Jesse Durham has been honored as Woman of the Year by Bend Chamber. She is pictured with her husband, Michael Kirsch, and mother, Joy Durham. photo provided
Jesse Durham has been honored as Woman of the Year by Bend Chamber. She is pictured with her husband, Michael Kirsch, and mother, Joy Durham. photo provided
Jesse Durham, co-owner of Sisters Coffee Co., has earned recognition as Woman of the Year from the Bend Chamber of Commerce.

The annual award ceremony was held Friday evening at the Eagle Mountain Event Center in Bend.

Durham described the award as “a huge honor,” placing her among women who have a major impact in the life of Central Oregon.

“I think the spirit of the award is just to recognize women who are advancing in leadership and have achievements and are contributing to the Central Oregon community,” she told The Nugget.

She said she was taken by surprise by actually winning the award.

“They started introducing (the award) bio and I thought, ‘That sounds like me. That’s me!’”

It’s the second significant award Durham has received in recent months. Last fall, Sisters Coffee Company was selected as the 2019 winner of the Oregon State University College of Business’ Excellence in Family Business Awards in the category of Business Renewal.

Durham said that she and her brothers Justin and Jared are engaged in a “constant effort to push the coffee industry forward,” with a focus on ethical sourcing and environmentally sound practices.

She will soon travel to Panama to visit the Jaramillo Coffee Estate, whose Hortigal Estate Coffee was featured at Sisters Coffee Company last year.

“We really like their coffee; we had a really good experience with it,” Durham said. “It’s actually a women’s cooperative, which is kind of cool.”

Durham said that Sisters Coffee Company is always looking to develop real, personal relationships with growers and they have a good rapport with the Panamanian cooperative.

It’s that kind of commitment to every aspect of the coffee business that has earned the Durhams recognition in the industry and among business professionals — and earned Jesse Durham the title Woman of the Year.