The City of Moscow announced the 2013 Service to Commission Awards at the November 20th Commissions Fair which was expanded this year to include community non-profit, volunteer and service organizations. Awards were presented to Jill Maxwell of the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission, Robin Ohlgren of the Moscow Arts Commission, and Jack Porter of the Historic Preservation Commission.
Each of these award winners was extremely deserving of the honor.
Porter has been a member of his commission since its inception, 23 years ago. In that time, he has variously served as chair and acted as secretary, including drafting correspondence on behalf of his colleagues. His institutional memory, fascination with history, and ability to do research make him invaluable for what a nominator called "filling-in the blanks." His networking prowess helps this commission form valuable relationships with community members. He also coordinates the Orchid Awards for historic preservation, presented annually at the McConnell Mansion ice cream social.
Ohlgren is described as having clear and decisive leadership, including coordination and oversight of a wide range of commission presentations and projects. She is respected as someone who has a broad, inclusive vision for her commission's work, which involves considerable outreach to many community organizations and groups, with wide-ranging interests and objectives, which our recipient "artfully" forms into the collective good, manifest as Moscow, Heart of the Arts.
Maxwell joined her commission in 2010, and has served as its chair for most of that time. She received accolades for her ability to facilitate discussions, including under contentious circumstances. Her demeanor is described as unassuming and congenial, which, combined with her familiarity with the law and ability to clearly summarize her colleagues' sometimes strongly held points, allow her to formulate her commission's recommendations and present them fairly to the City Council. She deals well with such challenging topics as antidiscrimination and affordable housing.
The City of Moscow extends a heartfelt thank you to this year's recipients of the Service to Commissions award and to all who participated in the event. Their volunteerism and dedication to the cause are truly admirable.