Ontario Chamber’s 2021 Distinguished Citizens

Veteran and local volunteer Bob Metzger was selected by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce as the Distinguished Citizen Man of the Year for 2021. Awards for distinguished citizens will be given out during a banquet on Friday at Four Rivers Cultural Center.

ONTARIO — The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has named veteran and local volunteer Robert “Bob” Metzger as the Man of the Year for its annual Distinguished Citizen selections.

Metzger is currently retired, but has kept himself widely involved in the community, stating that his motto is, “ Retired, don’t want to. Don’t need to. Can’t make me.”

On his 17th birthday, Metzger enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in South Korea and VietNam as a pay specialist, infantry, military liaison with the sea-land corp., and logistical command of sea-land convoys; while earning a Bronze Star Medal.

Throughout his non-military career, Metzger was employed at a wide variety of occupations, including Klamath County Juvenile, where he supervised up to 40 juveniles (1972-1974); W.F Young Manufacturing, where he worked on line maintenance (1975-1977); Kit Manufacturing as a welder (1977-1978); Pacific Steel as a steel yard foreman (1978-1987)’ Professional Computer Group, as a lead computer technician (1994-1997); M&M Computers LLC, where he built, serviced and sold computers (Feb. 1997-Dec. 1997); and the Oregon Department of Corrections (1998-2015) as the IT project manager, network administrator, and IT technician, before retiring in May of 2015.

Metzger was awarded for his work with the state, receiving the Oregon Department of Corrections Outstanding Service Award from 2005-2006.

Metzger stated that he wanted to give back to the community. As a result, he opened and operated the Atherton Kennels, an animal shelter for Malheur County and surrounding areas, from May 1987 to May 1997. He has served in a variety of ways over the years, including as a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce from 1987-1997; Malheur/Baker Regional Strategies Committee from 1994-1995; Ontario Airport Committee in 1995; Malheur County Jail Committee in 1996; Ontario Red Cross Disaster Reaction Team; Malheur County Emergency Management; Citizens on Patrol; along with being an actor for four years in the Illustrious Onion Skin Players, a Weiser-based theater troupe.

Currently, Metzger is a member of the Ontario Firefighters Association, an association designed to support the firefighters, along with managing the food pantry at the Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida.

Metzger has been able to upgrade the food pantry, in addition to doing a tremendous job at record keeping, according to Charlene Pelland. As a result, they are able to rotate and track the food within the pantry, in order to keep fresh products within the pantry, and were able to deliver 1,376 food boxes last year, according to Metzger.

“Bob is a very generous and kind man with a big heart,” stated Pelland on the Distinguished Citizen nomination form.

Therefore, the Ontario City Chamber of Commerce has decided to recognize Metzger for his dedication and commitment to the local community by awarding him with the Distinguished Citizen Man of the Year Award.

“I wanted to mention how honored, and grateful I am to receive this award. Very unexpected,” stated Metzger during an interview with the Argus Observer.

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