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John Kasberger receives top Chamber honor

By KIRBY NEUMANN-REA

News Editor

January 13, 2007

John Kasberger received a dramatic introduction worthy an Elvis’ entrance.

Mike Doke, the 2005 Chamber Member of the Year, strung out some facts about Kasberger before handing him the 2006 Chamber of Year plaque Thursday night.

Kasberger, senior vice president at Columbia River Bank in Hood River, was introduced by Doke with suspense, and humor, befitting the “Viva Las Vegas” theme of the occasion: the Hood River Chamber of Commerce Installation dinner, at the Gorge Room at Best Western Hood River Inn. About 150 people attended the event. Highlights were the installation of new directors and officers, thanks to departing directors, and a performance by Elvis performer Justin Shandor.

Doke revealed these facts about Kasberger: raised in Prineville, father of two children, lover of good cigars and beer, fisherman with a tendency to fall from boats, a man heard to run out of gas and suffer poison oak more than once, and lover of peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Doke planted a kiss on the cheek of Kasberger, Hood River branch manager of Columbia River Bank, who wore an Elvis tie for the occasion.

“Wow,” was all Kasberger could say at first, after taking the podium to accept the 2006 Member of the Year.

“You could knock me over with a straw right now,” said Kasberger, who also earned a Business Team Leader honor from the bank last year.

“The list of people (honored as Chamber Member of the Year) is full of great people. I am honored to be on that list,” he said.

“John is always there. He‘s been a very reliable and consistent member,” Doke said. “He’s been active on the Chamber board and has been since he started, and is very involved in the Ambassador program. Through his work with the bank, he helps the Chamber and Ambassadors stay connected to the business community.”

Kasberger will be no stranger to the Chamber podium a year from now. As president-elect he will take the gavel from 2007 president Ray Felton.

Felton thanked the business people of Hood River County in his closing remarks, and gave a send-off for 2007:

“We face some challenges this year, but we have great people, great staff, and great businesses and I know we will meet those challenges. May this year be a positive one, both personally and for your business.”

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