Henriksen earns First Citizen honors

Camas resident has served in many public service leadership roles

A woman known for her leadership, advocacy and diplomacy has been named the Clark County First Citizen.

Nan Henrickson, a current Camas resident and former mayor, was selected for the honor by a committee of area leaders convened by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.

The First Citizen Award recognizes a Clark County resident who has modeled exemplary citizenship through their actions and service to the community. Henriksen will be officially recognized during a reception and presentation Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Vancouver.

According to a press release, Henriksen’s nomination focused heavily on her career in public service, where she collaborated with others to realize a shared community vision for Camas. At the time, the city was facing adversity. Her efforts shaped the economic fabric of greater Clark County, bringing both people and prosperity to the region.

During her time as mayor from 1983 to 1992, she led Camas in attracting three major industries and dozens of employers including Underwriters Laboratories, SHARP Microelectronics, WaferTech and Heraeus Shin-etsu.

More recently, Henriksen helped form a county home-rule charter that reshaped local government. She served as the board of freeholders chairwoman, and was commended for her skill in mediating and leading a diverse group of 15 freeholders toward general consensus.

“Nan’s firm, and collected, resolute demeanor allowed a politically and economically diverse group to work together,” said Pat Jollota, Clark County’s 2012 First Citizen and former Vancouver City Councilwoman. “More than work together, they worked civilly, amicably and efficiently to produce a charter in just six months.”

Henriksen, 73, a lifelong Camas resident, was appointed to serve on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, from 1992 to 2004. She was also the owner and operator of Sav-on Drugs/Nan’s Hallmark from 1976 to 1990 in Camas, a business formerly owned by her father, George Henriksen, a pharmacist and community activist.

She served on the Camas Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan Committee, which has led to the creation of new parks, trails and the protection of open spaces.

“I have never met anyone who is more engaged with her fellow citizens than Nan,” said Rep. Jim Moeller. “She has boundless energy and a passion for her community. Her willingness to get involved has benefitted Clark County and its citizens more than we can tell.”

In 2006, Henriksen was named Political Leader of the Century by the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, and in 2014 she received the Statesman of the Year honor from the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

Lloyd Halverson was hired by Henriksen in 1989 to become Camas’ first city administrator. He held the position until his retirement in 2013. Halverson described her as “inspirational.”

“Camas’ former mayor is a visionary who has led enduring transformational community change,” he said. “She has made a positive imprint on land use planning in Washington State. Over the decades, Nan Henriksen has lived qualities of character which are a precious inspiration to others.”