2017 Honored Alumni

Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms.

Outstanding Alumna | Christian Service Award | Heritage Award

Outstanding Alumna

Lori Sobelson ('97)

Lori Sobelson

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts degree in business management and operational leadership at George Fox University. Through personal initiative, she has envisioned, created and developed many of the positions she has occupied throughout her career. Her drive, dedication and competence resulted in an invitation to deliver the keynote address at the Western University of Health Sciences’ 2016 commencement ceremony. She was then privileged to be awarded Doctor of Humane Letters for her contributions to the broader community, with particular regard to nutrition education.

Lori currently serves as director of corporate outreach at Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. This position privileges her with representing the company in a number of roles. Foremost, she oversees the philanthropy of founders Bob & Charlee Moore, ensuring that their philanthropic goals are met and the commitments made by recipients are fully acted upon. Thus she serves on a number of boards and committees, while also providing valued input from both donor and business perspectives. As well, she works with a range of nonprofit organizations, providing guidance and marketing input for their various programs, in addition to donor support.

Throughout the year Lori organizes and participates in a variety of functions which align with the Bob’s Red Mill mission, ranging from health symposiums and community events to public appearances and media presentations.

Early in her career, her passion for cooking and teaching provided her the opportunity to establish and develop the Bob’s Red Mill Cooking and Baking School. This she managed for over 13 years, and was a popular class instructor herself.

When Lori’s not working, she enjoys cooking, reading, meeting with friends and hanging out with her husband! 

Christian Service Award

Ben Sand ('10)

Ben Sand

Ben Sand grew up in Spokane, Washington, the son of a single mother and one of six siblings. Ben went to college on a presidential scholarship and completed a degree in English from Eastern Washington University, intending to be a high school English teacher. Instead, Ben and his wife Maile were called to Portland to run Young Life in the inner city. While serving with Young Life, in 2005, Ben established Act Six – an urban leadership and scholarship program designed to empower the next generation of diverse leadership for the region. Launching Act Six opened a new horizon for Ben as a community organizer.

In 2008, Ben founded Portland Leadership Foundation (PLF), a faith-based community organizing organization, to both hold Act Six and incubate new initiatives in the city. After five years of growing initiatives committed to multicultural leadership development, in 2013, PLF established Embrace Oregon – an initiative connecting caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS). Embrace Oregon works directly with 137 faith communities in Portland. Over 300 foster families have come forward through Embrace Oregon in the last 30 months. PLF has mobilized 3,500 volunteers to partner with DHS through multiple volunteer initiatives, and faith communities have mobilized nearly one million dollars to renovate each DHS office in the region, provide tangible needs for over 1,000 children in foster care, and give ongoing monthly hospitality to DHS employees. In February 2017, PLF announced it will run Embrace Oregon under a new brand called Every Child. PLF will partner with the State of Oregon to serve all of Oregon’s 36 counties in five years.

In addition, PLF also runs an initiative that works with student-athletes, Champions Academy, a nonprofit leadership development gap-year program.

Ben completed his Master of Divinity at George Fox University and is an elder at Imago Dei Community. He and his wife, Maile, have two biological children, Adah (7) and Zoe (5), and an adopted son, Julin (3). Ben loves fly- fishing, running, writing, and Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball. 

Heritage Award

Tim Smith ('84)

Tim Smith

Tim Smith graduated from George Fox University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. In that same year he began his teaching career, spending nine years teaching grades K-8. In 1992, he earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Oregon and moved into school administration. This started an adventure that has now lasted for over 24 years, spanned four Oregon districts, and served thousands of students and their families. Tim is currently an elementary principal in the Sherwood School District. He con- siders the development of young hearts and minds a great joy and privilege and his true calling in life. He believes that every child is worthy and that public education provides an opportunity to level the playing field for all learners.

Tim and his family attend Horizon Community Church - Sherwood Campus, where he serves as a youth leader for middle school-aged boys. Over the years he has worked in a variety of roles within the church, including as a dea- con and moderator. Most recently, Tim has discovered the joy of participating in short-term missions. His trip to Uganda in the summer of 2016 with EPIC Ministries left him desiring to further explore the opportunities associated with this evangelistic, church-planting outreach.

Beyond his work in schools and his participation in the church, Tim has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including Relief Tree Nursery, Love INC and local education foundations, among them his current role as a member of the Sherwood Education Foundation. For a number of years he participated as a member, and chair, of the George Fox School of Education Consortium.

Tim married his college sweetheart, Pamela (’85), and together they recently celebrated their 33rd anniversary. Their story includes the birth of their only daughter, Delaney, who arrived after 16 years of marriage. They reside in Sherwood, but look for any excuse to visit family along the West Coast. When not spending time with family, Tim loves to read, to tinker with his old jeep and to dream about his next escape to the woods, deserts and streams of our state.


Connect with Us

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with current Bruin news and events.