The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Ken Graham
The Times 

B.A. Keve is Waitsburg's Citizen of the Year

Justin Gleason is Employee of the Year and Laht Neppur is awarded Business of the Year


April 26, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Emcee Larry Johnson presents the Citizen of the Year award to B.A. Keve.

WAITSBURG – The Waitsburg Commercial Club presented B.A. Keve with its 2018 Citizen of the Year service award on April 18, during the annual meeting and awards presentation at Waitsburg Town Hall.

Emcee Larry Johnson described Keve as a "Waitsburg promoter" who is "passionate about our community." She is "extremely easy to like," and "would never intentionally offend anyone," he added.

Keve was nominated by Cindy Standring, who described Keve as "the 'communicator' of Waitsburg."

In her nomination, Standring also said of Keve, "She has been serving for many years on the American Legion Auxiliary, where she helps veterans in the community. She works tirelessly at the Christmas gift shop for veterans, turkey bingo, Memorial Day ceremony, and so much more.

"She is a supporter of the Rainbow Girls and Rural Youth Bluegrass Program. B.A. is a true historian to Waitsburg. She keeps track of the town people and truly cares about the families in our little town of Waitsburg."

Justin Gleason was named Employee of the Year during the ceremony. A 12-year employee at Waitsburg Grocery, Gleason was nominated by the store's owners, Dan and Trina Cole.

"Justin started out as a very shy person on the job," Dan Cole said in his nomination letter. "He really did not want to work up front with the public yet, and just wanted and was happy to do freight and stock shelves."

But later, Cole said, "Justin was very quick to learn how to operate the (cash) registers and decided that he enjoyed being around all the customers that came into the shop. He learned the gift of gab rather quickly, and from there, he has just moved up the ladder."

The Business of the Year award was presented this year to Laht Neppur Brewing Co. owners Court and Katie Ruppenthal. They were nominated by Lynne Carpenter.

The Ruppenthals have operated their brewery at 444 Preston Ave. for more than a decade. In her nomination letter, Carpenter said, "In 2005, Court and Katie took an empty shell of a building and turned it into a thriving establishment that anchors the restaurant business in our charming little town.

"If the goal of a business is to promote the town, draw visitors, meet the needs of locals and put a friendly face on a community, Laht Neppur had done that quite handily. In an era and locale where restaurants and other small businesses come and go like spring and summer, Laht Neppur has prevailed and increased their offerings."

A special award was also presented during the ceremony to longtime Waitsburg attorney Mike Hubbard. Hubbard was lauded for his many years in business in Waitsburg, and his support of Waitsburg community events.

Hubbard joined his father Vaughn Hubbard's law practice in 1976, in historic downtown Waitsburg. He formed Hubbard Law Office, P.C. in 1993 upon Vaughn' retirement. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law.

He is a longtime supporter and promoter of Waitsburg's Days of Real Sport and Celebration Days events.


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