UEC Named Hermiston’s Business of the Year

UEC was honored to accept Hermiston Chamber's Business of the Year at the 53rd Annual Distinguished Citizens Awards banquet Mar. 1.

Lisa McMeen, UEC’s vice president of administration, accepted the award on behalf of UEC's Board of Directors and employees, however it is the community we proudly serve who earned us this recognition.

“The true energy of our community is in the people in this room tonight,” said McMeen, before asking the UEC staff in attendance to share the stage with her.

“UEC could not be who we are without you.”

UEC’s history of giving back to the community was established right from its start in 1937 by helping to build the county’s fairgrounds and a new racetrack in town.

“Their donations and contributions to this community have never waned,” said Umatilla County Commissioner Dan Dorran during Wednesday’s Distinguished Citizens Awards banquet.

That history of giving back was rewarded last night as UEC received the Bob Severson Business of the Year award.

“The number of events they have contributed to goes on and on,” said Dorran. UEC was among the first to step up and help build Funland Playground. After it burned down, UEC was right there to help re-build it. When the playground was burned in another arson fire, UEC didn’t ask any questions other than what kind of help was needed.

“It’s a company that doesn’t know how to say ‘no,’” said Dorran, who said he was a bit emotional while presenting the award. His father, Russ Dorran, retired in 1991 as general manager of UEC. “It has impacted everyone in this community – whether they know it or not.”

We are humbled to be included with a group of truly amazing citizens making a difference in our community. UEC shared the recognition with the following award recipients throughout the evening:

• Mike Ellwood (Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office), First Responder of the Year
• Josh Ross and Holly Woods (Spinden Project), Community Champion(s)
• Cathy Lloyd (Stepping Stones Alliance), Woman of the Year
• Dan Dorran (Umatilla County Commissioner), Man of the Year