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Chamber of Commerce gives awards, installs new officers

by Linda Hiller

Celebrating a year of successful projects, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority presented their annual Community Awards to several individuals and organizations Thursday evening.

The 53rd Annual Installation and Community Awards Ceremony, attended by an estimated 130 chamber members and guests, was held at the River Bend Grille at Genoa Lakes.

Citizen(s) of the Year was awarded to two people for 1997-98. David and Diane Gamble, co-founders of the City of Refuge, received their award and plaque from last year’s recipient, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini.

“This is truly humbling. Without a doubt, one of the reasons City of Refuge is City of Refuge is because of this organization,” Diane Gamble said, citing the tremendous support the Carson Valley business community lent to the building of the east Valley home for unwed mothers.

Business Person of the Year was awarded to Leesa Hanson, advertising director for The Record-Courier and active participant in many Valley organizations, including Soroptomists International of the Carson Valley, the Parade of Lights, Leadership Douglas County and the chamber.

“I feel very honored to be mentioned in the same group as the other nominees,” she said, as she accepted her plaque from last year’s recipient, Lloyd Higuera.

Outstanding Community Organization of the Year was awarded to the Family Support Council of Douglas County, a private, non-profit community-based organization providing counseling and other services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The council also provides parenting education and victim mediation to residents of Douglas County, often free of charge.

The award was presented by Fran Houle of Be Overly Street Safe, last year’s recipient.

“We are totally awed by the fact that we got this award today,” said Dottie Peterson, president of the Family Support Council board of directors.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the business community,” added Sherry Worrell, deputy director, adding that the Family Support Council helped a total of 1,200 clients during the past year.

Business of the Year was awarded to Bing Materials, owned and operated by Gerry Bing Jr., longtime Chamber member and two-time president. The award was presented by Matt Bodourian, general manager of The Record-Courier, which was last year’s award recipient.

Bing’s company, a rock, sand, asphalt and concrete company donates generously each year to many organizations in the Carson Valley, and actively participated in the clean-up following the 1997 New Year’s flood, much done at the company’s expense.

Chamber officials also honored several other members who had contributed to the year’s success.

Dave Bolick, executive director, presented an award to the Volunteer of the Year, which went to Nanosecond, a Valley Internet service provider who has been instrumental in aiding the chamber in creating their new website: carsonvalleynv.org.

Outgoing president, Milos Terzich, summarized the past year with the highlight of the “most successful membership drive ever,” adding 108 new members, bringing total membership of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority to more than 500 members.

The newly-elected board of directors was installed, including John Campbell of Nevada Gourmet Grocery; Karen TenBroeck of CruiseScape Travel; Leesa Hanson of The Record-Courier and Joan Weik from Bank of America.

Also installed and sworn in by the Honorable Jim EnEarl, East Fork Township Justice Court, were newly-elected executive council members, president Ray Lummus, president-elect Debra Lang, vice president Elaine Agnason, treasurer Jay Lather, past president Milos Terzich and director emeritus, Gerry Bing Jr.

Perennial favorite Master of Ceremonies, Judge Dave Gamble, never at a loss for levity, expressed his feelings about once again being chosen to emcee the awards ceremony.

“Thanks for letting me do this again,” he said. “It’s just a hoot.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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