Truckee Donner Chamber honors businesses, individuals at awards dinner |

Truckee Donner Chamber honors businesses, individuals at awards dinner

Special to the Sun
Zano's Family Italian & Pizzeria garnered the hospitality award, for their restaurant that combines the flavors of Italy, philanthropy and the friendly atmosphere of Truckee.
Courtesy Rob Retting/SNAP |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Donner Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner and Pandora’s Auction held Oct. 29, 2013 at The Resort at Squaw Creek had more than 250 people in attendance for an evening of fun, entertainment and recognition of their peers.

Awards were presented to recognize local businesses or members who have exemplified outstanding involvement in the community and its issues, those who have contributed significantly to the economy and local labor market, or have shown staying power and growth in the business community.

Hospitality Award, Zano’s Family Italian & Pizzeria: Tim and Diana Brown understand the commitment to community. Generous to a fault, this business has hosted many benefits and fundraisers. Their philosophy is simple – remember the golden rule with everyone you meet. Other nominees: Bespoke; Chelsea Walterscheid; Coffeebar; Craig Fierro, Auto Glass Express Truckee; James Woodruff, Crux Events; La Fleur Rouge; Mayumi Elegado, Moonshine Ink; Melody Rebbeck; Plumas Bank, Shelly Wright; Stefanie Olivieri; Sugar Bowl Resort; The Auto & Tire Doctor, and Truckee River Winery.

New Business of the Year, California 89: Inspired by the beauty and lifestyle you can experience all along this gorgeous mountain highway, Lisa Gotts has created a unique, edgy, user-friendly store in downtown Truckee. Other nominees: East River Public Relations, La Fleur Rouge, Linchpin Structural Engineering, Inc., Marty’s Café, Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market, and Tahoe Expedition Academy.

Revitalization Award (Small Business), Truckee Bike Park Project: Building one of the coolest, most innovative recreational facilities around, this group of motivated volunteers has shown possibilities are endless and dreams can become reality. Other nominees: California 89, Coffeebar, and Wild Cherries Coffee House.

Revitalization Award (Large Business), Tahoe Forest Health System – Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center: A triumph of design, this new facility received the Best Commercial Design Award by Tahoe Quarterly in 2013. Other nominees: Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, and town of Truckee, Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, and Truckee Hotel.

Large Business of the Year, Tahoe Donner Association: Involved in solving issues facing the community, the leadership of this organization collectively volunteer their time to more than a dozen organizations. They have grown their workforce by 25 percent over the past four years and added 10 full-time positions. They donated more than $125,000 in product this past year to hundreds of local organizations. Other nominees: Clear Capital; Mountain Hardware & Sports; Northstar California; Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe; Sierra College; Squaw Valley; Sugar Bowl Resort; and Tahoe Forest Hospital.

Excellence in Government, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District: This organization has shown significant strides, primarily due to the leadership of the board and the chief executive. The entire Board of Education comprised of president Kim Szczurek, Randy Hill, Kirsten Livak, Dianne Driller, Gaylan Larson and Superintendent – Chief Learning Officer Dr. Robert Leri were presented with the award. Other nominees: Alicia Barr, Truckee Town Council; Chief Adam McGill, Truckee Police Department; Devin Bradley, Nevada County Health & Human Services Agency; Kelly Beede, Town of Truckee; Kim Bateman, Sierra College; Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District.

Volunteer of the Year, Truckee Volunteers in Police Service: This group of individuals collectively donated more than 2,300 hours of service in 2012 alone and more than 20,000 hours in the past 10 years. They are a dedicated team who give of their time to ensure community events take place. Other nominees: Andy Wirth, Ann Carter, Billy McCullough, Brooks McMullin, Chris Otto, Dave Wilderotter, Jennifer Boehm, Luka Starmer, Noel Trim, Norm Nicholls, Rose Weskamp, Tally Brand, and Wes Schimnelpfennig.

Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe: Founded in 1994, this dedicated board and staff work side-by-side with hundreds of volunteers, saving the lives of hundreds of homeless pets each year. In partnership with the town of Truckee, they opened the community’s first public animal shelter. Other organizations nominated: American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Truckee-Tahoe, Contractors Association of Truckee-Tahoe (CATT), Excellence in Education, Family Resource Center of Truckee, Far West Nordic Ski Education Association, High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, KidZone Museum, One-Stop Business and Career Center, Project MANA, Rotary Club of Truckee, Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner, Tahoe Expedition Academy, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Trails & Vistas, Truckee Donner Historical Society, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Optimist Club, and Truckee Trails Foundation.

Small Business of the Year (11-49 employees), Wild Cherries Coffee House: From the early days of a coffee cart at Northstar, to co-owner of Truckee Coffee Roasters with fellow Olympian Tamara McKinney, to branching out in 1999 to create a place that is a solid hit with locals and visitors, former Olympic skier Kristin Krone won a gold medal with Wild Cherries Coffee House. They are a proud sponsor of the Marc-Pro Strava bike team, the Wild Cherries Junior Triathlon Team, and the Far West Nordic Junior athletes. Other nominees: Bar of America, Boice O’Neal Realty, Coffeebar, FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Full Belly Deli, Mamasake, Mountain Home Center, Pianeta Ristorante, Tahoe Expedition Academy, The Lodge Restaurant & Pub, and Zano’s Family Italian & Pizzeria.

The Small Business of the Year (1-10 employees), SmallPond Studio: Coming from journalism and marketing backgrounds, these gals love working with small businesses, creating an identity for them, being part of their marketing team and eventual success. Their work has helped small volunteer-based nonprofits have the look and professional feel of a much larger organization. Other nominees: Artisans Market Place, The Auto & Tire Doctor, Auto Glass Express Truckee, Bespoke, Crux Events, Gallery Keoki Images of Tahoe, La Fleur Rouge, La Galleria, Mo, Jo & Zoe, The Law Offices of Molsby & Bordner, LLP (MOBO Law), Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry, O’Dette Mortgage Group, Riverside Studios, Spirit Tahoe Interior Design, Tahoe Adventure Company, and The Sports Exchange.

The Chamber recognized Melody Rebbeck, of the Hampton Inn & Suites, Tahoe-Truckee as the Ambassador of the Year for her commitment to Truckee and involvement with the Chamber. The Ambassadors welcome new members and help introduce them to other members of the business community. They also secure the donations for the annual Pandora’s Silent Auction – a fundraiser that allows the Chamber to develop and implement a dynamic and proactive program of work that benefits Chamber members and the business community.

The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization comprised of 550 members, representing more than 7,000 jobs, with the mission to promote and develop local business and tourism, while improving the community’s quality of life. For more information, visit

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