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About Us  >  News Releases  >  August 21, 2003

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CONTACT: Christee Sweeney

Dozono to be Honored by Volunteers of America Oregon

Portland, Ore -- October 20, 2003 - Volunteers of America Oregon has selected Sho Dozono to be honored as the 2004 recipient of the DePreist Award for Excellence. "The award was created to recognize individuals who exceed expectations and whose leadership has helped to build our community, leaving a legacy for our city," said Kay Toran Volunteers of America Oregon President and CEO. A special tribute dinner is planned for January 29th at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Senator Mark O. Hatfield and James and Ginette DePreist are the honorary co-chairs. Judith Johansen, President and CEO of PacifiCorp, and Mark Dodson, President and CEO of NW Natural, are the official co-chairs for the event.

Dozono's selection was based on his significant contributions as both a business and civic leader. "His community leadership reflects the same values as those that form the foundation of Volunteers of America Oregon - building vibrant, compassionate communities, changing lives and leaving an inspiring legacy," said Toran. "He has been a long-time champion of Oregon as both a travel and tourism destination and a strong advocate for positioning the state as a fertile ground for business and investment opportunities. His devotion to community is also demonstrated by his service on numerous boards and commissions," she noted.

Dozono is a past commissioner of the Port of Portland, having been appointed by former Governor Neil Goldschmidt. He is also chair emeritus of the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and was the first minority to chair the Chamber in its 110-year history. Dozono is a past president of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association as well as past chair of the Japan America Society of Oregon. In his capacity as board member of the Portland Schools Foundation, Dozono spearheaded the mobilization of 30,000 citizens to participate in the March for our Schools which succeeded in raising more than $11 million to save teaching positions in the public schools.

Other boards where Dozono has served include Portland Future Focus; Portland-Multnomah County Progress Board; the Portland Art Museum; Northwest Business Committee for the Arts; Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Arts Plan 2+; and the Japanese Garden Society.

One of Dozono's most widely recognized endeavors in recent years garnered both national and international publicity and recognition. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Dozono brought a group of community leaders and corporate sponsors together and organized a contingent of some 1,000 Oregonians to travel to New York City. The group became known as "Flight For Freedom," and for their efforts in "bringing comfort to those who suffered great losses and in supporting New York and the nation's economy," participants were officially recognized by President Bush, Transportation Secretary Mineta, Governors Pataki and Kitzhaber, Mayors Katz and Giuliani and many others. The project earned Azumano Travel the prestigious American Express "Great Performers" award.

Another noteworthy accomplishment occurred on January 22, 2002, when Dozono was one of 50 torchbearers who represented the Columbia River Region in carrying the Olympic torch through Portland en route to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The arrival of the torch was made possible because of the efforts of Dozono, who refused to accept the City's decision not to allocate the funds necessary to produce an event of this magnitude and provide the necessary police escorts and other security required. Working with the Portland Oregon Sports Authority, Dozono set about soliciting donations from corporations and other local supporters in order to make it possible for Portland to be slated as a stop along the relay route. In acknowledgement of his efforts and in recognition of his strong civic support over the years, Dozono was chosen as a torchbearer by the Salt Lake City Olympics Committee and was also awarded the special distinction of running the first segment from the relay's starting point in Portland at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

In September of 2002, Dozono served as co-chair of the International Air Service Committee, leading an aggressive marketing campaign that included advance commitments and pledges from local businesses in the form of a "travel bank" to secure non-stop service between Portland and Frankfurt, Germany. The decision by Lufthansa German Airlines to begin daily service from Portland in March of 2003 was a tremendous boon to the business community in particular and presented a huge opportunity for both Oregon and Washington to establish closer ties with Germany and the rest of Europe.

At the general session of ASTA's 72nd World Travel Congress in Hawaii on November 4, 2002, Dozono received the American Society of Travel Agents' (ASTA) 2002 Travel Agent of the Year Award. The annual award recognizes an active travel agent member who has made a great contribution to the travel industry and whose outstanding influence and professional activity have advanced the status of travel agents.

The ASTA award followed a string of similar awards Dozono received in 2002, including SOLV's Tom McCall Leadership, the 2002 Oregon Association of Broadcasters Award, for distinguished service to our state and/or to our nation; and, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) Excellence Award in Community Service.

In April of 2003, Governor Ted Kulongoski presented the 2002 Governor's Tourism Award to Dozono for his "immense contributions to the growth of Oregon's visitor industry."

Volunteers of America Oregon.
Since 1896 Volunteers of America Oregon has provided services to the greater Portland community, last year reaching over 7,000 individuals and families. Through 16 social service programs, Volunteers of America Oregon aims to find innovative solutions to some of todays' biggest social problems: poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, family health, and adequate and affordable childcare. Volunteers of America Oregon is located at 537 SE Alder in Portland, Oregon. Log on to for more information or call 503-235-8655.

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