The Energizer: Dave Valencia described as ‘ideal community citizen’

January, 2016 Posted in Community, People
Dave Valencia, recipient of the  2015 Distinguished Service Award

Dave Valencia, recipient of the
2015 Distinguished Service Award

By Mary Owen

A man who inspires his friends and community members and lends a hand whenever needed is the recipient of the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

Dave Valencia was nominated for the award by his fellow Stayton Rotarians.

“The best kinds of awards are those given to you by your peers,” said Valencia, who has managed a State Farm agency in Stayton for the past 18 years.

“When your peers think you’ve done a good job, then that’s really worth something.”

Valencia, who has been with State Farm for 32 years, was quite surprised when he learned of the honor.

“You could say I was floored,” he said. “Very surprised!”

Stayton Rotarians, who nominated Valencia, credit him for demonstrating “a level of community involvement that few others could match.”

Since his arrival in Stayton, Valencia has been active in the Stayton Rotary Club, serving a term as president and acting on the Rotary board for a number of years.

Rotarian Jennifer Niegel said Valencia serves as the Rotary Club’s membership chair.

“He’s a fabulous finder of some pretty awesome people,” Niegel said. “He’s really good about reaching out to people and bringing them into the fold and making them feel welcome.”

His fellow club members say he has proven his effectiveness in leading many Rotary activities, including the club’s dictionary drive and golf tournament.

“Dave is very active in Stayton Area Rotary, especially with our dictionary project,” Niegel said.

“Ten Salem-area clubs, including Stayton, jointly hold a golf tournament every summer and then use the funds raised to purchase dictionaries for every fourth grader in the Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Turner, Scio and Salem areas.  He has been a long-standing member of the Rotary Golf Tournament committee and also oversees distribution of the dictionaries on our end. Stayton alone provides dictionaries to fourth-graders at 11 area schools.”

Valencia has participated in the Rotary Wine Tasting Event, the Ducky Derby at SummerFest, strawberry and fireworks sales, and many volunteer work projects, such as canned food and bottle drives, and building many of the play structures at parks around the community.

“Dave is the Energizer bunny,” Rotarian Janine Moothart said. “He is passionate about the community and supporting youth. He is often the one who gets the rest of us organized and inspired.”

Rotarians agreed in a nomination letter that Valencia epitomizes the “ideal community citizen,” commending him for being a selfless example to other community members and having a “can-do” attitude.

In addition to his Rotary activities, Valencia serves on the chamber’s board of directors, has been active in the North Santiam Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a student mentor for Regis High School’s ASPIRE program.

“Dave has been a valuable member of ASPIRE,” Regis counselor Mike Bauer said.

“He is an excellent mentor to our students and has been active in helping students determine their career path, educational options, and providing insights into the values that are important as they move forward with their lives. Dave has been a real gift to our school and students.”

Valencia also serves on the Stayton Police Advisory Board, the GROW Santiam economic development board, and the Stayton United Methodist Church Council.

“As if all of the above wasn’t enough, Dave recently had the idea to start an annual non-denominational breakfast in the community, and we’re excited to help him make that happen,” Niegel said. “Dave is a great guy with a big heart who is never without a handshake and a smile. He’s a great asset to our club and our community!”

Awards of Excellence winners for 2015

The Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce will present the 2015 Distinguished Service Award, and the awards listed below, at the the Hats Off Awards Celebration Luncheon Feb. 18, 11:30 a.m. at Foothills Church in Stayton. The event is sponsored by Columbia Bank.

For tickets, contact the Chamber at 503-769-3464 or

SSCOC Awards of Excellence winners are: Dave Valencia, 2015 Distinguished Service Award Santiam Hospital, 2015 Large Business of the Year Where to Start Fitness, 2015 Small Business of the Year Stayton Veterinary Hospital, 2015 First Impressions Award.

Our Town will have stories on these winners in the Feb. 1 edition.

The award selection committee for the chamber included Mike Bochsler, Priscilla Glidewell, Paula Mabry, Janine Moothart, Alisha Oliver, Jill Peters and Christine Shaffer.

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