Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce celebrates with 2019 Awards Celebration

Raj Narayanan, second from left, receives the Chairman’s Choice award by Chairman Brad Neet, white suit, during the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce 2019 Awards Celebration at Pechanga Resort Casino Saturday, Aug. 24. Jeff Pack photo

Hundreds gathered Saturday, Aug. 24, to celebrate a year of good business, volunteering, performance and citizenship at the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce 2019 Awards Celebration at Pechanga Resort Casino’s Summit Room.

“It is a fantastic evening, we love this evening,” Patrick Ellis, chamber president and CEO, said. “It gives us the ability to showcase the great people in our valley, obviously with the focus on Murrieta and Wildomar, but people who have a huge impact on this valley in an overall sense.”

Ellis said nominations are accepted from the public and chamber members, and the nominees are given an application to fill out. Once those are returned to the chamber, Ellis provides those applications to a network of chamber leaders outside of the area who help to vote on the winners.

Saturday’s sit-down dinner gala event was the 59th such event for the chamber, and it also featured live and silent auctions, a photo booth, hors d’oeuvre and cocktail hour.

The awards ceremony portion of the event was hosted by Adam Bouvet, Erik McLeod and Raj Narayanan, hosts of The Business Casual Podcast.

It was Narayanan who picked up the Chairman’s Choice award, presented by Chairman Brad Neet of Southwest Healthcare Systems.

Capt. Joe Bourque was named Murrieta Firefighter of the Year and Capt. Matt Misenhimer was named Wildomar Firefighter of the Year.

Murrieta Police Officer of the Year was awarded to Officer David Irving and Deputy Andrew McCracken was named Wildomar Police Officer of the Year.

Tom Grimes was named Ambassador of the Year, Marilyn and Bill Watson, founders of Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center, were awarded the Visionary Award, and Jennifer Sevilla of Stromsoe Insurance Agency was named Chamber Member of the Year.

The Wildomar Volunteer of the Year award went to Chrissy Rohlmeier, and Lisa Wayman was named Murrieta Volunteer of the Year.

Citizens of the Year awards were handed to Annette Jennings for Murrieta and Dr. Todd Alan Donohoe for Wildomar.

Joanne Castro of Residential Real Estate Inc. in Temecula was named Entrepreneur of the Year.

Exceptional Sports Temecula Valley was named Nonprofit of the Year, Premier Solar Cleaning LLC was awarded Small Business of the Year, Ruff and Ready Moving was the Medium Business of the Year and Rady Children’s Health Services was awarded Large Business of the Year.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at