List of distinguished retirees grows longer

February 18, 2014

Debbie Berto joined a growing, distinguished list within the past year when she announced her retirement. After 40 years at The Issaquah Press, she was ready to move on to the next challenge in her life.

She wasn’t the only one to call it quits on service in the public eye.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Locally, Ava Frisinger ended her run in January as Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor after 17 years. When Frisinger announced in 2009 she would not run for another term, her reasoning was simple.

“I didn’t want to become stale,” she said. “It’s important to let others in and run things with a fresh set of eyes.”

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Press publisher to retire Jan. 31

February 1, 2014

40-year career comes to a close

When Debbie Berto assumed the helm of The Issaquah Press in the early 1970s, she was only a couple years out of college and had no managerial experience. To top it off, she was just 24 and pregnant with her first child. But her boss saw something in her that made him confident he’d made the right choice.

“I never had any training in business management,” Berto admitted. “The Press was losing money in those early years, so John Murray didn’t have much to lose by putting me in charge. It wasn’t long before he predicted that I would retire from The Press. I couldn’t imagine that that was possible.”

Debbie Berto Press publisher

Debbie Berto Press publisher

Now, 40 years later, Berto is indeed ready to retire, having worked from advertising representative to publisher of the 114-year-old newspaper.

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Chamber honors top volunteers at annual community awards

June 4, 2013

By GREG FARRAR Cecilia Gambill, owner of Illuminate Contracting LLC, thanks the crowd with a smile as she is called to the podium to receive the Citizen of the Year award sponsored by the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, during the 34th annual Community Awards Banquet held May 30 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Cecilia Gambill, owner of Illuminate Contracting LLC, thanks the crowd with a smile as she is called to the podium to receive the Citizen of the Year award sponsored by the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, during the 34th annual Community Awards Banquet held May 30 at the Hilton Garden Inn. By Greg Farrar

In a night of honoring local volunteers, the city handed out top recognition at the 34th annual community awards. Cecilia Gambill was named Citizen of the Year and Debbie Berto was named to the Issaquah Hall of Fame.

Those awards finished out the May 30 banquet, held at the Hilton Garden Inn and sponsored by the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber CEO Matt Bott presented the award to Gambill, co-owner of Illuminate Contracting. Bott celebrated her hours of volunteering and her enthusiasm. Gambill has been in the community for three years after moving to Issaquah from Florida.

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