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Pamplins honored for paying it forward

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Dr. Robert and Marilyn Pamplin Jr. were among those honored with Global Business Awards last week.Dr. Robert and Marilyn Pamplin Jr. were among those honored with Global Business Awards last Wednesday at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower.

The annual awards ceremony, which benefits Special Olympics Oregon, recognizes pillars of the local community for both their commercial achievements and philanthropy.

Master of Ceremonies Gerry Frank introduced Robert Pamplin as head of R.B. Pamplin Corp., a family business with more than $600 million in annual sales, as well as a philanthropist and a scholar who has earned eight degrees. Pamplin also owns Community Newspapers, KPAM 860 and the Portland Tribune.

This year’s global business honorees included:

  • Albert Starr, M.D., who developed the first artificial heart valve
  • Max Williams, former head of the Oregon Department of Corrections
  • Ralph Martinez, a South Bronx-born success story who runs Town and Country auto dealership
  • Harry Merlo, former lumberman whose name is on the University of Portland’s Merlo Field, and
  • Dick Reiten, a leader in the United Way and former head of PGE and Northwest Natural Gas.
  • Marilyn Pamplin was recognized for her philanthropy which includes work with the Junior League, the Parry Center for Children, the Children’s Charity Ball, Parent Teachers Association and PEO.

    Robert Pamplin expressed his gratitude and quoted the monument at the the Battle of Kohima in India where many British soldiers died fighting the Japanese in World War II.

    “When you go home, tell them of us and say,/For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

    He also quoted radio commentator Paul Harvey, who said, “For myself success for me is to leave the woodpile a little higher than I found it.”

    Eight awards were handed out to family members of recently deceased notable civic and business leaders: Nohad & Dirce Toulan, Thomas Vaughan, George Azumano, Ben “Flaps” Berry, Joan Austin, Emily Gottfried, Orville Roth and Lynn Lundquist.

    Proceeds from the event benefitted Special Olympics Oregon, a not-for-profit organization providing sports training and athletic competition for persons with intellectual disabilities. The event was organized by SOO’s Serge D’Rovencourt, a Holocaust survivor who made myriad contacts during his time managing the same Hilton hotel.