NCU News

Center for Leadership & Ethics Announces Award Recipients

Center-for-Leadership-and-Ethics-LogoThe advisory board for Northwest Christian University’s Center for Leadership & Ethics has named local philanthropist and business leader Ada O.L. Lee, Market of Choice, and Holt International as the recipients of this year’s Exemplary Ethical Leadership Awards, the Center’s highest honor.

“These awards are significant because they recognize individuals and businesses for consistently demonstrating honorable and ethical practices while achieving personal, organizational and community relevance,” said Mitch Hagstrom, Executive Vice President/Chief Banking Officer with  Pacific Continental Bank and a member of the CLE advisory board. “To be honored in this way by NCU, a storied academic institution that has leadership and ethics at the core of its organizational values, is truly noteworthy.”

Ada O.L. Lee moved from Hong Kong to Vancouver, Canada and then to Eugene in the early 1950’s, with the help of the University President Ross Griffeth. While a student at Northwest Christian University, Ada met and married Bill, a student at Oregon State University. Soon thereafter she and late husband signed a five-year lease to operate a Chinese restaurant near downtown. A savvy entrepreneur, Ada has never forgotten those who helped and partnered with her over the decades. She is an example of a hard-working, faith-filled business woman who lives with zeal to give back, help others and strengthen our community. At a time when most would retire to a life of leisure, Ada still leads B&A International Inc., a Real Estate and Business Consulting Firm, they founded many years ago. She continues to serve in a wide array of activities, including serving on the boards of directors for Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation, Northwest Christian University’s Board of Trustees, the Jordon Schnitzer Museum of Art, and Lane Community College, among others.

Market of Choice, a regional supermarket leader, Market of Choice has nine stores throughout the state of Oregon with a tenth slated to open in June 2016. Family-owned and operated for more than 35 years Market of Choice was originally known as Thriftway Market, later changing its name to Price Chopper and becoming Market of Choice in 2000. The store name reflects the family’s priority to provide conventional, natural and organic products to its customers. The company operates on seven values: superior customer service, exceptional quality and freshness, atmosphere, honesty, teamwork, resourcefulness, and competence.

Holt International was founded in 1955, after Creswell resident Harry Holt traveled to Seoul, Korea to care for orphaned and abandoned children. Just three months later, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Holt Bill into law, allowing Harry and his wife, Bertha, to adopt 8 children from South Korea. Feeling led by God to help more children, Harry returned to Seoul in March 1956 to establish, along with David Kim, the Holt Adoption Program. Sixty years later, Holt International continues the work of Harry and Bertha, offering programs that strengthen and preserve families in 13 countries around the world.

“Ada O. L. Lee, Market of Choice, and Holt International embody the very best of what we strive to teach our students in the classroom and through internships and missional work,” said Keith Potter, D.D., NCU’s Vice President for Advancement. “We applaud these real-life examples of integrity and ethical leadership and point to them as the business examples of the values our institution holds dear: Wisdom Faith Service.”

The three award recipients will be honored during NCU’s Eighth Annual An Evening of Tribute, a black-tie-optional event, presented by Moss Adams LLP,  that serves as a benefit for the University’s student scholarship fund.

An Evening of Tribute is May 5, 2016, at Venue 252 in Eugene. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Dinner, entertainment, and an awards presentation will follow at 6:30 p.m. Event tickets are $125 per person or $1,000 for a table sponsorship. Reservations can be made by calling (541) 684-7318 or by visiting

About the Center for Leadership and Ethics
In a fast-paced world in which greed and moral relativism are becoming increasingly common, ethics matter more than ever. Established in 2005, the NCU Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE) is an extension of the University that strives to ensure NCU remains at the forefront of offering ethics and values-based leadership programs.

The CLE is served by local and regional professionals who share a common vision for the promotion of social responsibility, volunteerism, ethical leadership, and best practices. This advisory board supports the CLE Mentorship Program and annually reviews and votes on the nominations for the Exemplary Ethical Leadership Awards.

About Northwest Christian University
Northwest Christian University is a liberal arts institution dedicated to providing a transformational education that champions wisdom, faith, and service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded in 1895 and is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. Northwest Christian University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in traditional undergraduate, adult degree, and graduate program formats, as well as online programs for MBA and M.Ed. More information about the University is available at