Reedsport native Kerry Tymchuk has been selected as the 2018 Statesman of the Year by Oregon Business and Industry. The award has recognized leaders for achievements in public service in Oregon since 2001.
Tymchuk grew up in Reedsport and is a fifth-generation Oregonian. His past accomplishments include serving as Marion County deputy district attorney and serving for three years as chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission. He is currently serving as a member of the Oregon State Fair Council and is the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society. In 2013, he was named Most Admired Non-Profit Executive in Portland by the Portland Business Journal. He’s also a four-time winner on the television game show “Jeopardy.”
OBI marketing communications director Tonia Holowetzki said Tymchuk was deserving of the award due to his ability to be bipartisan and civil in today’s times.
“His great sense of humor, his ability to connect with people from all walks of life, his deep, deep respect and love for our state and for our history and for what we can accomplish, I think all of those things makes him stand as a Statesman of the Year,” Holowetzki said. “It’s clear when you talk to Kerry that he is passionate about Oregon and he’s passionate about the success of our state and the success of our citizenry. So those are all important qualities that we honor and respect.”
Past award recipients include Phil and Penny Knight of Nike fame, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, former U.S. senator Mark Hatfield, Portland Mayor Vera Katz and Columbia Sportswear Board Chairman Gert Boyle. Tymchuk said he was honored to be among them as recipients of this award.
“To be included in a list of the people who have won that award previously, heroes of mine like Mark Hatfield, and Gert Boyle, who’s a good friend, and the other folks who have received the award, is very humbling,” Tymchuk said.
He gives his parents credit for instilling his sense of civic duty. His mother, Marlene Tymchuk, was a teacher at Reedsport High School and was Oregon’s Teacher of the Year in 1980. His father, Tom Tymchuk, served four terms as Mayor of Reedsport while his brother, Keith Tymchuk, served for six.
“I give a lot of credit to where I grew up, to parents who taught me at an early age about the importance of giving back to the community,” Kerry Tymchuk said. “Watching them, I learned a lot about the importance of community service, of giving back. So I give them a lot of credit and the community of Reedsport a lot of credit for being able to grow up in a community like that.”
The award will be presented to Tymchuk at a dinner event in Portland on September 13.