AdventureTravelNews

Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. Awarded the 2015 Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award

imageBend, OR – Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. (“COTWA”) has been honored with 2015 Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award after being nominated two years in a row. Winners in all categories were announced at the 26th Annual SAGE Awards Gala at Sunriver Resort on Friday April 10, 2015. Other nominees for Entrepreneur of the Year included Seven Peaks Ventures, Cairn, and Moementum, Inc.

 “It’s incredibly important to give back to the communities where we live and work. Having a vibrant community is critical to our collective happiness and success. We tend to focus on organizations and projects that 1) empower young girls and women via positive experiences in the outdoors, or 2) protect the wild places we love and in which we operate. You don’t have to be a huge company with a big budget to make an impact – we find creative ways to support others.”

~ EMILIE CORTES, PRESIDENT

Emilie Cortes, owner of Call of the Wild, expressed her gratitude for winning the award, “I’m really quite pleasantly shocked, and I was rendered nearly speechless at the award ceremony.  I had been joking about becoming the Susan Lucci of the Bend Chamber awards, nominated year after year!  The competition was stiff as we have tremendous local talent and entrepreneurial spirit here in Bend.  We are truly thrilled to be welcomed and recognized by the business community here.  I know I made the right decision to relocate the business to this outdoors mecca.”

imageRobin Rogers, SVP Programs & Events with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, reported that each nominee was evaluated and scored across five categories:  

  1. History
  2. Growth & Performance
  3. Personal Accomplishments
  4. Community Involvement, and 
  5. Service Philosophy. 

As an example of the Community Involvement category, Call of the Wild and Emilie Cortes personally participated in the following organizations or events in the prior twelve months alone:

  • Smith Rock State Park – COTWA continues to serve as an official park partner through the Adopt a Park program. We are responsible for mobilizing volunteers on a monthly basis to support the installation and maintenance of the native desert garden installation next to the Welcome Yurt.
  • Leave No Trace – COTWA is a dedicated official corporate partner, hosts traveling trainers and workshops in Bend, and teaches LNT ethics to clients all over the country and world to preserve our wilderness.
  • Bend Chamber – Emilie is an active member and served as a judge and mini-keynote for the 2015 Women of the Year awards.
  • Deschutes County Search and Rescue – Emilie is a new recruit for team going throughSAR Academy in April/May 2015 (110 hr commitment for academy alone)
  • Bend Chamber Toastmasters – Emilie is an active member attending weekly meetings, delivering speeches (working towards Advanced Communicator Gold award), mentoring members, competing in contests, and writing for Toastmasters Magazine.
  • The Academy at Sisters – Emilie served as a volunteer graduation commencement speaker and Women of Inspiration speaker.
  • Cascades Mountaineers – Emilie serves Board member and Outings Leader in charge of marketing, slideshow organization, and putting on skills clinics to promote safety.
  • Compton Foundation – Emilie serves as a Treasurer and Board Member for a foundation providing grant making worldwide to promote its mission.
  • Hold quarterly free events such as the Hike, Meditate and Get Your Yoga On! at Smith Rock with local partners to support women getting outdoors.
  • Sponsored Bend Endurance Academy, ConnectW Expo, GirlVentures Hike-a-Thon, and American Alpine Club Craggin’ Classic.

Ms. Cortes stated, “It’s incredibly important to give back to the communities where we live and work.  Having a vibrant community is critical to our collective happiness and success.  We tend to focus on organizations and projects that 1) empower young girls and women via positive experiences in the outdoors, or 2) protect the wild places we love and in which we operate.  You don’t have to be a huge company with a big budget to make an impact – we find creative ways to support others.”

Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.

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