Community Impact Awards

The awards honor Clackamas County organizations and individuals that make a significant contribution to the local community by working to help those who are struggling to meet their basic needs improve their life circumstances. The Community Action Board, comprised of citizens appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to help further the mission of Community Action, is sponsoring these awards.

Award categories

There are six Community Impact Award categories. These include:

  • individuals
  • non-profit organizations
  • promising start-ups
  • businesses
  • youth
  • distinguished service award


The award nomination process typically starts in March.

All nominees must meet certain requirements to be eligible. These include:

  • Individual nominees must live in Clackamas County, or work for an organization located in and benefitting Clackamas County residents, and not be either a county employee nor serve on the Community Action Board (see below).
  • Organizational nominees (businesses, nonprofits or other) must operate in some capacity within Clackamas County.
  • Programs must serve low income county residents and have been operational for at least 12 months at the time of nomination. Exceptions: Nominees for both the Promising Startup Award and the Youth Award are not subject to the one year minimum of operation.
  • For the Distinguished Services Award only, nominees must have provided at least five years of service to the community.

Awardees are alerted about their honor during early May of each year, which is followed later that month by an award dinner where all recipients are recognized.

Award history

Clackamas County operates many Advisory Boards and Commissions, or ABCs, which offer citizens the opportunity to become involved in specific activities and goals of their County. The Board of County Commissioners appoints hundreds of citizens to serve on these committees every year. We welcome you to learn more about all of our ABCs and be alerted of ABC openings by signing up for county email alerts (select "Volunteering" after entering your email). Updates about the awards and winners are also shared on the county's Facebook and Twitter presences.

One ABC, the Community Action Board, advises the county Social Services Division on its Community Action Agency (CAA) programs for low-income persons. Board members advocate both locally and at the state level on issues related to low-income individuals and households. The Community Action Board sponsors the Community Impact Awards, manages nominations, and makes recommendations to County Commissioners about awardees.

Questions? Comments?

For more information on the Community Impact Awards program, please contact Clackamas County Social Services' Valerie Skinner at or 503-650-5643.

2018 Community Impact Award winners

Clackamas County is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Community Impact Awards.  The awards recognize Clackamas County organizations and individuals that are making a significant contribution to our community by working to help those who are struggling to meet their basic needs improve their life circumstances. The Community Action Board, comprised of citizens appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to help further the mission of Community Action, is sponsoring these awards.

Distinguished Services Awardee

Northwest Family Services has supported families since 1983. They are a multi-cultural, non-profit organization focusing on child well-being and family stability to reduce poverty. The program’s mission is carried out through a wide range of programs, services, and extensive partnerships. Some programs target families under the 200% poverty level. In 2017, Northwest Family Services served 34,000 people.

Agency wide impacts:  

  • 95.4% individuals completed programs
  • 94.3 % of the participants were successful in programs
  •  646 children were impacted by programs
  • NWFS served 90 veterans with employment services
  • NWFS assisted 125 disabled individuals
  • 150 participants were homeless, in transitional housing or shared housing with family/friends

Nominated by Linda Dorzweiler - Clackamas County Children’s Commission Head Start

Distinguished Individual Awardee

Ellen Burns advocates for vulnerable individuals in Clackamas County including seniors, homeless individuals, veterans and individuals with disabilities. She believes that no one should live without shelter. 

Ellen was a medical caregiver at Rose Villa, a long term care facility for seniors. She visits and advocates for senior/adult centers, and served as a member on the local and regional Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection advisory councils. Ellen has served on the Aging Services Advisory Council since 2010. 

Through her homelessness advocacy efforts churches are considering locating small homes in church parking lots, and the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners was encouraged to develop housing for veterans. She advocates tirelessly at the State Legislature to fund affordable housing, and participates on several housing committees in Clackamas County and across the region. She is a member of the Gerontology Association for the region staying abreast of activities across the region. 

Nominated by Glenn Koehrsen, and Eric Olson

Business Awardee

Pietro’s Pizza Milwaukie partners with school districts and Head Start to provide special services and opportunities for fundraising to benefit nonprofit organizations. The restaurant is open every Friday to North Clackamas School District children to build life skills working in the restaurant. Students learn customer service and other job skills working at the restaurant. Head Start parents are encouraged to apply for work to improve their income.

For over 20 years Head Start children and their parents have had the opportunity to go behind the counter, make their own pizza, and learn cooking skills. Brian donates a portion of the proceeds to non-profits. 

Nominated by Teresa Brinsfield - Clackamas County Children’s Commission

Nonprofit Awardee

M Seed Outreach and Thrift Store reaches out to individuals suffering from life altering alcohol and drug addictions, and encourages them to make positive changes in their lives.

The proceeds from their thrift store provide financial assistance for individuals in need of addiction treatment. This includes financial sponsorship for 12-month residential treatment programs, transportation expenses, and other outreach efforts. 

Family, friends, and the community at large benefit from the impact of M Seed's services. 

Since 2011 they've helped hundreds of individuals and families with various treatment options. Currently M Seed is sponsoring 15 individuals in residential treatment, and have served around 200 people in 12-month residential treatment programs. Perhaps the most powerful way to show the impact of M Seed's services is through real life examples of individuals helped by M Seed

Nominated by Mike Day – Oregon City Police Department

Promising Startup

Officer Mike Day serves as the Homeless Liaison Officer for Oregon City Police. He interact daily with the communities most vulnerable serving individuals who seem to be forgotten, or have fallen through the cracks in the system. Anyone in need is able to get assistance from Mike who actively reaches out to individuals who need assistance, mostly with housing. Mike breaks through the barriers that keep individuals from permanent sustainable housing partnering with the county, and other programs for rehab and addiction, employment, and health care services.

Mike helps the community become stronger by reducing homelessness and the associated problems. He was the driving force behind Oregon City’s 24 hour Arta Potties that keep the streets clean and reduce hardship on the homeless population.

Mike was recently named “Officer of the Year” for the Oregon City Police Department.

Nominated by Amy Jo Cook – Clackamas Fire District #1

Distinguished Youth

Shayla volunteers with individuals of all ages who are homeless, fighting illness, etc. Her primary focus ending bullying. Shayla became a board member with “Continue to Find Kindness” in 2015 and founded #Standup , a social media platform (on Instagram and Facebook) that encourages others to send in photos and share stories about how they overcame bullying, stood up for someone being bullied, or spread kindness in their community. She works with youth to learn about bullying, how to resolve conflict and how to #standup to bullies. She speaks at schools, events and various groups to empower others and end the cycle of bullying.

A victim of bullying herself she chose to get involved and help other kids and educate those who are bullying about the impact of their actions. Shayla receives calls, letters and messages from parents and students thanking her for her efforts. One individual was contemplating suicide and credited Shayla for saving her life.

Shayla has received the Presidential Service award three years in a row for the volunteer hours she gives her community.

Nominated by Sheila Montgomery

Clackamas County Community Impact Awards Sponsor

Clackamas County Community Action Board would like to thank New Season Market, Mountain Park for their donation of desert for tonight’s dinner.