Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce holds annual Awards Gala at Pechanga Casino

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Awards Gala at Pechanga Resort & Casino. This premier event was a memorable night of elegance and excitement, with over 550 attendees. The evening included dinner, an extravagant silent auction, live entertainment, and an outstanding awards presentation.

This year’s award recipients are:

Citizen of the Year

Terry Gilmore, Paradise

Chevrolet Cadillac

Terry Gilmore is the president/owner of Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac. Behind every successful organization is a dedicated individual with much perseverance. Terry is that person behind many local non-profits providing his resources and time to help them fulfill their mission. Terry dedicates numerous hours and resources assisting several non-profit organizations with their fundraising efforts. Terry continues to give and has a never-ending commitment to provide for those that are less fortunate. He is a positive role model and inspires others to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others as often as he can. He takes every opportunity he has to lift-up and encourage others to find their passion through helping others. Terry is an inspiration to many individuals and business owners. Often, people come to Terry for advice on how to grow their business, plan successful fund-raisers and events. He is always willing to give his insight and expertise to each and every person.

Lifetime Achievement

Gerry & Rose Wilson

These two individuals started their story in August of 1953 when they walked down the wedding aisle. They adopted a child and then gave birth to three more children within the next two and a half years. One of them was a financial advisor, the other, a former TV cooking show host. Family and work placed at the top of the list of their priorities. Neither one was ready to risk all their savings when one of their grown children suggested launching a new family business. Today they own 90 acres and sell over 30,000 cases of wine each year. Each weekend the winery welcomes more than 1,000 visitors. Their winery hosts multiple charity events each year that bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce named them 2010 Gold Business of the Year. This family enterprise started with a dream before it grew into the successful commercial entity it has become since the tasting room doors opened in 2000.

Platinum Business of the Year

Pechanga Resort & Casino

Pechanga Resort & Casino, rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2003, is a luxury hotel and casino resort in Southern California Wine Country featuring the largest casino in the Western United States, a spa, an 18-hole championship golf course, a newly renovated grand entry and 15 restaurants and outlets. The Pechanga Tribe has provided over $25 million to the City of Temecula and County of Riverside for additional police and fire services, traffic relief, and has donated more than $15 million to local schools and hundreds of regional non-profit groups working to build a stronger community.

Gold Business of the Year

WJ Bradley Mortgage

Capital LLC

WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital LLC. in Temecula is based on the principles our county was founded upon – visionary entrepreneurship in small business ownership. Showcasing exemplary customer service, WJB is one of the brightest trailblazers in the Mortgage Banking industry. WJB Temecula Home Loan Center has become a market leader in home financing. WJB Temecula in 2013 has funded over 550 home owners in excess of $145,000,000 loan volume.

Bronze Business of the Year

La Masters Jewelry

La Masters Jewelry is “Where Diamonds and Dreams Come Together.” They are a third generation jewelry family business serving the Temecula Valley since 1988. The mission of La Masters Jewelry is to create and maintain satisfied, enthusiastic customers by marketing quality products and using our extraordinary customer service skills. They strive to be a leader in the community by demonstrating ethical business practices and giving back to the community in a responsible generous manner.

Sterling Business of the Year

Esther N. Phahla, CPA, A

Professional Corporation

Esther N. Phahla, CPA, A Professional Corporation provides tax preparation and tax planning services to small businesses and individuals using close personal attention. They offer tax savings strategies to clients to help them keep more of what they earned.

Service Charitable Organization of the Year

NAMI (National Alliance of

Mental Illness) Temecula Valley

NAMI Temecula Valley is a non-profit mental health organization managed by volunteers who advocate for those who have a diagnosis, are family members or are friends of those affected by serious mental illness. Free educational classes are offered to peers and family members and are facilitated by trained volunteers.

Chairman’s Choice Award

Robert Rosenstein, Law Offices of Rosenstein & Hitzeman, AAPLC

Since 2011, Rosenstein has played a key supporting role to the board and staff, offering his expertise with legal assistance. He has been involved in numerous civic activities, supports many of the city’s charities and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Temecula Theater Foundation.

Ambassador’s Choice of the Year

Valerie Harbottle, My Girl! Friday Services & Erné Orin, Send Out Cards

Valerie Harbottle, owner of My Girl! Friday Services, joined the Ambassador team in 2012. Over this past year Valerie has attended countless ribbon cutting ceremonies and events. She promotes membership heavily and has volunteered invaluable amounts of her time assisting staff behind the scenes. Erné Orin with Send Out Cards has been an Ambassador since 2009. Since that time, she has volunteered wherever needed at numerous events and ribbon cuttings. She is always encouraging greater involvement of member businesses in Chamber programs.

Valley Young Professional of the Year

Kaelan Sutherland, Sutherland Networks

Kaelan Sutherland has been with Sutherland Networks as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing since October of 2011. She promptly joined and began actively participating Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Young Professionals and accepted the position as 2013 VYP Chair. Kaelan participates in many of the Civic Committee opportunities that VYP offers; shopping for and decorating the annual Oak Grove room, Walk for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity Golf Tournament. She and her husband have been one of the many volunteers at the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. Additionally, being a member of Temecula New Generations Rotary Club, has provided her with multiple service opportunities, such as helping raise money for Our Nicholas Foundation, Michelle’s Place and multiple other charities. She actively pursues opportunities to better herself, her business, and the community-at-large.

She and her husband of 10 years have lived in the Temecula Valley for nearly 14. Her husband started Sutherland Networks in 2003. Kaelan and her husband currently live in Temecula with their three children between them, ages 16, 18 and 20. As a family, they love to ride quads and camp with their 5th wheel toy hauler in the deserts of Ocotillo Wells and camping at KQ Ranch in Julian. They have 2 dogs, Parker and Max and 12 fish.

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