Chamber community awards made at ceremony Wednesday | RecordCourier.com
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Chamber community awards made at ceremony Wednesday

Linda Hiller

The scene at Wednesday’s Community Awards Ceremony was one of conviviality, laughing and acknowledgement of jobs well accomplished.

In addition to awarding the four announced community service awards, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority singled out many individuals who have helped with chamber and community activities over the past year.

Master of Ceremonies Judge Dave Gamble, was introduced by Ray Lummus, president-elect of the chamber. After hilariously wrestling with the wheeled podium, Gamble then introduced CVCCVA executive director, Dave Bolick.

Bolick presented a first-time Volunteer of the Year award to Samantha Heers, acknowledged outstanding volunteer Shannon Hickey and gave a presidential plaque and a favorite photograph to interim executive director and outgoing president Roxanne Stangle.

“We really bonded this year,” she said with a laugh.

Monique Reno received a membership drive award, and retiring board member Ron Squires was acknowledged, as well as Bill Henderson, who received his award saying, “Thanks for not making me hug Dave.”

State assemblyman Lynn Hettrick introduced the new chamber directors, Lloyd Higuera, Jay Lather, Ron Pierini, James Schmid and Milos Terzich.

State senator Lawrence Jacobsen, who has been involved with the Carson Valley Chamber for 59 years, introduced the new chamber officers, Milos Terzich, president; Ray Lummus, president-elect; Tim Huether, vice-president and Elaine Agnason, treasurer.

Jacobsen administered the oaths of office to new personnel. Following the swearing-in, president Milos Terzich spoke of his goals for his term, which include increasing chamber membership, improving membership retention and gaining accreditation of the Carson Valley chamber with the United States chamber.

Gamble then presented two surprise awards to county employees. County Volunteer Coordinator Pam Jenkins received a community service plaque, and County Manager Dan Holler received a plaque commemorating his outstanding leadership.

The community awards, voted on by the 400 chamber members were then presented.

The award for Outstanding Community Organization of the Year went to the The Be Overly Street Safe Coalition.

BOSS was formed in 1995 to address the needs of street safety in the Minden-Gardnerville community. The death of 14-year-old Tony Cooper as he was crossing Highway 395, was a catalyst for his father Curt, and grandmother Fran Houle, to make streets safer for all members of the community. BOSS began with a few members and soon grew to 500.

Their immediate targets became crosswalks, and generally “making a difference” in our streets, which took members to the recent Nevada Legislature session where the due care bill was unanimously passed, allowing for criminal prosecution where previously only civil prosecution was allowed. The bill goes into effect Oct. 1.

BOSS members hosted a “Walkable Community Workshop,” where community members and national traffic safety experts convened to discuss improving both road and sidewalk safety in the Valley. Their next project is a to research the possibility of a temporary roundabout in front of Douglas High School to ease traffic congestion at that site.

Tony’s father and brother, Curt and Greg Cooper, along with BOSS director Judge Michael Gibbons accepted the award for Houle, who was recovering from surgery and could not attend.

“Thank you. This plaque belongs to each and every one of you,” Curt said, citing the tremendous support BOSS received from community members since the death of his son.

Citizen of the Year went to Douglas County Undersheriff Ron Pierini, recently appointed sheriff to replace retiring Sheriff Jerry Maple.

Pierini is a long-time veteran with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, in addition to being active in the community. He has served as president of the Douglas County Education Foundation and helped introduce drug abuse and gang prevention programs into county schools.

Pierini has been instrumental in the Explorer Cadet Organization and teaches hunter safety and bicycle safety programs. He was instrumental in creating Douglas County TRIAD, a non-profit organization that works to protect seniors from being victimized, and offers assistance in times of emergencies. He is also active in the chamber, Elks Club, Kiwanis, BOSS coalition, Rotary and wildlife organizations.

“This means a lot to me,” Pierini said. “In over 20 years with the sheriff’s department, much of what we do involves donating a lot of time to the community. When I’m gone so much my wife sometimes asks who I am it’s nice to get this kind of recognition.”

Lloyd Higuera, KGVM radio station owner/manager, was awarded the Business Person of the Year. He is treasurer for the Douglas County Education Foundation, a co-sponsor of the Carson Valley 5K/10K race and a member of the March of Dimes Walk America Committee.

Higuera and KGVM also co-sponsor activities including the Family Support Council radio-thon and the auction for Douglas High Grad Night.

Higuera noted the last time he accepted an award of this kind was in 1986, the first year KGVM radio was in operation and also the year of a notable flood.

“I guess what you’re telling me is I do my best work underwater,” he said.

The Business of the Year went to The Record-Courier, providing news to the community since 1880.

The R-C raised over $6,000 for volunteer fire-fighters following last year’s fires, helped raise more than $10,000 for Douglas County Search and Rescue following the January flood, raises more than $2,000 annually through the Trick or Treat Safety Street, co-sponsors the Carson Valley 5K/10K race, co-sponsored last year’s Carson Valley Chamber’s Parade of Lights, this year’s Ice Cream Social, provides a $500 journalism scholarship annually and sponsors many other events and youth organizations.

“There’s nothing like a hometown newspaper,” Gamble said as he presented the award to R-C publisher Tim Huether.

“People have called me from bizarrely far away to say they read something in the court report,” he joked. “You don’t know how far your words are going.”

Huether thanked both the community and the R-C staff for the support of all the newspaper’s endeavors.

“It is truly a total staff effort that gives us the ability to be an active part of this community and deserve this award,” he said.