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Hometown hero: North Bend business owner, promoter named Citizen of the Year
"Easy to reach, hard to leave." The North Bend tagline glows atop theater owner Cindy Walker's neon marquee.
Beneath the sign, Walker herself is getting ready for the latest showing in the Banff Mountain Film Festival, part of a weeklong celebration of the great outdoors and the Snoqualmie Valley.
Walker's efforts to develop her downtown and make the city's tagline ring true are part of the reason she was named North Bend Citizen of the Year for 2010.
Joint owner of North Bend Theatre and neighboring Emerald City Smoothie, and a tireless contributor to the local scene, Walker was honored at the Tuesday, Dec. 7, city council meeting.
Mayor Ken Hearing praised Walker for her hard work to promote the city's downtown and encourage tourism.
"Our community is a better place because of the special efforts she makes," Hearing said.
Walker has been a supporter and leader of downtown revitalization efforts, the downtown Block Parties, the North Bend Mountain Film Festival and its amateur challenge, and this year's holiday events. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Railway Museum, where she continues her efforts to promote tourism in the upper Valley.
“Cindy is a leader in our community and we want to thank her for the significant contributions she has made in enhancing the city’s downtown revitalization” said Hearing.
A blushing, smiling Walker received a plaque and a hug from the mayor.
"None of what I do, I do by myself," she told the council in accepting the award.
"Or for yourself," added Hearing.
Walker credited many people with helping to make these city events happen, and the city's volunteer marketing and branding team in particular. The mayor also presented the marketing team of Geoffrey Doy, Guy Lawrence, Martin Volken, and Community & Economic Development Director Gina Estep with awards of merit.
Some of the marketing team's achievements for the city in the past year include designing the city's new logo, its tagline and scheduling a series of events from the holiday activities to competitions with a significant tourist draw.