Welded Wall Art owner Joell Ortiz and San Jacinto Unified School District Superintendent Diane Ortiz were named the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce’s Man and Woman of the year June 30 during the Chamber’s 16th annual Awards Gala.
The event, held June 30 at the Lodge at Four Seasons, recognizes members who have shown outstanding service and benefits to neighboring communities during the past year.
The gala was attended by more than 200, who were treated to a celebratory meal, entertainment and a unique opportunity to network and promote their businesses and organizations.
Nathan Phan, a magician who’s previously been featured on America’s Got Talent, was the featured entertainment for the evening.
The yearly awards presented included the Nonprofit of Year, awarded to the Assistance League of Hemacinto; Business Beautification Award to the Hemet Valley Mall; Customer Service Award to the Bank of Hemet; New Business of the Year to Harvard Street Bakery and Café, Restaurant of the Year to Emilio’s Mexican Restaurant; Small Business of the Year to Destination Coffee Bar and Bistro; and Large Business of the Year to Sprouts Farmers Market.
Receiving a special award and honor was outgoing chamber board chairman Michael Carle, who has served in that capacity for the past two years. Presenting the award was incoming Chamber director Dee Cozart.
Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington, a special guest of the Chamber, swore in the new Board of Directors for the Hemet/San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce. Apart from Carle—who will remain on the board—and Cozart, they include Rich Biber, Hemet Valley Medical Center; Scott Brown, Hemet Fire Chief; Village Palms RV Resort; Lakshman Koka, SJ Medical Group/Dr. Koka and Associates; Keven Pearson, Eastern Municipal Water District; Richard Perry, VIP Autos; Dr. Vince Record, San Jacinto Unified School District; Leonard Purvis, Riverside County Sheriff; Ray Shalizi, The Country Club at Soboba Springs; Ignacio Valdivia, CR&R Environment Services; Andrew Vallejos, Soboba Foundation; Julie Venable, Mt. San Jacinto College; and Karen Zermeno, Altura Credit Union.
Carle and Cozart represent Golden Village Palms RV Resort and Cozart Management Services, respectively.
Retiring from the Board are Becky Elam, Mt. San Jacinto College; Dr. Roberto Guadamuz, Guadamuz Chiropractic; and Pat McGiveny, of Pat McGiveny CPA.
Andy Anderson, Chamber cEO, acted as master of ceremonies lauding all its members for an outstanding year and presented a video presentation of the many activities the Chamber has been involved with through the year. Anderson praised Sergio Alonzo Gonzalez from Nunoz.com Digital Designs who put together the video in record time.
Many Hemet and San Jacinto city officials were on hand for the celebration including Hemet Councilwomen Bonnie Wright and Karlee Meyer, Hemet Mayor Pro Tem Michael Perciful, Hemet Councilman Russ Brown, San Jacinto Councilwoman Crystal Ruiz, San Jacinto Mayor Scott Miller; San Jacinto City Manager Rob Johnson, and others.
The Chamber’s Platinum gold and silver sponsors were also honored with certificates of appreciation including Platinum sponsor, Valley News Sales and Marketing officer Paul Bandong.