Tenth Annual Smith Award Dinner Oct. 4

Join us and Sen. Gordon and Sharon Smith as we celebrate 10 years! We will honor Oregon State Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and State Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, at our 10th Annual Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award Dinner on Oct. 4 in Portland at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

The reception opens at 6:00 pm with dinner and program starting promptly at 7:00.  Sponsorships and individual tickets can be purchased at www.namior.org/smithaward or by calling 503-230-8009.

Created by NAMI Oregon in 2009 to honor the mental health advocacy efforts of former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith and his wife, Sharon, the New Freedom Award is presented annually and recognizes an individual or individuals for their leadership on mental health issues.

Left to right, Oregon Historical Society Director Kerry Tymchuk, Pam and Rep. Andy Olson, Sen. Betsy Johnson, and Sen. Cliff Bentz

“Both Sen. Johnson and Rep. Olson are richly deserving of this award,” said former Sen. Smith. “Whether in the State Capitol building or in their home communities, Betsy and Alan have been and continue to be tireless advocates on behalf of those battling mental illness.  Sharon and I are proud to call both Betsy and Alan our friends, and we look forward to presenting the award that bears our name.”

Information on 2018 NAMI Oregon Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award Recipients


Senator Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is serving her third term in the Oregon Senate. She joined the Senate after being appointed to fill the District 16 position formerly held by Senator Joan Dukes. Senator Johnson has served on numerous local, regional and national boards and commissions, including the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation and the High Desert Museum. Senator Johnson currently serves on a number of regional boards, including the Board of Visitors, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She also serves as the President of the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation.

State Representative Andy Olson, R-Albany, is currently serving his seventh term in the Oregon House of Representatives.  His legislative district includes portions of Linn and Benton County.  Prior to serving in the legislature, Representative Olson spent 29 years as an Oregon State Policeman. During his time in the legislature, Representative Olson has served as Co-Chair of the Public Safety Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice Commission. He also serves as a member of the Joint Ways and Means Sub Committee on Human Services. Representative Olson and his wife, Pam, are the parents of three daughters and are very proud of their four grandchildren.

About NAMI Oregon
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Oregon (NAMI Oregon) is a statewide grassroots organization with more than 1,700 members in 14 affiliates; it is one of 50 state organizations that comprise the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  NAMI Oregon is the state’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to education, support and advocacy around mental illness and treatment. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit NAMI Oregon’s free education, support and advocacy programs.