On January 21, the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 59th Annual Community Awards Banquet with the theme of “Rolling Out the Red Carpet to Celebrate the Stars of Our Community” and what a superb celebration it was. A sold-out crowd of 325 community members turned out to see their esteemed fellow Carpinterians receive awards and to enjoy the festivities.
After an extended cocktail hour at the Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club, guests were seated for dinner in an elegant dining room dimly lit with crystal-like chandeliers and tables adorned in formal red and black linens. The basketball hoops made it impossible to fully disguise the gymnasium, but a fine dining environment was masterfully created.
Paul Wright, owner of Island Brewing Company, was named Carpinterian of the Year. Wright is an original member of THRIVE, a past President of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria (Noon Club), Founding Chair of the Carpinteria First Committee, a past President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Board President of Faith Lutheran Church, and he is widely known for his company’s incredible generosity over the years. Nominations for this award come from the general public, the winner is selected by an anonymous committee of community members newly formed each year. Awards were also bestowed on Wright by State Assemblymember Monique Limón, Mayor Fred Shaw, and First District Supervisor Das Williams, who thanked Wright for creating a “de facto community center” at Island Brewing.
Maria Zamora was named Junior Carpinterian of the Year, an honor that comes with a $4,000 scholarship from the Chamber. The two other finalists, Ana Delgado and Samuel Truax, received $1,500 scholarships from the Chamber. Students apply for the award, a committee of community members selects the winners.
The Small Business Award went to accounting firm Meister & Nunes, PC and the Large Business Award to Mission Linen Supply, a Santa Barbara-headquartered company with 2,500 employees in five states. The company, which serves hospitality, medical and industrial businesses, has supported nearly every nonprofit organization in Carpinteria through linen donations (including at this event), volunteer hours, and sponsorships. It is also in the vanguard in environmental stewardship. Educators of the Year Awards went to Brett Weiberg and Curtis Johnson and the Chamber Ambassador of the Year Award was bestowed on Caroline Alarcon.
Chamber leadership was symbolically transferred from outgoing Board Chair Michael Ensign to Roland Rotz, who introduced the 2017 Chamber Board. Twenty Carpinterian nonprofits presented a Certificate of Merit Award to an individual they wished to honor. Narration was provided by Donna Lemere and Board Member Curtis Lopez while a brilliant spotlight illuminated the presenter and awardee at various tables throughout the venue. The evening was a delightful combination of small-town charm and first-rate show production.
For more information about the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, go to carpinteriachamber.org.
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