Northwest Christian University’s Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE) will honor Eugene business leaders Joe and Cathleen Karcher, Rexius, and Relief Nursery as the 2018 recipients of the Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards, the Center’s highest honor.
“The Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards recognize individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations for establishing a culture where honorable and ethical business practices are the foundation for personal, organization and community relevance,” said Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President for Policy and External Affairs at Holt International and CLE Advisory Board member. “These individuals and organizations demonstrate to NCU students and the entire community that wisdom, faith and service are the foundation for a professional career.”
2018 Exemplary Ethical Leader Award Winners
Ethical Individual Leader Award Winner: Joe & Cathleen Karcher
Joe and Cathleen Karcher, along with their infant daughter Lauren, moved to Eugene on January 25, 1990 with the goal of franchising Carl’s Jr. Restaurants and further growing the brand in the Northwest. Their family soon grew with the additions of their son Alex and daughter Emily. As of 2015 they have added to their business by beginning to franchise The Human Bean coffee stands and Jersey Mike’s sandwich shops. Joe and Cathleen find great joy in partnering with charitable organizations, and believe that it is really in giving that you receive.
After moving to Eugene, they began their charitable work in small ways, helping out with fundraisers at St. Paul Parish School, St. Paul Catholic Church, and Marist Catholic High School. Today, they work many organizations including Catholic Community Services, Northwest Christian University, St. Vincent de Paul, Special Olympics, United Way, the University of Oregon, Volunteers in Medicine, Angel Hair, and Clark County Food Bank. Outside of these groups, they also support many other local groups that help to improve lives of families in Oregon and SW Washington.
Ethical Business Leader Award Winner: Rexius
Rexius is a four-generation, 80 year-old family business that has gone from two ambitious founders to more than 250 committed employees, some with the company for nearly 50 years. Founded by Solomon and Lilian Rexius in the mid-1930’s as a residual wood products company, Rexius has evolved into an industry leader in several arenas including commercial composting and organics development, landscape construction and maintenance, worldwide custom soil sales and global manufacturing. What was once a single truck delivering waste wood from local sawmills to the University of Oregon and EWEB for fuel for their boilers is now a diverse, sophisticated and world-wide company.
Ethical Non-Profit Leader Award Winner: Relief Nursery
For more than 40 years, Relief Nursery has helped to prevent the cycle of child abuse and neglect through early intervention that focuses on building successful and resilient children, strengthening parents, and preserving families. The Relief Nursery serves more than 1,000 children and their families each year. Through statewide replication efforts, Relief Nursery has become a leader in child abuse prevention with 31 independent Relief Nursery sites throughout Oregon based on the model created in Eugene.
At the Relief Nursery core is the belief in focusing on, and building upon, the strength of each individual family. A wide array of support services are provided; always with respect for the diversity of the families we serve. Relief Nursery services include outreach and crisis response, home visiting and parenting education, therapeutic early childhood classrooms, special education services, mental health counseling, and alcohol and drug recovery support.
About NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics
Established in 2005, NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics equips and inspires ethical leaders by providing faith-integrated and values-based education and mentorship to NCU students, alumni, and the community. The Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards are awarded annually by the Center’s Advisory Board. Recent recipients include: GloryBee, Market of Choice, Industrial Finishes, Phil Speers, Eugene Mission, Holt International, Dr. Ada Lee, among others.
NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics is supported by Moss Adams, Industrial Finishes, RG Media Company, PeaceHealth, DariMart and Umpqua Bank.