The Murrieta Chamber of Commerce held its 2014 Awards Celebration Saturday, July 26, 2014, at the Pechanga Resort and Casino with over 350 in attendance.
The Awards Celebration was chaired by Annette Larocque; Dane Wunderlich and Larry Potter served as emcees.
Rhonda Warner, Vice-President of Operations for the Chamber was recognized for her ten years of service with a special watch.
Recognition Awards included:
Cy Rathbun of Pano Central, Ambassador of the Year; Annette La Rocque of VIP Florist, Chairman’s Choice Award;
Clinton Norton, Firefighter of the Year; and David Lawlor, Police Officer of the Year.
The very first Visionary Award was given to Economic Development Director Bruce Coleman.
Chamber Member of the Year was awarded to Lisa Stergulz, Marketing Programs Manager at RGS Energy.
Other nominees included Jason Hope, Luanne Jobgen, and Liza Vega-Tallman
Entrepreneur of the Year: The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, Paul Little and Graham Judge
Other nominees for Entrepreneur of the Year included Holly Reyes of 951 Fitness, Nicole Albrecht of Financial Accounting Systems, Luis Pena of J & M Display, Annette LaRocque of Murrieta/Lake Elsinore VIP Florist, Monica Kirkland of New Life Ultrasound & Portrait Studio, and Wes Schaefer of The Sales Whisperer
Small Business of the Year: Mail Center & More, Charlie and Kari Hannum
Other nominees: Ace’s Comedy Club, Axiom Financial & Insurance Solutions, Bennett & Bennett, Global Health Insurance, LeMaster Computer Service, Motorcycle Tires Plus, Murrieta day spas, Murrieta VIP Florist, Mythos Technology, New Life Ultrasound & Portrait Studio, Pano Central
Medium Business of the Year: Southwest Riverside County Association of REALTORS®, CEO Connie Lynch
Other nominees: Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, Epic Rollertainment, RKR Marketing & Advertising, Sunpro Solar, Temecula Valley Communications, The Mill Restaurant, The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery
Large Business of the Year: Lake Elsinore Storm, Raj Narayanan
Other nominees: Broken Yolk Cafe, Brunswick Cal Oaks Bowl, Paradise Chevrolet, Waterstone Faucets
Non-Profit/Service Business of the Year: Mariann Schiewe
Other nominees: Habitat for Humanity, Michelle’s Place Women’s Breast Cancer Resopurce Center, Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Murrieta Firefighters L3540, Murrieta Breakfast Likons Club, Oak Grove Center, Professional Women’s Roundtable, Safe Alternatives for Everyone, Save the Animals, United Way of the Inland Valleys
Volunteer of the Year: Michael Fisher, SCORE mentor
Other nominees: Cy Rathbun, Lisa Stergulz, LouEllen Ficke, Luanne Jobgen, Sheila Sitaram, Tara Wunderlich
Citizen of the Year: Kimberly Davidson, Business Development Manger and Public Information Officer, City of Murrieta; Director, Find Me Foundation
Other nominees: Annette LaRocque, Linda Wunderlich, Scott McAuley, Scott Phillips, Terry Gilmore
“I am deeply honored to be Murrieta’s Citizen of the Year for 2014,” Davidson said. “I love this city, the people and our businesses; which makes this award my most important accomplishment. I am so blessed to be able to serve this community every day.”
Greg Bennett of Bennett & Bennett replaced Don Murray as Chairman of the Board. The Murrieta Chamber of Commerce added 304 new members this year.
Sixty-five gift baskets were donated for the silent auction. Live auction items included: specially-aged bottles of tequila, a branding/marketing package, a red wagon full of various spirits and libations, Murrieta Police SWAT training for the day, a Southern California Wine Country Excursion, a Bear Creek Country Club Excursion with Ricky Fowler-signed memorabilia, and a deeded Las Vegas timeshare.