Nov 20, 2014
City Commissioner Nick Fish Honored with David G. Fitzpatrick Spirit Award at Janus Annual Dinner
Left to right: Michael Buonocore, Home Forward Executive Director and
Janus Board Vice President; Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner; Steve Rudman,
Retired Home Forward Executive Director
Every year at the Janus
Annual Dinner we take an evening off to recognize our dedicated staff and those
in the community who are making a difference in the lives of the children,
youth and families we work with every day.
Dennis Morrow, Janus Youth Programs’ Executive Director, recognized
more than 20 staff members reaching a length of service milestone including
Debbie Mead, Payroll Manager, who has worked for Janus for 30 years.
“For three decades Debbie has filled our lives with joy and
always made sure that everyone got paid. Not because it’s her job, but because
of the level of caring and commitment she has for each staff and her deep
understanding of the profound impact they are having on the youth we serve,”
In addition to Mead’s 30 years of service, nine staff
were recognized for five years of service, six for 10 years, four for 15 years
and one for 20 years adding up to 215 years of service working on behalf of children,
youth and families in Oregon and Washington.
Janus’ Board of Directors also honored Linda Murphy,
Human Resources Director, with the Helen Reser Bakkensen Award presented by
Helen’s son John Bakkensen. Named after Helen Reser Bakkensen who lead the
charge in the mid-1980s to ensure Portland’s homeless youth would have a safe
place to sleep and help to get off the streets, the award is inscribed with
“Take Care of My Children.” With Linda set to retire next year, this award could
not have come at a better time to recognize her contributions over the past 23
years taking care of the staff that take care of the children, youth and
families Janus serves.
Left: Dennis Morrow
recognizes Debbie Mead for 30 years of service. Right: Linda Murphy receives
the Helen Reser Bakkensen Award.
Stars for Kids Awards for 2014 were presented to Eileen
Priebe, a substitute teacher for the Evergreen School District who has become
an invaluable asset to our Oak Bridge Youth Shelter while working on-site to
tailor educational experiences for youth in the program, and Catalyst
Partnerships NW for bringing together 100 volunteers who donated 530 hours of
labor for several construction projects at our Cordero program.
The Suburban Southwest RE/MAX Equity Group branch office
received The John P. Zuercher Champions for Children Award. For more than 15
years, they have shared the holidays with youth in our Imani program, making
sure they each have a gift to open for Christmas.
The David G. Fitzpatrick Spirit Award, which honors the
memory of long-time Janus board member Dave Fitzpatrick, was presented to Portland
City Commissioner Nick Fish by Janus Board Vice President, Michael Buonocore,
Executive Director of Home Forward, and Dave Fitzpatrick’s wife, Maryalice
Russell, Superintendent of the McMinnville School District. Nick was recognized for his enthusiastic support of Village Gardens and for his years of service as a
member of the Portland City Council where his passion for civic engagement can
be seen in everything he does on behalf of Portland and its citizens.
Left to right: Michael Buonocore, Home Forward Executive Director and Janus Board Vice President; Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner; Maryalice Russell, Superintendent of the McMinnville School District
Before the evening concluded, Janus board member Karen
Schartman deviated from the program to recognize a special attendee, just-retired
Executive Director of Home Forward, Steve Rudman. In addition to shaping Home
Forward as one of the best housing authorities in the country, Steve has been committed to creating more affordable housing in Portland for over 30 years.
“Steve has been a partner, innovator, leader and
generous supporter of Janus’ Village Gardens program. In 2011, Janus’ Board had
the privilege of recognizing Steve with its Champions for Children Award, but with
Steve here tonight, we just couldn’t let this evening happen without saying
thank you for all he has done,” said Schartman.