The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the nonprofit.

Verne Duncan

Sen. Verne Duncan receives Capitol Foundation Bell Award

On Jan. 25, 2023, Capitol Foundation Board Member Nan Heim presented Sen. Verne Duncan with the Bell Award for spearheading and garnering support for the legislation, officially establishing the Oregon State Capitol Foundation. Duncan’s passionate work has and will continue to bring our Capitol and all it represents alive for students, civics education groups, visitors and our state’s future leaders for generations to come. 

Pictured left with Sen. Verne Duncan is Capitol Foundation Board Member Joan Plank.


“It was such an honor presenting Verne with the Bell Award. It was his vision and commitment back then that keeps us focused and staying true to our mission!,”

Hon. Bob Repine, Capitol Foundation Chair

Duncan has served on the Capitol Foundation Board since 2000 and is currently serving as an Emeritus Member since 2015.
Duncan is the fourth person to receive the Bell Award.

Juliene Popinga receives Capitol Foundation Bell Award

On Jan. 26, 2022, Capitol Foundation Chair Judy Hall presented Juliene Popinga with the Bell Award for igniting belief and stimulating involvement in our democracy.

“Juliene’s work exemplifies a passion for the relationship between our Capitol, the Oregon story, the shared heritage of Oregonians and the Foundation’s mission.”

Former Capitol Foundation Chair Judy Hall

From award-winning Capitol History Gateway programming including exhibits, displays and events to 4th grade lesson plans and more, Popinga and the Capitol Visitor Services team she oversees excel at making the Capitol visitor experience educational, fun and memorable.

Thanks to Popinga’s forward thinking, when the pandemic temporarily closed the Capitol to the public, the Visitor Services staff was prepared for a smooth transition from providing in-person activities to online virtual Capitol tours and educational cultural events.

“I’m very fortunate to work with an amazing Visitor Services team and committed individuals and organizations that engage in developing experiences for the Capitol visitors. I am honored to be the recipient of the Foundation’s 2022 Bell Award and look forward to future opportunities to share Capitol stories and Oregon history.”

Juliene Popinga, Capitol Foundation Bell Award recipient

Popinga is the third person and the first non-Board member to receive the award.

Jane Cease receives Capitol Foundation Bell Award

On April 14, 2021, the Foundation Board recognized former State Senator Jane Cease for her tireless work evolving the Oregon State Capitol Foundation from a legislative organization to an independent charitable nonprofit in 2015.


“It’s my honor to present the Bell Award to Jane on behalf of our very grateful colleagues. Her work required vision, tenacity, wisdom and administrative fortitude as she guided the organization to a new stage of independence and expanded capacity.”

Former Capitol Foundation Chair Kim Duncan

A history of serving Oregonians

Cease served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1979-1984 and in the Oregon State Senate from 1985-1991. A volunteer on the Foundation Board since 2004, she served as Vice Chair of the organization from 2011-13 and Chair from 2013-2015.

Colleagues surprise Frankie Bell with Capitol Foundation Bell Award

On Jan. 27, 2021, the Foundation Board adopted a policy to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the nonprofit. Next, they surprised founding member Frankie Bell with the inaugural Oregon State Capitol Foundation Bell Award.

“It is with immense pride that we recognize Frankie’s foresight and years of hard work. She demonstrates extraordinary commitment and dedication by serving our organization, the Capitol and Oregonians.”

Former Capitol Foundation Chair Kim Duncan

Bell — the award’s namesake — saw the possibilities of an organization committed to the physical preservation of the Oregon State Capitol and educational programs offered to Capitol visitors and Oregonians. She organized the Foundation’s first volunteer board in 1995, two years before the organization’s founding by statute. More than 25 years later, she continues to nurture the nonprofit’s growth.

About the remarkable Oregonian who inspired the Bell Award

Frankie Bell capped her three-decade career as State Capitol Visitor Services manager by helping to launch the Oregon State Capitol Foundation as a founding member. 

Bell, who has a passion for our Capitol and Oregon’s legislative process, has worked every regular session of the legislature since retiring. Frankie was a key player in creating the Capitol’s volunteer program, building use program and the Capitol gift shop, which make the building more accessible and friendly to visitors.

The Capitol is Frankie’s “home away from home,” and news reporters and historians often consult her about Capitol history.