Chamber award recipients, left to right: Ashley Mumm, Auggie Gonzales, Shannon Buckmaster, Capri Wheaton and Laura Tilrico.

Our club was well represented at the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner last Friday night.  Five of our members received well-deserved recognition. International Service Chair Laura Tilrico received the prestigious “Rotarian of the Year” award for her work to secure and monitor grants for both the Guatemala dental and school projects, as well as the Colombia peace project.

Auggie Gonzales received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Chamber for his work on many community projects, including serving as treasurer of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday event committee.  New Membership Committee Chair Shannon Buckmaster was recognized for her leadership of and participation with the Young Professionals organization, which organizes the annual “Tunes on Tuesday” concert series.  This year, the Tunes set both attendance and revenue records.  Our newest “Friend of Rotary,” Ashley Mumm, was also recognized for her work with Young Professionals and specifically for marketing Tunes on Tuesday.  Last but not least, Interact Club Chair Capri Wheaton was feted as “Junior Citizen of the Year.

Auggie and Laura, left, display their awards.

Shannon, center at right, decided to display her award in a little different way………

Congrats to all on these special awards!







Stuart Brown discusses affordable housing in Newberg.

Last week’s meeting speaker was Stuart Brown, loan officer with Guild Mortgage and active with the City’s affordable housing task force and commission. Stuart has been a part of the city’s housing community for 25 years, and gave us an overview of the “Next Generation Housing Crisis.”

He began by discussing the importance of home ownership to our city and county. In addition to community benefits like less violent crime, lower divorce rates, better schools, and higher rates of civic participation, home ownership usually benefits individuals by providing greater security and an opportunity to create wealth through equity.

Unfortunately, the following facts are currently true about local home ownership:

  • The percentage of home owners is declining
  • The number of first-time home buyers is decreasing
  • New housing units will be below the projected need for the next 20 years

On the flip side, the following is true of the local rental market:

  • The percentage of renters is increasing
  • Rents increased 7 times the rate of inflation in just 3 years
  • Low to moderate income people are leaving the area
  • A one-bedroom apartment now rents for over $1000/month

A Look Ahead

By 2030, Newberg is projected to need 4200 new homes. Stuart said that in 2017, only 88 single family homes were built. In 2018, plans for only 684 single family homes are now in review (not including the Austin family property, where 600 homes are possible).

The “New Crisis” is in housing affordability and housing choices. According to Stuart, new housing is no longer affordable for those making the median household income.  He said true income in Newberg is 17% below the Portland metro area, and the “affordability gap” is the largest ever.

What’s Being Done?

Newberg has an Affordable Housing Task Force, working with the Affordable Housing Commission. They have made 9 recommendations to the City Council to help make housing more accessible and to provide more options.  For example, they secured the largest housing grant ($400,000) Newberg has ever seen to help protect and preserve manufactured home parks.

They also got a smaller grant in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity to help 8 families fix roofs, do repairs, and add ramps.

Stuart said, “Newberg has been on the cutting edge of housing issues. The city allows flexible design standards, and is increasing density.  Zoning changes to allow “granny flats” and “accessory dwelling units” help meet the need, and especially for college student demand.”

But, he added, “We need help. We’re here to share information and recruit help.  We may even be able to expand the scope of the commission in the future.”  For more information or to get involved, Stuart suggested contacting him at 503-570-1072, or Doug Rux, Community Development Manager at 503-537-1212, or Rick Rogers at Habitat at 503-537-9938.


Shannon, left, welcomes Ashley to our club.

Membership Committee Chair Shannon Buckmaster introduced Ashley Mumm as our newest “Friend of Rotary.” Ashley, who has her own marketing firm, recently was a speaker at a club meeting, and said that given her busy schedule, she really likes the “membership light” concept of “Friends of Rotary.”


Rachael Nichols joined us to announce “Get Up and Go!,” a Healthy Kids Running Series coming to Newberg.  Runs will be held at Joan Austin Elementary School on Sundays April 22, 29 and May 6, 13, and 20. Divisions include pre-K to 8th grade. Cost is $35 for the full series, or $10 per race. For more information, please contact Rachael at 856-379-5108 or at [email protected].

Sharon Champagne with Guild Mortgage attended to support our speaker, Stuart Brown.

Rick Rogers also attended to support Stuart. Rick is the executive director of Newberg Habitat for Humanity, and was recognized as Citizen of the Year at the Chamber event as well.

Albert Eschler, local State Farm insurance agent, visited to check us out.

Linda Potter, hard-working auction organizer, joined us, too.


April 9, from 5 to 8 pm for  “Prepare Outloud,” an earthquake preparedness presentation by the Red Cross. Will include a “Preparedness Fair.”  This event will held at the Newberg Christian Church, 2315 Villa Road.  Free to attend. Preparedness Fair 5-8 pm, Red Cross presentation 6-7:30 pm.

April 28 for our annual auction at the Allison. Planning is in high gear, so please be sure to jump in now with donations, ticket purchases, etc. etc. Auction Chair Denise Bacon announced at last week’s meeting that George Fox University has come on board as a $2500 sponsor. She and Geoff Gilmore also spent some time going over the definitions of some important terms like “sponsorships,” which are very important and help pay the bills without a lot of expense. As you are evaluating ways to participate, why not give a sponsorship serious consideration!


You won’t want to miss this week’s meeting, because our guest speaker will be Angelica “Angel” Pilato, Lt. Col. USAF (retired), and author of a memoir, “Angel’s Truck Stop: A Woman’s Love, Laughter, and Loss During the Vietnam War.”  Angel was the first woman Air Force Officer assigned to manage an Officer’s Club on a fighter pilot base during the Vietnam War. She will share highlights of the challenges, conflicts, and choices from her memoir. Angel is a fellow Rotarian as well.

Personal note: I have had the pleasure of hearing Angela speak. She has a very entertaining program. You’ll really enjoy it!