Community Awards 2009

May 16, 2009

By Jim Feehan

Barbara Justice draws applause as she heads to the podium after being announced as the Hall of Fame recipient. By Greg Farrar

Barbara Justice draws applause as she heads to the podium after being announced as the Hall of Fame recipient. By Greg Farrar

The business leader instrumental in spearheading the Issaquah Highlands and the project leader of the Issaquah Valley Trolley Project were both inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame May 19. In addition, Mayor Ava Frisinger was named Citizen of the Year.

The honors were bestowed during the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce 30th annual Community Awards Banquet held at the Holiday Inn.

Judd Kirk, Port Blakely Communities executive, and Barb Justice, of the trolley project, were named to the 2009 Hall of Fame. Nominees were evaluated on several criteria, including the type of service, leadership and length of service to the community.

Kirk was lauded for creating his vision of an urban village — the Issaquah Highlands. The housing development stressed the importance of building green, said Bob Ittes, chairman of the chamber board.

“The Issaquah Highlands has the highest number of homes built green by a developer in Washington,” Ittes said.

Kirk was in New Zealand on a business trip; his daughter Lisa Hysom accepted the award. She said her father considered it an honor to receive the award.“I think this is the first awards luncheon I have missed in the past 18 years,” Hysom said in a statement from her father. “During that time, I have experienced firsthand the many ways in which Issaquah is truly special.”

When Hysom married five years ago, she and her husband were looking for a community in which to live and raise a family. They were running through their criteria when a light went off for Hysom.

“I think this sounds familiar. My dad is building it,” she said.

Barb Justice was recognized for her community work, particularly for preserving the city’s history. Active in the Kiwanis and the chamber, Frisinger said Justice is the consummate volunteer.

“She has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to the Issaquah Trolley Project,” Frisinger said. “Without her efforts, the trolley wouldn’t exist.

She also makes hundreds of dolls for the Seattle Children’s doll program. In addition, she prepared Christmas baskets for the needy during the holidays, Frisinger said.

“She’s truly making a difference in our community,” she said.

Friendly, approachable and imbued with a quiet sense of humor are some of Frisinger’s qualities, Ittes said in presenting the award to Frisinger. Her love of the environment and its impact on the valleys, hills and mountains of Issaquah is unparalleled, he said.

“I am profoundly grateful and humbled to be able to serve this wonderful community,” Frisinger said. “There are so many dedicated volunteers who give tirelessly to show their love of this community.

About 120 people attended the luncheon at the Holiday Inn.

Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or Comment on this story at

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