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MEDP Spark - Our 2019 Annual Award Winners

Oct 10, 2019

MEDP Spark, Volume 4, Issue 10 ~ October 2019

Photo of the crowd at the Annual Awards Event

On October 3, 2019, the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership (MEDP) invited our local manufacturers, businesses, and partners to have a seat at the table. According to MEDP Executive Director, Scott Cooper, “When a seat at the table is provided, it represents an opportunity to share ideas and to make a difference. Often reserved for those who are considered to have both the influence and potential to make decisions and effect change, a seat at the table has become a symbol of influence, negotiation, and credibility through which one can forward their goals, generate momentum or set a course for success.”

This year, MEDP had a lot to celebrate at our Annual Event and focused on looking at the coming year and our strategic goals. Our Annual Event is also a chance to recognize some of the amazing people, organizations, and businesses we have in the McMinnville community. Held in the new Mac Market space on Alpine, MEDP was able to celebrate our business and industrial land highlights as well as spotlight the people and businesses that will impact our economy for years to come. At this year’s Annual Event, MEDP awarded the Tech Terroir Award, Workforce Partner of the Year, Startup of the Year, Board of Directors Outstanding Partners of the Year, Manufacturing Leader of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, and a Service Recognition Award.

MEDP Annual Awards

Along with a locally made balancing wine bottle holder made from a wine barrel, each award recipient also received a bottle of Rising Together Pinot Noir. All proceeds from the Rising Together Pinot support the McMinnville Area Community Foundation Educational Endowment Fund which supports local students through scholarships, as well as local community colleges, trade programs, and businesses. To learn more about the Rising Together Pinot, please visit Solid Form’s website.

The Tech Terroir Award: Northwest UAV

From left to right: High school students Byron Nice, Laura Denney, MHS Teacher David Larson, NWUAV’s Heather Sorenson and Chris Harris, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: High school students Byron Nice, Laura Denney, MHS Teacher David Larson, NWUAV’s Heather Sorenson and Chris Harris, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

2019 marked the first year that MEDP gave out the Tech Terroir Award. Tech Terroir refers to MEDP’s initiative to grow tech in Oregon’s wine country. Much like wine, we believe McMinnville has the perfect soil for tech to grow and MEDP is excited to continue to grow this sector in the community for the coming years. This year, MEDP worked with the McMinnville Robotics Alliance to nominate and select someone for the Tech Terroir Award. We were joined by McMinnville High School (MHS) teacher David Larson and MHS Students Byron Nice and Laura Denny to announce the award.

Byron and Laura shared other businesses who had been nominated for the award including Cart-Away Concrete, Cascade Steel, First Federal, Freelin-Wade, McMinnville Industrial Promotions (MIP), Meggitt Polymers & Composites, Microtech Precision, NW Rapid Manufacturing, OnlineNW, Potcake Aviation, Predicta, Solid Form, Troon Vineyard, and more, for their support of the robotics program. Ultimately, the team decided to award Northwest UAV who had supported its automation and robotics program for four consecutive years. Along with inviting students into their business to tour the facility, the company generously contributes to alleviating annual fees and equipment costs. According to Laura, “All of this has helped students realize the real-world potential and applications of what they are learning, and to see how engineering can change the world.”

Workforce Partner of the Year: Kathy Tate, CEO of OnlineNW

From left to right: MEDP Communications Manager Lacey Dykgraaf, OnlineNW CEO Kathy Tate, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: MEDP Communications Manager Lacey Dykgraaf, OnlineNW CEO Kathy Tate, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

MEDP was happy to announce Kathy Tate as the 2019 Workforce Partner of the Year. Kathy Tate has served on both the McMinnville WORKS Internship Program Steering Committee as well as the Career Bound Program Steering Committee and has proven her commitment to workforce development time and time again. Having hosted four McMinnville WORKS Interns as well as two Career Bound Program interns, Kathy truly believes in a “grow our own” approach and does so while offering opportunities to young people in our community.

As CEO of OnlineNW, Kathy is also heavily involved in Innovate Oregon, an “inclusive initiative to ignite and amplify a culture of creative problem solving and empower the next generation of innovators to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our state.” OnlineNW has worked actively with Innovate Oregon and the towns of Dayton, Sheridan, and Willamina to bring in world-class internet, helping to invigorate the communities and directly impacting the future generation of workers. OnlineNW has also successfully implemented hiring practices and onboarding that concentrates on employees as people, hiring for fit and willingness to learn, rather than pre-established qualifications.

Startup of the Year: Mac Market

From left to right: Mac Market’s Todd Severson and Diana Riggs, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: Mac Market’s Todd Severson and Diana Riggs, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

2019 was the first year MEDP gave the Startup of the Year award. The Startup of the Year award was created to recognize a new company or organization that demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit, fortitude and has demonstrated the potential for a beneficial impact on our local economy. Our 2019 winner, the Mac Market, completely revitalized and renovated a building that had been underutilized in the community for over a decade. Along with that, they have become an anchor on McMinnville’s festival street, Alpine Avenue.

Dubbed “a place to taste,” owner Diana Riggs wanted to create a space that holds up other entrepreneurs and is a springboard for other businesses. With food carts, pop-up carts, a wine bar, beer tap, and a commissary kitchen in the works, the Mac Market is a hub for innovation around food and drink. Diana and Todd have created a space that reflects the community they are in while giving people a place to pursue their passions.

Board of Director’s Outstanding Partners of the Year: Heather Hadley Blank and Lacey Dykgraaf

From left to right: MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, MEDP Communications Manager Lacey Dykgraaf, MEDP Programs Manager Heather Hadley Blank, MEDP Board Member Chris McLaran, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, MEDP Communications Manager Lacey Dykgraaf, MEDP Programs Manager Heather Hadley Blank, MEDP Board Member Chris McLaran, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

The Board of Director’s Outstanding Partner of the Year award is given to an outstanding partner who has contributed to the growth of our local economy through workforce development, strategic insight, and thoughtful advocacy. This year’s Outstanding Partner of the Year award was given to MEDP Staff Heather Hadley Blank and Lacey Dykgraaf for their continued commitment to MEDP throughout the leadership transition process.

The board chose to give Lacey and Heather the award for keeping the organization running smoothly and continuing forward with programming and advancing strategies that responded to McMinnville’s traded sector businesses throughout 2019.

MEDP Manufacturing Leader of the Year: William Mackie, Founder of Applied Physics Technologies

From left to right: MEDP Board Member Chris McLaran, AP Tech Founder William Mackie, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: MEDP Board Member Chris McLaran, AP Tech Founder William Mackie, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

MEDP’s Manufacturing Leader of the Year award recognizes an individual who exemplifies qualities of great leadership, whether it be as a pioneer in their field, putting innovative business practices or workforce development programs into place, or creating a great workplace culture. William Mackie exemplifies all of these qualities. Starting his company as an outgrowth of research at the Linfield Research Institute in 1995, today, Applied Physics Technologies (AP Tech) produces and develops electron-emitting materials and electron sources, or cathodes. Through AP Tech’s long history they have stayed connected to McMinnville and helped grow the local workforce.

William Mackie graduated from Linfield College with a degree in Physics and Mathematics in 1971. After earning a PhD in Applied Physics in 1987, he returned to Linfield to become a Professor of Physics where he taught for over 30 years. Utilizing his role at Linfield, we have seen him grow the workforce in McMinnville at AP Tech with strong community relations and a dedication to creating a great culture. Under his leadership, AP Tech has been heavily involved in the McMinnville community supporting robotics teams, local non-profits, community events and more.

In 2019, AP Tech was acquired by Hitachi High-Technologies which provided the resources to drive value in the company and has increased the growth potential for the company. Since the acquisition, all of the employees at AP Tech have been retained and the business will continue to operate and thrive in our community. As William nears retirement, he has hired Marcus Straw to act as successor with the same commitment to community and quality.

Manufacturer of the Year: Precision, LLC.

From left to right: MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, Precision CEO David Rath, Precision President Matt Parker, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, Precision CEO David Rath, Precision President Matt Parker, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

MEDP’s Manufacturer of the Year Award recognizes a company in McMinnville that has completed something in the past year that has created a beneficial impact either internally or externally in the community as a whole. As the definition of manufacturing evolves and changes, today’s traded-sector companies look different. With this award, we are recognizing a company that brings new money into the local economy.

Precision, LLC. came into McMinnville in late 2018 quietly and without much fanfare. Rather, they settled quickly into their new headquarters on Three Mile Lane and immediately started creating a large economic impact in the community. With many employees having worked in the former Evergreen Helicopters headquarters, the CEO David Rath and President Matt Parker said that working in McMinnville felt like coming home.

Precision, LLC. utilizes their space next to the airport with helicopter tours, plane maintenance, flight school, flight operations, and an unmanned division that is changing the way we do things from fighting wildfires to catching poachers. Since moving into their new headquarters, Precision has increased its employee base from 50 to over 90 employees with projections to grow even more in the coming year.

Service Recognition Award: Carol Granger

From left to right: MEDP Programs Manager Heather Hadley Blank, MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper
From left to right: MEDP Programs Manager Heather Hadley Blank, MEDP Board Member Carol Granger, MEDP Executive Director Scott Cooper

Carol Granger has served on the MEDP Board of Directors since the founding of the organization. As a member of the McMinnville Industrial Promotions Board of Directors, Carol was an integral part of creating MEDP fourteen years ago. She has proven her commitment to economic development in McMinnville time and time again. After 14 years of service, Carol is stepping down from the board to spend more time traveling with her husband. MEDP’s staff and board thank Carol for her insights, her spirit, her honesty and for all of the work she has done to make McMinnville a better place.

We would like to offer a final congratulations to our winners and thank everyone who helped make the event possible!

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MEDP's monthly newsletter, The MEDP Spark, received a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council in 2017.

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