Ian Sissel named 2023 Future First Citizen

Siuslaw senior Ian Sissel, seen here speaking during special training he received from Florence Toastmasters as part of his Rhododendron Court activities, was named 2023 Future First Citizen. He will receive the Marteen Wick Future First Citizen Scholarship. Photo courtesy florencechamber.com

May 19, 2023 — The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce would like to announce that Ian Sissel is this year’s Future First Citizen and will be receiving the Marteen Wick Future First Citizen Scholarship.

The Future First Citizen designation recognizes a student based on their academic leadership and success as well as civic involvement and contributions to the community. It includes the Marteen Wick Future First Citizen Scholarship for $2,500. 

The other nominees were Jacob Blakenship, Gillian Norton and Alexander Goss. A panel of Florence First Citizens, Kay King, Steve Olienyk, Dr. Brian Holmes, Dee Osborne and Rachel Pearson, considered the nomination packets and scored each student. 

The chamber normally names the winning student at the Siuslaw Awards and Annual Meeting, which will be held this July 21. The event also honors businesses, volunteers and the First Citizen of Florence Award. This year, however, the chamber and Siuslaw School District wanted to name the winning student in time for graduation in June and the Rhododendron Festival’s Grand Floral Parade on Sunday, May 21. Sissel was also named King of the Coast Runner-Up and will be riding on the Rhody Court Royalty float with a special designation sign. 

The Rhododendron Festival kicked off early this year with the Rhododendron Court Coronation this past Friday, and will continue this weekend May 19-21 with events all around town, ending with the 116th Rhododendron Festival’s Grand Floral Parade on Sunday May 2, which begins at noon.