Former Dept. of Defense employee joins staff at Columbia Ridge

Deborah Campbell is community outreach director

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Deborah Campbell (center) interacts with residents at Columbia Ridge Senior Living. As the new community outreach director, Campbell handles the marketing and advertising of events at the retirement and assisted living community in Washougal. Future festivities, open to the public, include a talent show and Sunday brunches.

A woman who spent 3 ½ years promoting concerts and celebrity appearances on an Army base in Qatar is a new staff member at Columbia Ridge Senior Living.

Deborah Campbell is the community outreach director at the retirement and assisted living community, in Washougal.

She is a former Department of Defense employee who provided marketing services for Armed Forces Entertainment. That included promoting appearances by Denzel Washington, Kid Rock, Washington Redskins cheerleaders and professional golfers as they traveled to entertain soldiers.

Campbell, 48, then spent 1 ½ years, working as a profiler in Afghanistan. She conducted initial investigations for any non-Americans who wanted to enter the base.

Campbell studied anthropology at Washington State University, in Pullman, and earned a bachelor’s degree online from Ashworth College. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate certificate in psychology with Ashworth.

Campbell said activities are important to the quality of life for residents at Columbia Ridge.

“They help the psyche of our residents and make their lives more fulfilling,” she said.

Campbell handles marketing and advertising of events. A talent show, featuring Columbia Ridge residents will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Monthly Sunday brunches are scheduled to begin in March.

Campbell succeeds Ashima Ram, who is the new community outreach director for Hawthorne Gardens, in Portland.

Campbell has family roots in Washougal. Her grandfather and grandmother Herbert and Emma Summerfeld arrived in the local area in the 1940s. They owned and operated the Summerfeld Meat locker at 982 E St. until Herbert died in 1957. The meat and dairy business had previously been located near Beacon Rock.

Campbell’s mother, Diane Summerfeld, graduated from Washougal High School in the early 1960s, and her uncle Gary graduated in the late 1950s.

Campbell has two grown children and two grandchildren.

She said the staff and residents of Columbia Ridge are family.

After realizing one of the residents was missing former pets, Campbell gave her cat “Tabby” to keep the woman company.

“She missed having an animal,” Campbell said. “I am not home and my cat was lonely. I thought they could take care of each other, which they have. It was a good decision.”

Columbia Ridge Senior Living is located at 2300 W. Ninth St., Washougal. For more information about future activities, call 335-1238.