The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce has named its 2018 “Citizen of the Year” and “Business Person of the Year.” The chamber will host an awards banquet at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, at Camas Meadows Golf Club, to honor the award recipients.
Pastor Robert Barber named ‘Citizen of the Year’
A Washougal man who spent several sleepless nights this winter in the St. Matthew Lutheran Church basement is the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year.”
Robert Barber, pastor of St. Matthew, volunteered in February for the overnight shifts when volunteers were hard to come by, at the temporary, severe weather shelter at St. Matthew Church. He spearheaded efforts to coordinate volunteers for the shelter.
Barber, 55, said he was very honored, and he could not believe it when he found out about the chamber award on May 14.
He is the chair of the Refuel Washougal program that provides free dinners to anyone from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Fridays, in the Washougal Community Center, 1681 “C” St.
Barber said he would like to expand the meal service by adding more days.
“Fill the gap where there are gaps within the Camas-Washougal community,” he explained.
Barber, a Washougal resident since 2014, also hopes the community will continue to offer its severe weather shelter, possibly expanding the shelter’s days and hours of operation.
He believes everyone should be there for each other, to help, encourage and support one another.
Barber said a lot of people — many of them strangers — helped him when he faced prostate cancer five years ago.
“After completing my treatment and recovery, I decided that I wanted to help make a difference in the lives of others,” he said. “I didn’t want to just sit back or wait for someone else to do it. I decided to make the most of every day and to live life in such a way that I could bring a little joy, brighten someone’s day or simply make a difference no matter how small that might be. It’s got to start somewhere, so why not with me.”
Barber’s involvement in the community includes serving on the C-W Chamber board and being part of the “Panther Den” resource center team, which provides students with food, personal hygiene products and clothing at Washougal High School.
He is on the leadership team for the Unite! Washougal Community Coalition, an organization that supports youth, encourages families and guides healthy choices.
Barber would like to see businesses provide mentors for local high school students who are not sure of the direction they want to go.
“I believe youth and young adults have a lot to offer the community,” Barber said. “Harness their energy and vision. Come alongside them, to help them focus in a way that is beneficial to the whole community.”
Janice Butzke, manager of The Meals on Wheels People Camas-Washougal, nominated Barber for the chamber award.
“He genuinely loves his town and its folks,” she wrote on the nomination form. “He works tirelessly to promote goodwill or help the homeless. He is a bright reflection of all that is kind and great.”
Barber started “Impact Camas-Washougal,” four years ago, in response to the needs he saw at Excelsior High School. During the annual Impact C-W event in June, donations of toiletries and non-perishable food are accepted for families in the Camas and Washougal school districts.
In December of 2017, then-Washougal Mayor Sean Guard named Barber the “Washougal Volunteer of the Year.”
Rose Jewell, assistant to the mayor and the city administrator, said Barber is a wonderful example of what it means to be devoted to your community.
“His commitment and compassion are apparent with his tireless initiatives regarding our citizens in need,” Jewell said. “He engages in partnerships with the school district, non-profits, the faith-based community and the city. Pastor Barber reaches into Camas and Washougal with his whole heart.”
Dawn Stanchfield, owner of Lily Atelier, named “Business Person of the Year”
It’s a Monday in mid-May, and Dawn Stanchfield is looking at samples of clothing that she plans to order now and sell in the fall and during the holidays later this year.
Stanchfield has owned the Lily Atelier shop in downtown Camas for 15 years. On this day, she is meeting with Lauren Fausset, the sales representative for LaRue, a wholesale clothing company that represents six designers.
Stanchfield, the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce “Business Person of the Year,” said she searches out clothing designers and collections that offer a nod to the trends of the moment but “still respect that the garment must fit real women, real bodies.”
She describes her shop’s inventory as “sophisticated, smart, everyday luxury.”
A Camas resident since 1995, Stanchfield said she is flattered to win the chamber award.
“It’s a big honor, given the growth and strong new businesses that are part of our community,” she said.
When Stanchfield opened Lily Atelier in 2003, she already had almost 20 years of experience in the apparel industry, and had worked as a retail store manager, a national merchandising trainer and a wholesale manufacturing representative for an independent designer.
The shop has been at its current location, at 237 N.E. Fourth Ave., in the heart of downtown Camas, since 2004.
“We have a core group of loyal shoppers,” Stanchfield said. “We feel incredibly blessed to give a level of service and quality collection of clothing normally found in a bigger city.”
She credits her employees, including Leah Dizon, a sales associate and personal stylist at Lily Atelier for a decade, and Tyler Anastasio, a sales associate and personal stylist who has worked at the boutique for more than five years, for helping to grow the business and foster a strong team atmosphere.
Dizon, the personal stylist, along with Camas Gallery co-owner Jennifer Senescu, nominated Stanchfield for the “Business Person of the Year” honor.
Dizon described Stanchfield as a huge advocate for small business and small business expansion.
“She is a community builder, consistently reaching out to other businesses in the area, seeking collaboration and promotion,” Dizon stated in her nomination letter.
During a workshop for local businesses, Stanchfield donated time to share her thoughts about how to provide great customer experiences.
Senescu said Stanchfield provides quality clothing and service and has taken the shopping experience to a different level.
“Patrons come to our town for the sole purpose of shopping at Lily’s, where customer service is without comparison,” Senescu stated in her nomination letter. “Her boutique has brought many people to Camas.”
Lily Atelier provides wardrobe consulting services including a three-hour “closet intervention,” a “seasonal rework” for return clients and “precision packing” for traveling on vacation or business.
Dizon and Senescu both mentioned that Stanchfield donates to fundraisers for various causes throughout the community. Lily Atelier has provided clothing for fashion shows that benefitted CDM Caregiving Services and Second Step Housing.
CDM is a nonprofit that provides in-home care, adult day services and other support for veterans, seniors and people with disabilities in Southwest Washington, in an effort to keep them living in their own homes. Second Step Housing is an organization that fosters self-sufficiency for at-risk women and families.
In the past, Lily Atelier customers who donated coats and sweaters for the YWCA have received discounts off clothing in the shop.
In 2010, Stanchfield and her husband, Jason, opened their then-home — a 1928 Classic Colonial Revival house — for the Holiday Home Tour, which raised money for the Downtown Camas Association.
Stanchfield credits new dining options, including Grains of Wrath Brewing and Hey Jack restaurant, as well as the recent expansion at Feast 316, for attracting an increase in walk-in customers at Lily Atelier.
“Camas is a premier shopping and eating destination for greater Clark County and metro Portland,” she said.
The chamber also named the Camas and Washougal “Teachers of the Year.” For more on those award recipients, see Page B3 in this week’s Camas-Washougal Post-Record or click here.