SCANDINAVIAN OF THE YEAR

Awarded each year, this honor seeks to recognize those making a difference in the Nordic community... and beyond.

Scandinavian of the Year is a prestigious award given annually by Nordic Northwest to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their organization and to the wider Scandinavian community in the Pacific Northwest.

2021 Scandinavian of the Year nominees:

Robert Baselnominated by Finlandia Foundation – Columbia Pacific Chapter and the Fogelbo Troll Committee

Hans & Anna Lundin, nominated by New Sweden Cultural Heritage Society and Harmoni Lodge

 

Sara Winter, nominated by Leikarringen of Portland

Being nominated is, in itself, an honor. Each of these nominees is deserving of great acclaim and our big thanks for their amazing contributions and devotion to communicating and celebrating Nordic culture within our community. 

Congratulations to Sara Winter, our 2021 Scandinavian of the Year!

Sara Winter, granddaughter of NNW founders John & Dolores Nielsen, and part of the fabulous Nielsen’s Jewelers, has been involved in the Nordic Community since birth. From Leikarringen of Portland (which now her kids are a part of), Himmelbjerget Danish camp, Lucia court in the mid 90’s (and now the Lucia committee chair since 2010). She has been on the board of directors, the 2008 youth task force, the 2017 volunteer task force, and many more.

In the early 1990’s Sara began helping in the kids craft area at Scanfair, which she started leading in 2000, greatly expanding it with crafts for all ages. In 2019 Sara co-chaired the entire festival and was the driving force behind dreaming up the festivals 2020 and 2021 pandemic versions. Sara is also the co-creator and chair of Fastelavn, easily the most colorful and youthful event happening at Nordia House each spring, since 2016.

Sara has been an important part of Leikarringen. Helping with several events, showcasing the group and instrumental in helping the group to offer scholarships!

Sara's youthful (and seemingly endless) energy and dedication is absolutely contagious and an inspiration to everybody. She enthusiastically jumps into new tasks, is fearless when taking on leadership rolls, has fabulous ideas which she seems to effortlessly take from beginning to completion. She is a natural leader who cares deeply for all projects she involves herself with, a true rock star of goodwill and action in our local Nordic community… and a mom/wife with a fulltime job who somehow manages to have 48 hours in her days to get it all done perfectly and on time.

thumbnail_IMG_1226.jpeg

Robert Bäsel

Robert, the original Fogelbo Forest Troll, lovingly called “Bob the Builder” by his fellow trolls, has been involved with NNW for over two decades and spent way, way more time “volunteering” for Nordic Northwest than “attending” anything presented by Nordic Northwest. He has helped set up and take down almost every bigger NNW event for as long as we can remember. He has been involved with ScanFair (flags, banners, decorations and all the supplies) and Midsummer (there would be no correctly assembled tents at Midsummer, if it wasn’t for Robert), Exhibits, Marketing, Advertising, and everything in-between for over two decades. He has sponsored events and initiated and donated goods to promote everything NNW.

As part of the fantastic Fogelbo Forest troll volunteer Team, he has moved, build and re-roofed several storage stugas on the Fogelbo property. He helped “drop” and cut up innumerable trees, and helped immensely with the landscaping of both properties.

He also helped with numerous improvements and initiated and helped install exhibits inside of Nordia House and was an integral part to make the Portland Midsummer Festival an “Oregon Heritage Tradition”.

Robert is probably our shyest/most reluctant nominee, or, as his fellow troll and friend David Alford put it so perfectly: “Bob’s the type of guy who is impossible to get up on stage because he is probably underneath the structure building it.”

thumbnail_IMG_1225.jpeg

Hans & Anna Lundin

Hans & Anna Lundin have been active Nordic community members since moving from Sweden to the United States in 1972. While living in Denver in the 70s&80s Anna started a SWEA chapter, both of them were active members of the Swedish club and Vasa. Anna also opened and ran her shop “Anna’s Butik”.

They stayed connected with SWEA (Anna was a board member) and Vasa when moving to Phoenix. Since moving to Portland they have been very active members with New Sweden

(Anna has been a board member since 2000) and Harmoni Lodge, SWEA (Anna), SHF (now Nordic Northwest) and the Portland Scandinavian Chorus (Hans).

Anna has a knack for decorating – whether it’s booths, exhibits, displays or buffets and her cooking and baking is absolutely delicious. Both have also helped with the opening of Nordia House, being a part of our big planting party, building IKEA furniture for the staff kitchen installation day and so much more. Always with a smile on their face and ready to help with any task.

They have worked tirelessly on New Sweden’s Kraftskiva event year after year which resulted in them being lovingly nicknamed “the energizer bunnies” for all their wonderful help celebrating Nordic and especially Swedish culture. Hans & Anna have been nominated in 2017 by Scandia Lodge and in 2019 by New Sweden.

thumbnail_IMG_1219.jpeg

PAST SCANDINAVIANS OF THE YEAR

1956: Bob Anderson

1960: Marcus Peter Pihl

1961: Carl M. Saltveit

1962: Malcolm Frykman

1963: Erv Lind

1964: John Virtanen

1965: Bardi Skulason

1966: Boris Sirpo

1967: Lorentz Bruun

1968: E. Dean Anderson

1969: Werner Sahlin

1970: Erik Hauke

1971: Ernest Harold

1972: Christian Elster

1973: Oscar Nastrom

1974: Harold Berentson

1975: Melvin Pihl

1976: G. Bernhard Fedde

1977: Lloyd E. Anderson 

1978: Magnus Esrom

1979: Faye Frykman

1980: Ross Fogelquist

1981: Alpo Tokola

1982: Mary Nastrom

1983: Glen Nordby

1984: Rolv Schillios

1985: Gerda Farestrand

1986: Martha Stenberg

1987: Mel Iverson

1988: Herb Matta

1989: Cathy Bjork

1990: Ellen Jacobson & Maj Persson

1991: Johanna B. Fedde

1992: Saara Slossar

1993: Judy Rust

1994: Lillian Johnson

1995: Robert M. Lee

1996: Carol De Sau

1997: Kaja Voldbaek

1998: Rosi Hill

1999: Elisabeth Mendenhall

2000: Doris & Harry Heiberg

2001: Steinar Fuglestad & Elsie Nordby

2002: Toni Linne & John Nielsen

2003: Christie Stilson

2004: Aase Maja Besson

2005: Doug & Ulla Hanson

2006: Eila Chisholm

2007: Carl & Marian Thompson

2008: Ann Grangaard

2009: Denver James/Kristi Johnson-James

2010: Andy & Margot Toth

2011: Larry West

2012: Clinton Maurice

2013: Pauline Coleman

2015: Judy Gervais Perkiomaki

2016: Sandra Nelson Miller

2017: Dave Alford

2018: Jeff Klein

2019: Christine, Dirk & Pirjo Schulbach

2020: Kirsty Dickinson