits to the Tigard City Council meetings and a monthly vigil at the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meetings to lobby for funds from Tigard’s Parks and Open Spaces Bond Measure to purchase the property.

In 2018, the Friends of Bull Mountain Park earned the Oregon Parks and Recreation Association’s highest honor with the Oregon Parks & Recreation Volunteer Service Award. The city, Metro and the State of Oregon celebrated Toraj and Irene’s herculean efforts and vision for the park. Representatives from the group accepted the award and I’m sure they knew it was about much more than recognition. It was about lifelong friendships formed while cutting trails, sowing native plants, building benches and a natural playground from re-purposed trees. It was about love for nature, community and for future generations who would enjoy the park and the picnic shelter – including a paved loop that provides inclusive access for trails and users with mobility challenges.

Toraj achieved another monumental task – he learned what those government acronyms mean!

He forged partnerships with neighbors, community groups, Metro, the city, the state, park designers, business owners, naturalists, grant writers and I bet that he even has the Tigard Library Reference Desk on speed dial!

But those efforts paid off.  Now Toraj, Irene and city residents have a stunning place to gather on warm summer evenings for picnics and music, a quiet place to hike and enjoy nature and a place for giggling children to leap on logs and wait for a passing critter to come into view.  What was once an overgrown labyrinth of trees, blackberries and shrubs is now a neighborhood park.  This is truly a great example of what a community can do when it comes together!

To learn more about how Toraj, Irene and the Friends of Bull Mountain turned their vision into a reality watch A Park is Born  (https://vimeo.com/294689595 ). 

Please join us in congratulating Toraj and Irene and thanking them for their service to our Tigard community.  Their award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration. The event will be held on Friday, May 3rd from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, our event location host.  With a theme of “Travel”, this elegant themed dinner event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are $60/person.  Dress your best and join us to celebrate Tigard!

For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at events@tigardchamber.org, or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org.

Ethan Frelly, Lead Buyers Agent, Beltran Properties Named 2019 Tigard Chamber Volunteer of the Year

Ethan Frelly, Lead Buyers Agent for Beltran Properties, has been named the 2019 Tigard Shining Stars Chamber Volunteer of the Year.  This award honors a Chamber member who has volunteered many hours of time, talent and energy to the success and growth of the Tigard Chamber.  Bert Tousey and his example of Chamber volunteerism is commitment at its best.  This person is an example of an active member who has sustained their efforts on behalf of the Chamber over a long period of time.  By their efforts, they have made this organization more effective in serving the Tigard community.

Ethan Frelly has been a Tigard Chamber member for almost 7 years and rapidly engaged with the Tigard Chamber, starting first with our Tigard Farmers Market. With a vision for connecting with younger business people, he advocated for and launched a Tigard Young Professionals program which ran for several years. In conjunction with this, Ethan stepped into an Ambassador role as part of the Ambassador team, serving on this critical committee for almost 7 years, eventually becoming Co-Chair and then Chair of the Ambassador Committee. In his chair positions with Ambassadors, Ethan also became a Tigard Chamber Board member and subsequent to stepping down as Ambassador Chair, has remained on the Board and is currently Chair elect.

Beyond these roles, Ethan has made himself available in other volunteer capacities such as our Building Task Force, Candidate Endorsement Committee and GAPP Committee. In addition to these current taskforce and committee roles plus his board role, Ethan has agreed to represent the Tigard Chamber and its business community over the next two years as a member of the SW Corridor Advisory Committee providing business feedback on a proposed light rail line connecting Southwest Portland to Tigard and through Tigard to Tualatin.

Another example of his commitment to the Tigard Chamber and the broader community, Ethan self-selected, paid for and participated in the inaugural year of our Leadership Tigard program, a community leadership program designed to help inspire and enable community members to gain a broad understanding of Tigard and create more informed invested leaders who can step in and advocate for our community on a variety of levels.

As you can see, Ethan’s volunteerism has been broad and deep within the Tigard Chamber. Additionally, he has been the Emcee for the Downtown Tigard Tree Lighting and has joined the Tigard Downtown Alliance board extending his volunteerism to chamber member organizations/businesses. He is available, willing to help and has great insights and is a tremendous supporter of the Tigard Chamber and its business community.   He says his Jesuit college education at Loyola University Chicago really had the biggest effect on his love to give back. 

Other awards

2015 Tigard Chamber Shooting Star Award

Please join us in congratulating Ethan on this well-deserved award.  This award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration held on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “Travel”, this elegant themed dinner event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are $60/person.  So dress your best and come join us to celebrate Tigard! For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at jessica@tigardchamber.org  or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org

Chloe Skinner Named 2019 Youth Volunteer of the Year

Chloe Skinner has been selected as the 2019 Tigard Youth Volunteer of the Year, named in honor of former Mayor Jim Nicoli, who passed away in 2000. Mayor Nicoli’s dedication to the youth of our community was a fitting way to honor his name and award a youth in our community who volunteers to make a difference. Many young people in Tigard are active in volunteer efforts and it is our pleasure to acknowledge their contributions of dedication, energy and community spirit. They are our future!

Chloe is a senior at Tigard High School and plans to become a special education teacher in the future.

Chloe has been in the Tigard High School Key Club for four years and is currently the President. She has amassed more than 408 volunteer hours during her high school career. She has volunteered for organizations like Meals on Wheels, Tigard Good Neighbor Center, Oregon Food Bank, Northwest Children’s Outreach and so much more!

Chloe is also the Co-President of the Honor Society, Co-President of Sparrow, and President of Super Friends. In working towards her career goal, she is also involved as a peer tutor at Tigard High working with special education students.

Key Club Advisor Jay Leet says “I taught in Tigard for 30 years and have worked with Key Club for the past 15 since retiring. I have never seen a student (or adult) as giving as Chloe.”

Please join us in congratulating Chloe on this well-deserved award. Her award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Gala held on Friday, May 3rd from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “travel”, this elegant event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards and more. Tickets are only $60 per person. So get ready to travel the world and come join us celebrate Tigard! For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at Jessica@tigardchamber.org or go to our website at www.Tigardchamber.org.

Dennis Cozzocrea, DC Named 2019 Tigard Chamber CEO Shooting Star Recipient

Dr. Dennis Cozzocrea, Owner of Gentle Chiro, has been named the 2019 Tigard Chamber CEO Shooting Star. This award is given to recognize a member’s significant achievement in the launch/implementation of a new program/organization or taking a program to the next level within the Tigard Chamber which has greatly benefited the chambers brand, its members and its visibility.

Dennis has been a chamber member for 3 years.  Shortly after joining the Tigard Chamber he came to the chamber CEO with the idea of a health care expo and a specialty networking group.  At that time, staff did not have the bandwidth to develop launch and sustain another new program. Dennis was told, great idea, but we really need a member to step up and make this happen.  He did hold that health care expo in his location, but kept that vision of a specialty networking group alive for two years.

Dennis’ idea was to create a focused networking group of health and wellness professionals, with the vision that it could bolster membership, include a health fair/expo and create a place for referrals and education within the health and wellness industry.   

Dennis worked with chamber staff to make this a reality and in April 2018 the Health Care Affinity Group (HCAG) was born.  This group, led by Dennis meets monthly and provides tremendous value for health and wellness professionals in a more intimate setting than our weekly a.m. networking.  Additionally this group is focused on a specific set of industries which complement versus compete with one another.

Over the last year we have seen numerous businesses join the Tigard Chamber to be part of this members only affinity group and it has added additional value to our members in the health and wellness professions.  The group also had a health care expo in conjunction with our local Tigard Farmers market and there are plans for a bigger event with the Tigard Farmers Market this coming season.

This award recognizes Dennis for developing, launching and sustaining the Tigard Chamber Health Care Affinity Group over the last year.  It has had a positive impact on the Tigard Chamber brand, its members and its exposure within the health and wellness community.  We look forward to the continued contributions of the HCAG and want to thank Dennis for his leadership of this monthly specialty networking group. 

Engaged members, investing in the chamber and stepping up and out to help add programs enables the Tigard Chamber to continue to offer more and broader value to our members than we could with just staff resources.  Members helping each other, creates a culture where others want to join and participate as they all build business and grow together.

Please join us in congratulating Dennis on this well-deserved award.  His award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration, being held on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “Travel the World”, this elegant themed dinner event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are only $60/person.  So dress your best and come join us to celebrate Tigard!

For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at Jessica@tigardchamber.org  or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org

Tina Loveless Named 2019 Tigard Chamber Ambassador of the Year

Tina Loveless, District Representative for ADT Security has been named the 2019 Tigard Chamber Ambassador of the Year.  The Ambassador of the Year Awardis presented to an Ambassador volunteer who significantly affects a positive perception of the Chamber through active participation, an optimistic attitude and solid business practices.  The recipient is active, involved, interested, and enthusiastic about making the Tigard Chamber a great organization!  

The Tigard Chamber Ambassadors are a volunteer group of chamber members who manage weekly a.m. networking, Speed Networking and Holiday Happy Hour.  They extend the capabilities of the chamber to deliver services to members in addition to paid staff.  Without the Ambassadors, the chamber could not have the impact it does for its members. 

When Tina joined the chamber, this enthusiastic member was quickly recognized as a dedicated individual possessing the qualities the chamber embraces. Tina has been an Ambassador for about a year and a half. She is always willing to step up to take on a role at Good Morning Tigard or assist a fellow Ambassador. She has been a table sponsor at Speed Networking. She has also played a huge role with collecting raffle prizes and volunteering at the Holiday Happy Hour. Other Ambassadors on the team describe her as a real go getter, enthusiastic and true leader.

Please join us in congratulating Tina on this well-deserved award.  Her award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Gala, held on Friday, May 3rd from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “travel”, this dressy themed dinner event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are only $60/person.  So get ready to travel the world and come join us celebrate Tigard! For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at Jessica@tigardchamber.org  or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org