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Ashland Chamber of Commerce honors Ashland Forestry Resiliency Project

 Posted: 2:00 AM October 11, 2013

The highest recognition given by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce was awarded Thursday to the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project for its work in the Ashland watershed.

The award was to be given during the 107th annual Dinner Celebration for 2013 at the Historic Ashland Armory. More than 250 guests were expected.

The theme was "Celebrate the Source," honoring the Ashland watershed and its importance to the Ashland Chamber and community.

Other top awards included:

• 2012 Top Chef, Ashland Culinary Festival: Billy Buscher, Alchemy Restaurant.

• Emerging Business of the Year: Stand Up Ashland

• Green Business of the Year: Southern Oregon University student body

• Greeter of the Year: Joyce Epstein

• Service Business of the Year: Blue Giraffe Day Spa Salon

• Retail Business of the Year: The Paddington Jewel Box

• Manufacturing Business of the Year: Blackstone Audio

• Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Judith Pavlik

• Honorary Life Member: Meiwen Richards

• Citizen of the Year: Doug Gentry, Ashland Community Hospital board chairman

In 1891, C.B. Watson, then president of the Board of Trade, predecessor of the current Ashland Chamber, met with the mayor and city council and agreed to petition President Cleveland for a forest reserve to be set aside on Ashland Creek to protect the city's water supply. The proclamation for the Ashland Forest Reserve came in September 1893, according to a release by the chamber.

For the past 20 years, the chamber has offered support legislatively at the federal level to help secure funding for fire prevention efforts in the watershed.

The president's gavel was exchanged from Lisa Beam, co-owner of Pasta Piatti and Sesame Asian Kitchen, to incoming President Cindy Bernard, owner of Rogue Valley Roasting Co.

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