Health care workers 2022 Local Hero Award
In recognition of demonstrating courage to help out in a crisis
This is a group award for the health care workers who fought to keep us healthy and alive during the second year of the pandemic.
Because they work inside health clinics and Central Washington Hospital, what they do is largely unseen and perhaps not fully appreciated. And because they showed up for work day after day after day, many more of us are alive today. We are all in their debt.
Garn Christensen 2022 Public Life and Leadership Award
Public official who demonstrated exceptional leadership serving the community
Superintendent Garn Christensen is retiring soon from the Eastmont School District after a long and distinguished career. And the pandemic, he said, made 2021 “the most challenging year that I have seen in our profession.”
Christensen believes schools can help the community at large achieve balance and focus.
"Among schools now, we're really trying to refocus to 'What are we for?'," he said. "As communities, as a region, as a state, and as a country, we need to talk about more of what we are for, and not what we are against."
Norma Gallegos 2022 Community Connection Award
In recognition of bringing people together
Norma Gallegos’ work at Hand in Hand Immigration Services has helped thousands of immigrants on the path to citizenship. Her work and that of others at Hand in Hand gives people the information they need to become citizens and more fully a part of the community.
“When we talk about volunteerism, start at home, start with your neighbors, start with your family, then you go down the street, you get to know your neighbors, then you get to know your city, your county, your state,” Gallegos said. “So volunteerism means: choose your battles — where can you make a difference?”
Randy Lewis 2022 Progress Award
In recognition of moving our community forward
Randy Lewis, an elder of the Colville Confederated Tribes, works hard to remind us all of the deep Native American history of the Wenatchee Valley. Since returning to the Wenatchee Valley in 2018, Lewis has worked closely with the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, co-authored two books on local Indigenous history and is working on a project to preserve oral traditions.
He said it is part of continuing his mother's “bucket list."
“She (Mary Marchand) wanted so much to put a Wenatchi (P’squosa) face on Wenatchee, to bring our people back,” Lewis said. “She was my inspiration. She inspired a lot of us a lot.”
Jenny Rojanasthien 2022 Business Impact Award
In recognition of demonstrating leadership that makes the community better
Jenny Rojanasthien leads the NCW Tech Alliance in its work to keep rural Washington connected with the technology resources and people it needs to remain competitive. “We’re passionate,” she said, “about ensuring rural Washington doesn’t get left behind as technology accelerates and the way that we serve the community is through educational events, programs and resources.”
And, Rojanasthien said, "There’s a place for everyone at NCW Tech. We are the technology alliance for the region but we bring together techies, community members, educators, students, and we have a robust slate of programs and we’d love for the community to get involved."