Alex Mourelatos is Citizen of the Year at chamber dinner in Olympic Valley
TAHOE CITY andamp;#8212; More than 200 local business and community members attended the 56th Annual Community Service Awards, presented by the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, last week at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley to recognize the outstanding achievements of many local residents. Alex Mourelatos, of Tahoe Vista-based Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort and chair of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, received the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award for his many extraordinary contributions to the North Lake Tahoe community. At the invitation of his parents, Mourelatos moved his wife and family to North Lake Tahoe in 2004 to help with the family business, and has been active in the community ever since. Mourelatos serves as a small business operator, employer, basketball coach and is an active leader on various community boards and organizations, as well as a sponsor to many worthy causes, not the least of which is the overall health and future of the North Lake Tahoe community.Bill Briner was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award for his more than 50 years of invaluable, legacy contributions to North Lake Tahoe and beyond. Briner has served as the elected Placer County District 5 Supervisor, appointed member of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Deputy Director of the California State Department of Parks and Recreation and General Manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District. He was also the official photographer of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, which was held in North Lake Tahoe.The Large Business of the Year went to The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe for their unwavering commitment to North Lake Tahoe and the major boost they are providing to the local economy. The Ritz-Carlton broke ground on the project in July 2006 and generated significant employment during their three-year construction. The resort opened in December 2009, and employment at the five-star caliber property is 350, with 200 of those hired consisting of local residents.Plumas Bank took home Small Business of the Year for their longevity in business, strong commitment to personalized, quality customer service and supporting the communities they serve through volunteerism and charitable contributions.Non-Profit of the Year was awarded to the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, an independent public charity dedicated to supporting its 60-plus members, for their commitment in making the foundation into an institute of public learning and charitable giving.Northstar-at-Tahoe received the Hospitality Award for its outstanding, on-going and effective commitment to customer service and hospitality.The Positive Environmental Impact Award was given to Madonna Dunbar, the principal visionary for the Keep the Sierra Green Awards Program and the head of the Incline Village WASTE NOT program. Dunbar was also recognized for her work as executive director of the Lake Tahoe Water Suppliers Association.The first-ever Olympic Heritage Tourism Achievement Award was presented to the Olympic Heritage Celebration leadership team: Ron Parson, Rob Weston, Dave Antonucci, Bill Clark, Bill Lindemann, Christine Horvath, Russell Poulsen and Linda Williams, who coordinated the efforts to host the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and fundraising efforts for the planned Squaw Valley Olympic Museum and Western Winter Sports Heritage Center.The Organizational Leadership Award was given to Dr. Bob Maxson of Sierra Nevada College for his ability to open windows of opportunity, even if that meant taking risks and not always following what is perceived to be the most prescribed path forward.The Placer County-Lake Tahoe Film Office also recognized community members, with Special Recognition Awards going to the Cal-Neva Resort andamp; Casino and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The efforts of both have increased the possibility that more productions will be attracted to North Lake Tahoe.The North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce also thanked four North Lake Tahoe Resort Association Board Members, who stepped down having completed their terms of office. Consistent with the Resort Association bylaws, elected Board Members are limited to two consecutive three-year terms. Those recognized were Dan Tester, Dave Wilderotter, Graham Rock and Debbie Casey, representing more than 20 years of dedicated service to the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Chamber and community.A number of volunteers were recognized last week and included Jim Markle, U.C. Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center; Jennifer Bossin, Girls on the Run Sierras; Lydia Carter, North Tahoe Public Utility District Recreation and Parks Commission; Rob Weston, California State Parks; Victor Hernandez, Lake Tahoe Music Festival; Bryce Griffith, Tahoe City Public Utility Districtandamp;#8217;s Parks andamp; Recreation Department; Diane Miller, Tahoe City Downtown Association; Sandy Tomlinson, Tahoe City Downtown Association; Diane McCall, TOCCATA; Lynn Berardo, Incline Community Business Association; and Ron Treabess, Sierra State Parks Foundation.Outstanding employees getting top honors included the 2009 Northstar Environmental Action Team of Colleen Dalton, Dave Paulsen, Jooly Hopkins, Aidan Guillikson, Jesse Lamm, Shannon Lonta, Nadia Guierrero, Richard Ortman, Tim Stansell, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort; Bernie Atkinson, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe; Patricia Sanchez, Granlibakken Resort; Jaime Wright, Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association; Mark Sapoznik, Shawn Bratcher, Karin McMahon and Roy Cumming of the Resort at Squaw Creek; Jim Falman, U.C. Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center; Aaron Nelson, The Potlatch; Mike Williams, Smith andamp; Jones; Terry Jones, Incline Community Business Association; Julie Munoz, Tahoe City Marina; Dawn Seay, The Store andamp;#8230; Copies and More; Robin Runyon, North Tahoe Public Utility District; Erin Casey, Squaw Valley Institute; Pete Zernik, Squaw Valley USA; Katherine Hill, The Weekly Magazine; Ryan Seeyle, Homewood Mountain Resort, Ed Lahr, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort; Sky Rondenet, Tahoe T.V.; Jess Mullen, CBandamp;#8217;s Pizza andamp; Grill; Doug Olsen, Tahoe City Public Utility District; Olga Sukhotskaya, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort; Bree Allen and Renee Winn of Auerbach Engineering Corporation; Natalia Buller, Tahoma Lodge; and Kym Fabel of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.The 56th Annual Community Service Awards was sponsored by the Resort at Squaw Creek, Jeff Leep of Leep Entertainment, Sierra Nevada Ad Partners, Eco Print and Imaging, Creative Edge Marketing and Promotions, Wooden Valley Winery and Vineyards, King Andrews Vineyards and Tahoe Ridge Winery.The North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce is operated under the umbrella of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA), which also operates the Tahoe North Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a partner with the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau in the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative. The NLTRA also serves as a partner with Placer County and other public agencies in the development and funding of infrastructure, transit and community mobility projects designed to enhance tourism and community quality of life for the benefit of all in the North Lake Tahoe region. For more information about the NLTRA, visit http://www.nltra.org. For details about the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, click to http://www.NorthLakeTahoeChamber.com.