Chancellor's Award for Service to WSU Vancouver

The award recognizes and salutes selfless dedication and commitment to the WSU Vancouver community through participation in campus activities, leadership on behalf of WSU Vancouver, and dedication of time, talent and resources toward advancing WSU’s mission.

Map of Washington state within a circle with "Workforce Southwest Washington" written below.

Much of what Workforce Southwest Washington does aligns with WSU Vancouver’s mission and values. WSW works to transform lives across the region and serves as a cornerstone for economic vitality. Its mission is to lead a regional workforce development system where every individual has access to high-quality employment and every business has access to a highly skilled workforce.

Since its inception, WSW has been committed to bridging the gap between workforce needs and individual aspirations. Through strategic partnerships, targeted initiatives and forward-thinking programs, the organization has fostered an ecosystem where people and businesses can thrive.

At the heart of WSW’s mission is a profound belief in the power of education and skill development. This is where WSU Vancouver and WSW have found a sweet spot for collaboration. Through partnership on multiple initiatives, both work to strengthen the economic resiliency of Southwest Washington and provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving job market.

For example, the Future Leaders Project is an initiative of WSU Vancouver, WSW and the Columbia River Economic Development Council that aims to cultivate diverse leaders from our growing community. FLP places WSU Vancouver students from communities that have experienced longstanding inequities and exclusion, and helps first-generation college students find employer-sponsored summer internships.

WSW’s impact extends beyond the realm of employment. Recognizing the interconnectedness of economic prosperity and community well-being, the organization actively invests in programs and initiatives that address systemic barriers and foster economic equity. During the 2021/22 academic year, WSW invested in the professional development of its entire team through participation in WSU Vancouver’s Building a Community of Equity (BaCE) program. All WSW staff who went through the program earned a BaCE certificate through WSU Vancouver.

Since 2020, WSW and WSU Vancouver have collaborated through a partnership contract that funds a full-time position in WSU Vancouver’s Engaged Learning and Career Action Center. The purpose is to bridge the gap between the higher education system and the workforce development system.


Past award recipients

2022 – 2023
Mike Iyall, Tribal Elder and Historian, Cowlitz Tribe

2021 – 2022
Lynn Valenter, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, Reed College

2019 – 2020
Michael C. Worthy, President and CEO of WW Payment Systems, Inc. and WSU Regent

2018 – 2019
Steve Horenstein, Horenstein Law Group

2016 – 2017
Dan Harmon, Hoffman Construction

2014 – 2015
Riverview Community Bank

2013 – 2014
Twyla Barnes

2011 – 2012
Leslie Wykoff

2010 – 2011
Bill Fromhold

2006 – 2007
Joe King, King and King

2005 – 2006
Bart Phillips, CREDC

2003 – 2004
Ed and Mary Firstenburg

2002 – 2003
Scott Campbell, The Columbian
Renee Hoeksel

2001 – 2002
Val Ogden

2000 – 2001
Tom Hougan
Sherry Vaughan

1999 – 2000
Al Bauer
Sam Smith

1997 – 1998
Jane Cote, Bob Weis and
Hewlett Packard

1996 – 1997
Earl Muir

1995 – 1996
John Shroyer

1994 – 1995
Joe Johnson and
Clark College

1993 – 1994
Bob Schaefer

1992 – 1993
Gay Selby