Citizen of the Year Archive

Citizen of the Year

Honoring outstanding contributions in the Gateway community!

Since 2001, the Citizen of the Year annual award has honored outstanding contributions in the Gateway community. The recipient demonstrates commitment to the community, advancing its commercial, economic, financial, industrial, safety and civic interests. They meet and cooperate with governmental agencies on matters of concern to business and support area Neighborhood Associations and groups. They are outstanding supporters of Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) and the community.
2016 Fred Sanchez
2015 Dr. Karen Fischer Gray
2014 Don Cotting
2013 Friends of Gateway Green
2012 Michael Gallagher
2011 Amanda Fritz
2010 Hazelwood Neighborhood Association
2009 Jeff Merkley
2008 Barbara Rommel
2007 Fred Sanchez
2006 Jacob Mosbrucker
2005 Iris Newhouse
2004 Cliff Jensen
2003 Michael Wieseman
2002 Mary Doherty & Carolyn Schell
2001 Jane Baker

2016 Citizen of the Year

Fred Sanchez

Tom Badrick officially bestows GABA “Person of the Year 2016” honors to Fred Sanchez. Sanchez demonstrates commitment to the community, advancing its commercial, economic, financial, industrial, safety and civic interests.

2015 Citizen of the Year

Dr. Karen Fischer Gray

Congratulations to Superintendent Dr. Karen Fischer Gray! The Gateway Area Business Association has overwhelmingly nominated Dr. Karen Fischer Gray as Gateway’s 2015 Citizen of the Year. The award will be presented at the First Responder’s Tribute / Business Fair event on Sept 10th, 2015. The program begins at 5:30pm and the Citizen of the Year award ceremony will appear on the program at about 7pm!
Dr. Karen Fischer Gray has been serving the Portland community for some time, and has 32 years in education. Karen has been a steadfast advocate and voice for East Portland students and their families. Under Karen’s leadership, Parkrose School District helped students increase their test scores, built a LEED-certified beautiful new middle school, and adapted in order to better welcome Parkrose’s diverse families. Parkrose not only offers personal meetings, tailored to the specific cultural needs of students and their families, but the school district has also served as a center for vibrant cultural events in the community. Dr Gray was also the winner of a 2014 Spirit of Portland Award. The Gateway Area Business Association has overwhelmingly nominated Dr. Karen Fischer Gray as Gateway’s 2015 Citizen of the Year. The award will be presented at the First Responder’s Tribute / Business Fair event on Sept 10th, 2015. The program begins at 5:30pm and the Citizen of the Year award ceremony will appear on the program at about 7pm!
Dr. Karen Fischer Gray has been serving the Portland community for some time, and has 32 years in education. Karen has been a steadfast advocate and voice for East Portland students and their families. Under Karen’s leadership, Parkrose School District helped students increase their test scores, built a LEED-certified beautiful new middle school, and adapted in order to better welcome Parkrose’s diverse families. Parkrose not only offers personal meetings, tailored to the specific cultural needs of students and their families, but the school district has also served as a center for vibrant cultural events in the community. Dr Gray was also the winner of a 2014 Spirit of Portland Award.

2014 Citizen of the Year

Don Grotting

At Gateway Area Business Association’s September meeting, Superintendent Don Grotting was honored as 2014 Gateway Citizen of the Year. He has served David Douglas School District since 2010. Grotting believes that all students, regardless of ethnicity or poverty, can and will succeed.
David Douglas is a diverse school district. More than 70 languages are spoken by students as their first language; a majority of students are either an ethnic minority or first spoke a language other than English; and more than 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. For Grotting, these all represent opportunities, not obstacles.
When Assistant Superintendent Dan Richardson and Don’s wife, Lisa were asked for gift suggestions, they said he’d appreciate contributions to the “DD Shoes for Students” drive. Rather than an engraved clock, a restaurant gift card or something personal, they knew Don would want something useful for his kids. Such an attitude typifies the Superintendent’s caring character. The District office staff collects shoes for kids who might need an upgrade and GABA came onboard, collecting more than $2500 in donations of cash and gift cards.

2013 Citizen of the Year

Friends of Gateway Green

Linda­ Robinson,­ Tom­ Archer, Ted­ Gilbert,­ Jim­ Labbe,­ Jeff Shindler ­and­ Will ­Heiberg

Friends ­of ­Gateway­ Green, ­the winner­ of­ the­ 13th annual Gateway­ Citizen­ of­ the­ Year Award.­ Friends of Gateway Green has demonstrated a commitment to the community, advancing its commercial, economic, financial, industrial and civic interests.
The ­volunteer­ Board ­members at­ Friends­ of­ Gateway­ Green (Linda­ Robinson,­ Tom­ Archer, Ted­ Gilbert,­ Jim­ Labbe,­ Jeff Shindler ­and­ Will­ Heiberg) ­were chosen ­because ­they ­epitomize a­ great­ partnership­ between business ­interests­ and ­neighborhood­ activists.
Friends­ of­ Gateway­ Green mission statement from their website: to promote the transformation of an under-used, neglected, publicly-owned property into a regional asset that provides open space and recreational opportunities, and improves access to both, while demonstrating Portland’s and Oregon’s commitment to sustainability, and to participating in the operation and management of the site, once developed.

To learn more about Friends of Gateway Green go to their website: http://www.gatewaygreenpdx.org/

2012 Citizen of the Year

Michael Gallagher

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Officer Michael Gallagher, ­the winner­ of­ the­ 12th annual Gateway­ Citizen­ of­ the­ Year Award.­ Friends of Gateway Green has demonstrated a commitment to the community, advancing its commercial, economic, financial, industrial and civic interests.
This year our 12th annual Citizen of the Year award goes to Portland Police Officer Michael Gallagher. Officer Gallagher along with his wife and daughter will ride as Grand Marshals in the 2013 GABA Fun-O-Rama Parade. Later, upon accepting this award Officer Gallagher made a statement to East Portland News, “I’m very honored by this award. I’ve worked with the association as long as I’ve been in the bureau.”
This year in 2013 after announcing 2012 Citizen of the Year, GABA officially rolled out its first membership directory, which was on printed pamphlet which was handed out at meetings.

2011 Citizen of the Year

Amanda Fritz

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, ­the winner­ of­ the­ 11th annual Gateway­ Citizen­ of­ the­ Year Award.­ Commissioner Fritz has demonstrated a commitment to the community, advancing its commercial, economic, financial, industrial and civic interests.
Amanda Fritz has been an advocate for outer East Portland ever since her first day in office. She helps the businesses and the schools in the district and responds to individuals who reach out to her office.
After the ceremony, Commissioner Fritz told East Portland News, “The Gateway Area Business Association is the oldest in Oregon. It is an honor and a thrill to be given this award, recognizing that indeed I do care about East Portland. I’m here in East Portland, and I want East Portland to know that they can count on me.”
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