Community members nominate people and organizations for the awards, and a panel of Chamber members and community leaders chooses the winners.
During the evening, Past Board Chairman Ed Lepordo installed the new chamber board of directors. Sadly, Lepordo died Sunday while golfing.
The 2013 Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award winners are as follows, as written by those who nominated them:
Citizen of the Year
Bob Farster is a gentleman who has overcome tremendous obstacles to become a very valuable member of our community.
Bob is disabled as a result of the misuse of drugs and alcohol during his career as an automobile salesman.
Bob has been clean for about 18 years. Although physically handicapped due to the loss of one leg, and suffering from other health problems, Bob has been active with MatForce, a drug fighting agency in Yavapai County.
Although limited to a wheelchair, Bob is more than willing to speak to schools or other gatherings of young people. He shares his life experiences openly, using himself as a personal example of the physical harm drug and alcohol abuse can do to a person. Bob's life path to recovery is an inspiration to everyone who has heard his story.
Over the past several years, Bob has spoken to more than 10,000 youngsters at more than 550 events in schools and other gatherings, strengthening and redirecting many youths away from the dangers of drug use and alcohol abuse. It is his passion and life mission to prevent precious young lives from taking the treacherous path that he did.
Norm Pariseau Volunteer of the Year
Mr. Emberlin has been a volunteer with Hospice Family Care since October of 2009. He is 84 years old and continues to view his role as volunteer to the patients on service, as his full time responsibility. Joe insists on having four to six patients a week. While asked for only three hours a week, Joe donated over 500 hours last year! He has always been very willing and eager to sit with patients in whatever physical condition they are in and does so happily.
Joe resides in Prescott Valley so when there is a volunteer request for PV or Dewey, he's the guy. Joe can be counted on to drive wherever he is needed, to do whatever needs to be done, without hesitation. He has diligently sat and entertained patients anywhere from once to consistently, one to two times a week, for up to two years! He is reliable, trustworthy, kind, gentlemanly, and very generous with his time. Joe will go grocery shopping or run errands, take patients out for drives through the forest, bring them ice cream, play checkers and cards, or even sit vigil, when someone is actively dying. It takes a special person to agree to hold a patient's hand until they take their last breath, and he have been counted on to do just that on more than one occasion. Women just love him, and our ailing population is no exception! He is the epitome of what volunteerism stands for and does so for just a simple "Thank you!"
2013 Student of the Year
This young man should be considered a "triple threat." An amazing young person who is involved on the school campus, the community and in the work force. Josiah is an example of an excellent student as well as a very dedicated human being.
As a student at Bradshaw Mountain High School he graduated as Valedictorian with a GPA of 4.55 and class ranking of 1 out of 388. He is an eight-time principal's list member and earned three academic letters.
Outside of class he participated in football and tennis, earning two varsity letters each, was a three-year member of Mu Alpha Theta, two-year member of DECA, two-year member of Delta Epsilon Phi (the National German Honor Society) and a chess club member for two years.
His community service and civic involvement includes helping with the Kiwanis Club auction and serving as a Boy's State Junior Counselor. He was a volunteer coach for Franklin Phonetic School's football team and helped organize food and gift programs with DECA for families during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. He also was involved in his church youth program.
He is a McDonald's crew member with tasks that include crew training and night shift leadership.
We look forward to seeing the great things this young man will accomplish as he pursues his higher education at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
2013 Community Booster Award
For nearly two years Prescott Valley Councilwoman Mary Mallory has worked to bring the Healing Fields of Northern Arizona to Prescott Valley. From the beginning Mary was relentless in her pursuit. She traveled around the town speaking to groups, clubs and businesses. She worked tirelessly raising money, recruiting volunteers and telling the story of the Healing Fields. Always by her side was her husband, Kirk, supporting and helping her.
Due to her leadership and passion the Healing Fields of Northern Arizona in Prescott Valley resulted in an event that was the pride of Prescott Valley in 2012. More than 1,000 flags were placed in the Civic Center lawn area creating a sea of red, white and blue remembrance for the loss of 9/11.
This year, because of Mary's continued efforts and passion the goal of 3,000 flags has been reached and during the week of September 11, the Civic Center will once again be filled with star spangled banners proclaiming Prescott Valley's honor and patriotism to our country.
2013 Prescott Valley Heritage Award
There is no one individual that has done more for this community than Lew Rees.
And we are the lucky ones. Lew joined our community 19 years ago and from the first day that he set foot in Prescott Valley, he has been non-stop in the promotion and development of this community and the surrounding area. His "get-er-done" attitude will go to great lengths to accomplish whatever needs to be done.
Lew has always kept the good of the community up front and foremost. Many of our trademark events were the brain child of Lew. Valley of Lights, Battle of the Bands, Flying High Turkey Drive and Burning Desire to feed the Hungry are just a few examples. Lew was instrumental in bringing the Tim's Toyota Center to our community, as well as our Arizona Sundogs. Lew has spent endless hours promoting both of these properties. And for the past 7 years Lew had been the "voice" at Sundogs games calling us to "Let Me Hear You Scream" as we cheered on our team. Any time there was a charity event in the area that needed someone to MC, Lew was there donating his time and talents.
Lew has also been a key player in helping to bring jobs and development to this area for many years. Yes, Lew Rees has been big part of putting this town on the map. Yes, Lew has worked tirelessly, to make this a better place to live. And above it all, Lew never wanted any recognition. All he strived for was results.
The Prescott Valley Police Foundation is a non-profit organization formed in 2008 for the purpose of providing safety equipment and support for the police officers and office staff. Since the Foundation started in August. 2008, one of their larger projects has been to fund 50 percent of the cost of the state of the art Mobile Command Unit.
A member of the Foundation was actually the project manager bringing it all together ahead of the scheduled completion date.
Officers are now equipped with reflective rain coats, rifle racks mounted in their vehicles instead of in the vehicle trunks, SWAT members are wearing the new, lighter, higher quality shields, each officer carries a trauma kit which saves citizen's lives as well as officers should it ever be needed, updated cameras to fully capture scenes, were able to finish equipping each officer with a Taser, upgraded communication equipment for the SWAT Team as well as other safety equipment.
The primary goal of the Foundation was and is to be sure each officer has a current vest with little or no cost to him and his family. Interest free loans are available to them by just presenting the invoice for the vest. Checks are issued immediately. When the officer receives reimbursement the revolving vest fund is replenished.
All total, the Foundation has spent approximately $98,000 on safety equipment over the first five years. Fundraisers, grants and donations are currently the source of these funds. The Board of Directors as well as any workers are all volunteers. No one receives any kind of compensation for their service.
As a result of the PVPF's presence and support in the community, Chino Valley and Prescott have both expressed an interest in organizing their own Police Foundations.
2013 Chamber Member of the Year
The Chamber works to provide programs and services as a benefit to its members. Many times they need to partner with another business or organization to accomplish a particular project. Such is the case with this member. Realizing that many businesses can become overwhelmed with sensitive and personal documents but do not have the quantity to afford contracting for shredding, the Chamber decided to host a Shred-a-thon. They would offer free/reduced cost for the shredding service. Sir Speedy has a shred service and when contacted owner Ken Coleman quickly agreed to co-sponsor the event.
The first event was held in November with a small number of participants however, in May, in conjunction with Team Up to Clean Up a second shred event was held, open to not only our business members but also the community at large which resulted in over 5,800 lbs. of shredded material. In both instances Sir Speedy worked with the Chamber to provide the service at no charge to the participants. This is a member who goes all out to help and support the Chamber of Commerce in its service to its members.
2013 Community Improvement Award-Small Project
Credit Union West
Credit Union West has been a strong community supporter since coming to the area in 2008. Their office located on the frontage road between Yavapai and Truewood of Highway 69 provide a variety of financial services to the residents and businesses in the Prescott Valley area.
In August 2012 work was begun to modernize the branch. Using local contractors whenever possible this 1,350 square foot building underwent a complete remodel both inside and out. In addition, new signage was installed identifying the Credit Union West location to everyone traveling along highway. Work was completed in January 2013 and a grand re-opening was held on January 13 to celebrate this beautiful new building.
Credit Union West's investment has greatly improved and enhanced the appearance of our business corridor.
2013 Community Improvement Award - Large Project
Town of Prescott Valley Multi-Use Path Trail System
For many years, Prescott Valley has included in its General Plan the concept of Multi-Use pathways that would allow community members from schoolchildren to seniors a way to walk or bike throughout the Town. After years of planning, obtaining grants and working with other agencies such as Arizona Dept. of Transportation, the Town through its Public Works and Administration departments has seen completion of a good part of this dream.
Community members can now enjoy a 10-foot wide, attractively landscaped concrete path from one end of town to the other. Starting at the Civic Center, people can walk or bike the length of Highway 69 from Great Western Drive to east side shopping areas, all the way to Lake Valley School on Bison Lane on the west, and through Mountain Valley Park and the Urban Forest to Sheridan Lane on the east side of town, and to the center of Town at Tim's Toyota Center and the Entertainment District for shopping, theater and dining.
These multi use paths are an attractive addition to the town, and they encourage people to get outdoors with their family and friends and enjoy all the community has to offer. They provide a convenient, economic pathway to shopping, work and medical care for those in the community who do not have access to a vehicle, and they are safe and accessible to people with disabilities.
President's Choice Award: Prescott Valley Chamber Ambassadors
"The "A" Team"
You go above and beyond. Your presence at mixers, ribbon cuttings and special events supports and represents the Chamber in the best possible fashion. Your enthusiasm and friendliness contribute to a very positive image and to the experience we bring to our members.
You are an amazing team...the "A" team!
Chamber Director's Award
In appreciation of your unwavering good humor as a member of the Board of Directors. You make everything you are a part of fun.
From meetings to events you can be counted on to keep us all laughing and having a good time. But you serve with dignity and class.
And that represents what our Chamber of Commerce is all about.
Chamber Volunteer Award
Ed "Big Divot" Lepordo
In appreciation of your valuable time, service and leadership as Chairman of the Chamber's annual Pronghorn Golf Tournament.
Under your leadership it has continued to be a high quality tournament providing great golf, camaraderie and a fun source of revenue for the Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Partner Award
Credit Union West
In appreciation of your support of the Chamber and business community by sponsoring the membership scholarship program.
Assisting businesses financially to become chamber members and thus being able to take advantage of programs, benefits and services is a win/win for all. The ultimate winner is the economy of the community.
You are truly a partner is the best sense.
Chamber CEO Marnie Uhl also presented outgoing Board Chairperson Irene Evans with a plaque in appreciation for her service to the Chamber.
For more information on the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, call 928-772-8857.