Citizens, businesses honored for FW service

Two Federal Way residents were honored with Citizen and Volunteer of the Year awards for their contributions to the community on Saturday.

Two local businesses also received accolades. The awards are given annually by the Federal Way Mirror and Chamber of Commerce.

Mirror Publisher Vance Tong presented awards to Federal Way residents Dini Duclos and Ron Walker during the chamber’s fund-raising gala on Saturday.

He described Duclos, the Citizen of the Year, as both effective and diverse in her efforts on Federal Way’s behalf.

He said Duclos’ outstanding leadership spans many arenas, including being a past Rotary president, the president-elect for the Federal Way Education Foundation, involved in the Grouse Point Homeowners Association, on the chamber’s board of directors, and serving on the city Planning Commission and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Commission.

She also contributes to the community through her work at the Multi-Service Center, which serves more than 25,000 people each year, Tong said.

Citing nominator Teri Hickel in awarding Duclos, Tong said: “Until I met Dini, I didn’t believe in resumes that flashed membership in so many organizations. She takes her role as a citizen seriously, and she is dependable, knows how to lead, give direction and be a team player. She is simply amazing.”

Volunteer of the Year

Tong said Walker, the Volunteer of the Year, is an outstanding leader and volunteer in the Federal Way community, especially on diversity issues.

“Even before joining the city’s Diversity Commission in 1999, he became involved in the commission’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration. Since then, he’s taken the event to a higher level each year in terms of both performances and attendance,” Tong said.

On the Diversity Commission itself, Tong said that Walker led the charge for strategic planning, helping adopt a new mission statement and business plan to guide the commission’s work. He also worked hard to recruit new members that reflect Federal Way’s growing diversity, Tong said.

Beyond these city projects, Walker also is an active leader in his church community, Tong said.

Tong cited nominator Derek Matheson as Walker walked to the podium to receive his award.

“In every area in which he is involved, Ron is a visionary, a tireless worker, and a man of the highest standards and integrity. He is most deserving of this recognition,” Matheson said in his nomination.

Decision tough

Two other residents were nominated for the citizen and volunteer awards, Peggy LaPorte of FUSION and Barbara Reid, former chair of the city parks commission and current president of the Federal Way Symphony.

Tong said choosing among the nominees was extremely difficult. A committee consisting of chamber and Mirror staff members made the selections.

“As usual, choosing was the hardest part of the process,” Tong said. “All of the nominees were more than qualified and deserving of recognition.”

Tong also presented Small and Large Business of the Year awards on Saturday.

He said Woodstone Credit Union, the Small Business of the Year, is no stranger to making commitments to the community, with both time and money. The people who work there are passionate about the community, and have been for years, Tong said.

For example, this business has strongly supported the chamber’s Education Foundation and Advancing Leadership programs for years, he said.

St. Francis Hospital, the Large Business of the Year, has made many strides in improving the quality of life in both Federal Way and South King County, Tong said.

This business is committed to supporting to Rotary clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club and many other nonprofit organizations, he said.

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