PORT TOWNSEND — The food bank manager and the owners of two businesses were selected as 2009 Port Townsend Citizen and Business Leaders of the year at a brunch Sunday at the Northwest Maritime Center.
Selected from among five candidates for the 2009 Citizen of the Year award was Helen Kullman, who just completed her 10th year as manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank.
Selected for the 2009 Tim Caldwell Business Leader of the Year award from a field of seven candidates was the husband and wife business team of Bill and Beth Juran, owners of Marketech International and J&S Fabrication.
‘Last to leave’
In describing Kullman during the presentation of the nominees, Laurie Medlicott, Port Townsend city council member, said “Helen is always the first to arrive and the last to leave.”
During her tenure, Kullman has guided the food bank through major growth and oversaw its relocation last year to larger quarters at the former Mountain View Elementary School, now Mountain View Commons.
Kullman is also a Lions Club member, volunteers at the homeless shelter and teaches a free exercise class.
After receiving the award, she thanked the many volunteers at the food bank, particularly Shirley Moss, whom she said did “the heavy lifting.”
“I really appreciate the help from the community,” she said. “This is such an honor, and it’s good for the food bank. The more it’s in the paper, the more money and volunteers we get.”
Kullman has lived in Port Townsend since 1993 and said she loves the community.
“If you want something done, you can find a volunteer to do it — it’s a wonderful community.”
The 2008 Business Leader of the Year, Sandy Hershelman, announced this year’s recipients, noting that the Jurans have increased sales since they purchased Marketech in 2007 and have expanded their sales of precious metals and ceramics to a worldwide market.
They have also doubled their work force to 15 employees since June 2007 and are active as school system boosters for education and athletics.
In accepting the award, Beth Juran spoke for the couple, saying that with their business it was “very exciting to be involved in the global economy.”
She thanked a large support group and also put in a plug for school support.
“I really, really hope and pray that the community will come together this year and support our schools,” she said, noting that while the Port Townsend School District may not have “big fancy schools,” it should provide a good education and strong sports programs.
After the awards brunch she said, “It’s really great that we have the opportunity to have two companies that are a perfect marriage. It’s nice to receive this recognition because we’re so hard on ourselves.”
Other nominees for Citizen of the Year were:
• Max and the late Sherry Grover, nominated for their efforts in promoting arts and artists in Jefferson County.
Before her death in December, Sherry Grover ran Art Sparks, while Max Grover established an art gallery in downtown Port Townsend. Both were cited as strong supporters and promoters of the Port Townsend Film Festival.
Max Grover did not attend the awards brunch.
• Catska and Cory Ench, both artists and muralists, were tapped for their ongoing support of The Boiler Room youth center, serving on the board and guiding young artists.
Cory Ench is also known in Port Angeles as the painter of the Kalakala ferry mural on the downtown Bank of America building and the historic Hollywood Beach mural on the Art D. Feiro Marine Center at City Pier.
• Charlie and Jayne Neu have been active in the Rhododendron Festival. He served as secretary for the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary Club, and she is the Rotary Youth Exchange officer.
• Steve Oliver is president and shareholder in the Platt Irwin law firm; has been the board president for the Northwest Maritime Center and Wooden Boat Foundation since 2008 and was instrumental in the construction of the Northwest Maritime Center; and is a board member of the Olympic Medical Center, serving as chairman of planned giving.
Mike Cavett, owner of Fair Winds Winery and past president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, introduced the nominees for Tim Caldwell Business Leader of the Year.
In addition to the Jurnas, they were Molly and Michael Klupfell, owners of The Village Baker; Mari Mullen, Port Townsend Main Street director; Scott Wilson, Port Townsend-Jefferson County Leader publisher; Katherine Baril, Washington State University Extension director; Joe Euro, musician and owner of The Wine Seller; and Gary Tocatlian, owner of T’s Restaurant.
The award was named last year for Caldwell, who for 16 years was the manager of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce and is now the Port Townsend office manager for Puget Sound Energy.
Close to 100 people attended the 11:30 a.m. brunch at the newly opened Northwest Maritime Center on Water Street.
Kris Nelson, president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and owner of Sirens Pub, opened the ceremonies, and noted that the event was the first conducted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, which is a combination of the Port Townsend, Tri-Area and Port Ludlow chambers of commerce.
Port Townsend Mayor Michelle Sandoval read a proclamation, saying, “what we can accomplish together, I think really blows people away.”
She also declared Jan. 31 to be Port Townsend Volunteer Recognition Day.
The event was sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, The Printery, SOS Printing and the Port Townsend/Jefferson County Leader.
Table sponsors were Sirens Pub, Professional Referrals, Chimacum School District, Cobalt Mortgage, Port Townsend Laundromat & Car Wash and Henery’s Garden Center.
________Features editor Marcie Miller can be reached at 360-417-3550 or [email protected]