Truckee Donner Chamber Awards Dinner recognizes business and community members

Special to the Sun
Ron RettigAlyssa Westenburg wins Volunteer of the Year Award at the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce Awards dinner.

TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; The Truckee Donner Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner and Pandora’s Auction held Nov. 9, 2011 at The Resort at Squaw Creek was a great success. With almost 200 people in attendance, it was 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 labor market, or have shown staying power and growth in our business community.The Hospitality Award given to 101.5FM Truckee Tahoe Radio. Filling the airwaves with Truckee’s message, sharing the Truckee-Tahoe lifestyle, events, news and weather andamp;#8212; you name it, they’re there! Setting a tone, a character, a voice andamp;#8212; all with passion, awesome music and tons of promotions and giveaways. Other nominees: Allen Highfield, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe; California Welcome Center; Cedar House Sport Hotel; Dan O’Gorman, Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Park District; Granite Peak Management, James Woodruff, Crux Events; Kevin Steele, Resort at Squaw Creek; Mike Blide, Cottonwood; Mike Preseau, Cooking Gallery; Norma Jean Bowers, Resort at Squaw Creek; Pacific Crest Grill at Bar of America; Sam Okamoto, Drunken Monkey; Stefanie Olivieri; The Richardson House and The Rock Garden.The New Business of the Year award went to CoffeeBar. Many entrepreneurs have a passion, almost obsession, for their idea. They are hard-working individuals with a deeply engrained work ethic. Every day this business works to provide exceptional customer service. Care and attention is paid to every detail. This local gem offers a quality product, quick and friendly service, and has created a great vibe and community gathering spot for locals and visitors to enjoy. Other nominees: Artisan’s MarketPlace, Avec Wine + Food, Best Pies Pizzeria andamp; Restaurant, Bluebird Designs, Dorinda’s Chocolate Caf, Grow Massage + Wellbeing, Mo Jo andamp; Zoe, and Trokay Caf.The Revitalization Award went to Taco Station. Gone since 2003, Taco Station put their heart and soul into taking a run-down building, gutting it, bringing it up to code, redesigning and remodeling it to re-open this locals’ favorite. With quick-in, quick-out service, all the fresh ingredients can be seen as they efficiently prepare meals right before your eyes. Other nominees: Boreal Mountain Resort, Carmel Gallery, Holliday Development, Mountain Home Center, Northstar California, Squaw Valley USA, Truckee Donner Lodge, and Truckee River Winery.The Large Business of the Year award went to Squaw Valley USA. Large business and small business andamp;#8212; it is a symbiotic relationship. This business seems to have done a 180 degree turn in their culture and community involvement. They understand the relationship between large and small business and the need to embrace community, people and causes. Squaw Valley is at the table, working shoulder-to-shoulder with small businesses to make a difference within the community. They receive this award for their commitment, investment and contributions to economy and community, and for their ongoing andamp;#8220;renaissance.andamp;#8221; Other nominees: Boreal Resort, Clear Capital, Granite Peak Management, Kelly Brothers Painting, Mountain Hardware andamp; Sports, Northstar California and Sugar Bowl Resort.The Excellence in Government award went to Ted Owens. There is a big responsibility working in the public sector. Honesty, integrity, fiduciary responsibility with taxpayer funds and transparency are of utmost importance. Finding a wrong they to make it right, building consensus, getting the facts and seeking compromise. This individual is honored for many years as a public servant from Truckee Town Council to Nevada County Supervisor. He is known for doing what is right and good for the people of Truckee. Other nominees: Judy Price, Town of Truckee; Tahoe Forest Hospital District; Truckee Donner Public Utility District; Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Park District; Town of Truckee and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Alyssa Westenburg. This individual donates countless hours of time and expertise. In her role as President of the Truckee Downtown Merchants, she is passionate about downtown businesses and is unwavering in her efforts to create a collaborative spirit in the success of the andamp;#8220;heart and soulandamp;#8221; of Truckee. Under her leadership, Truckee Thursdays has become a significant and signature event for Truckee. Additionally, she has contributed significantly to the Truckee Tomorrow collaborative economic development initiative. Other nominees: Chelsea Walterscheid, Emily Farrell, Erin Winter, Hillary Jacobson/Hill, Jackie Thomas, Kim Pier, Laurie Martin, Linda Holman, Liz Bordner, Phyllis McConn, Sandy Madigan, Stefanie Olivieri, and Steve Wallace.The Non-Profit Organization of the Year was awarded to High Fives Non-Profit Foundation. This organization is dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes who have suffered a life-altering injury while pursuing their dream in the action sports community. Within the past year, they have aided in the recovery of more than 15 athletes. It is their dream to help many more, continue to grow and become a nationwide organization that acts as an umbrella for those who participate (and get hurt) in the sports about which they are so passionate. Other organizations nominated: For Goodness Sake, Girls on the Run, Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe, KidZone, Mickey’s School of Grooming, Project MANA, Rev. Janis Kathleen Day, Sierra Senior Services, Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and Truckee Donner Land Trust.The Small Business of the Year (11-49 employees) award went to Burger Me! This business serves as the anchor to the West end of downtown and has brought a new energy to the Brickelltown district. Opening its two big metal doors in 2008, the garage-like atmosphere is unlike any other. Gaining the attention of the Food Network’s andamp;#8220;Diners, Drive-ins and Divesandamp;#8221; brought attention to their business and Truckee. They recently expanded to open a second location in Reno, Nev. They are active in the community, TDMA, Truckee Thursdays, Girls on the Run, and the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe. Other nominees: Cottonwood, Drunken Monkey, Pacific Crest Grill at Bar of America, Rock andamp; Rose, SnowTech, Squeeze In, Tahoe Dave’s Skis andamp; Boards, The Office BOSS, Thin Air Motor Sports, Villager Nursery, Wild Cherries Coffee House and Zano’s Family Italian andamp; Pizzeria.The Small Business of the Year (1-10 employees) award went to Truckee River Winery. With its roots going back to 1989 in a barn by the house, this business has expanded and created a tasting room to share their award-winning wine. They have become a community gathering place hosting bocce leagues, nonprofit events, winemaker dinners and more. Their charming staff shares stories of the winery’s beginning and a local’s perspective on the community with all the guests. Since opening their tasting room doors two years ago, they have grown from two part-time employees to four full time employees, and their sales have increased by 70 percent in one year. Other nominees: Alpine Skills International, Cabonas, Carmel Gallery, CoffeeBar, Cooking Gallery, Crux Events, Dorinda’s Chocolate Caf, Full Belly Deli, Mane Attraction, Moonshine Ink, Tahoe Adventure Company, Tahoe Blooms andamp; Floral Designs, Tourist Club, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Ron Farrell.The Chamber awarded the Ambassadors of the Year to the Truckee California Welcome Center Concierge Staff. This team of professionals assisted more than 76,000 visitors in the California Welcome Center last year. Since being designated as an official California Welcome Center in August of 2009, the number of visitors who come through the door has doubled. As part of a network of 20 Welcome Centers through the state, Truckee consistently ranks among the top seven in terms of number of visitors. The Concierge Staff provides excellent customer service, greet everyone with a smile and provide information on Truckee, Tahoe and all of California. Millions of dollars are spent to get visitors here, the Concierge Staff ensures once they are here, their experience is richer and more memorable.The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization comprised of 560 members, representing more than 7,300 jobs, with the mission to promote and develop local business and tourism, while improving the community’s quality of life.

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