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Greater Vancouver Chamber To Host First Citizen Award

vancouver chamber logo with people at the back receiving awards


The award recipient, chosen for their accomplishments and contributions to the community, will address the community during a livestream, available on Facebook Live and YouTube, on Thursday, September 22. 

Vancouver, WAThe Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) is proud to announce that it will be hosting the First Citizen Award to continuing the legacy of recognizing incredible contributors who have modeled exemplary citizenship through actions and service to the community. After 20 years of being the proud sponsor of this award, The Columbian and its partner Community Foundation for Southwest Washington have decided to officially pass the baton to the GVC.  

“It has been a great ride partnering with the Community Foundation and recognizing influential people who go above and beyond in our community. But over the last year, we’ve had discussions about future Columbian events and have decided to focus our resources on our yearly Economic Forecast breakfast and our new upcoming events centered around our local journalism,” said Ben Campbell, publisher of The Columbian. 

“We are happy to be passing the baton to the GVC. Cheers to all the amazing First Citizens we had the pleasure and opportunity to celebrate!” added Campbell.   

The First Citizen, which started in 1939, is given annually to a Clark County resident who models the attributes of good citizenship through leadership, action, civic pride, and cultivates inclusive civic engagement practices. These are individuals who, through their business, volunteering, and philanthropic efforts, improve the lives of those in the community by serving first.  

For the past two years, Diana Avalos-Leos, Executive Director of Clark County Latino Youth Conference, has held this honor. Avalos-Leos is known for her deep commitment to working collaboratively with community partners and leaders in SW Washington to advocate and improve outcomes for all youth.     

The First Citizen Award will be awarded during the Chamber’s Business & Leadership Awards, presented by Port of Vancouver USA. The Business & Leadership categories of recognition include: John S. McKibbin Legacy Leadership, Large Business (more than 25 employees), Small Business (up to 25 employees), Statesperson, and Start-Up to Watch (in the last five years). Nominations will close on Friday, July 29. To nominate, visit:  

The Business & Leadership awards recipients will be announced during a livestream, available on Facebook Live and YouTube, on Thursday, September 22, at 5:00 p.m. 

“The Greater Vancouver Chamber is deeply honored to have the opportunity to continue hosting the First Citizen Award. We can proudly say that Clark County is full of outstanding residents who work daily to make this a better place to live, work, and play. We invite the community members to spread the word and help us in recognizing and celebrating these individuals,” said GVC President & CEO John McDonagh.  

The live-streamed event will be at no cost, a courtesy made possible by our event sponsors, including: Presenting Sponsor, Port of Vancouver USA; Supporting Sponsors, PeaceHealth and Vancouver Clinic; VIP Reception Sponsor, LS Networks; Media Sponsor, The Columbian; and Award Sponsors, Riverview Community Bank, PacificSource Health Plans, HAPO Community Credit Union, Perkins & Co, and NW Natural. 

For more information about the awards and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Chamber at or go to To learn more about past First Citizen Award honorees, visit: 

About the Business & Leadership Awards

Wanting to recognize those businesses who exemplified the motto of the Greater Vancouver Chamber, Moving Business Forward, the Business & Leadership Awards were first introduced in 2012. For 10 years, the southwest Washington business community has nominated outstanding companies and individuals for recognition. 

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber

SW Washington’s largest business organization, the Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC), with nearly 1000 members, has been Moving Business Forward in southwest Washington for over 130 years through business advocacy, community building, education, and creating visibility for our members. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals, and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The GVC is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate and prosperity for all. For more information, please visit 


Event Contact                                                    

Hadley Phillips, Greater Vancouver Chamber                                                                  360.567.1052,

Media Assets

Official Event Link
2022 Business & Leadership Awards  

Press Release Contact

Portrait of Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia

Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Phone: 360.567.1058
Email Lourdes

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