2017 Unsung Heroes

Thank You to the 2017 Unsung Heroes

One of the positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism through the “Unsung Hero” awards.  We all hear about the superstars-but there is another group of amazing folks who show up day in and day out;  those people that work quietly, mostly behind the scenes, without seeking or receiving pay or recognition.  These are the people who step forward and make things happen without any motive other than helping their neighbors and their community.  We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Unsung Hero awards for 2017.

Mark Browne

Mark is creating something Lake Oswego has truly needed for many years and something other communities already have: he has been quietly creating and curating historic photographs, artifacts, letters and more, into a well-organized,  useful collection everyone can use and enjoy.  He has worked with LO library staff to digitalize more than 300 photographs that would surely have been lost had it not been for Mark’s efforts to capture and add them to the library’s historic photo collection.  He also organized thousands of old photographs –stored for years out of sight and out of reach in the Oswego Heritage Council’s (OHC) vault, making them easily accessible and preserving them in accordance with the latest standards to prevent further deterioration.  Not limited to photos, Mark has also used his attention to detail to develop truly informative museum displays and exhibits for OHC’s Museum.  Using his own money, Mark has taken classes and talked to experts in the field of preservation to make sure OHC’s curation and preservation is of the highest quality and lasts for generations to come.

His vision, his attention to detail, and his perseverance have made an important contribution to our community and created something very special for the City of Lake Oswego.

Jan and Duke Castle

For more than twenty years this dynamic duo has brought to our community their passion, integrity and dedication for a more sustainable and prepared City.  Conducting over 400 sustainability trainings and workshops, Duke and Jan have helped launch a sustainability plan which was adopted by the City Council in 2008, moving the City into the future with a more sustainable footprint for future generations.  They have also worked with a team of neighbors to create the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, to connect people working on sustainability measures on their own and to raise the profile of sustainability in Lake Oswego.  This group formed action teams in areas of economic vitality, energy, water, transportation, community solar, emergency preparedness and climate change.  They also help organize several events each year that attract and inform hundreds of folks, including the Green Home tour, Eco-Film Festival and earthquake preparedness outreach presentations.

In 2013, Jan moved her attention to emergency preparedness with amazing results, including the team formation of PrepLO, a group of Neighborhood Association Chairs that help each other spread emergency preparedness information into the neighborhoods at the household level.  She has led her colleagues to organize their neighborhoods, give presentations, staff information tables at emergency fairs, and has worked with the City’s Emergency Preparation Team to coordinate preparation activities between the city, school district, and citizens.

Because of the efforts and contributions of Duke and Jan, our community has a greater acceptance and understanding of sustainability practices and emergency preparedness.

Taylor Finley

For several years Taylor has provided the organization, guidance and support to prepare LO neighborhoods for the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake.  He has organized, researched and presented to monthly neighborhood groups topics that include emergency equipment lists, how to use water filters and purification, food and temporary heating, and shelter options.  He also created and set up a Prep Westridge website filled with useful information neighbors use to better prepare for the predicted Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake and other emergencies.  Taylor works closely with other PrepLO volunteers to share vital information and keep his neighbors informed, prepared and ready to step up and step in when an emergency happens.  Because of Taylor’s involvement, organization and commitment, the Westridge neighborhood is prepared!

On behalf on the Council and the Lake Oswego community, we thank you and all of our Unsung Heroes who make Lake Oswego such a wonderful place to live, work and play!


Photo:  Lake Oswego’s 2017 Unsung Heroes with the City Council - (from left): Taylor Finley, Jan Castle, Duke Castle, and Mark Browne.   Photo by Vern Uyetake Lake Oswego Review.