S.P. Chamber: Citizen of the Year Fred Robinson, Businesses, Beautification Projects to be celebrated

January 09, 2013
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce will be “California Dreamin’” by honoring a record number of stellar examples of community and commerce at a February 12 luncheon recognizing the Citizen, Businesses and Beautification Projects of the Year.

Citizen of the Year is Fred Robinson, the recently retired head of The Arc who also served the community as a City Councilman and Mayor. According to Chamber President John Chamberlain, Robinson, a city native and graduate of Santa Paula High School, was selected because of his “long-standing commitment to Santa Paula.”

Chamberlain said when discussing award nominees, the Chamber Board of Directors “decided to add a new category to Business of the Year to recognize smaller as well as larger entities. There were a number of great nominations the board felt strongly” about, including those selected to be recipients.

“We didn’t want to overlook achievement by feeling constrained to keep to one per category this year,” a situation that, Chamberlain said, “will not always be the case.... But the board wanted to have the flexibility to adapt where needed and appropriate.”

Large Businesses of the Year are Cal Pipe and Vintage Petroleum, selected, said Chamberlain, because “each company will add significantly to Santa Paula’s economy through creating new, well-paying jobs and investing in the community.”

Small Businesses of the Year are Tisa Grant’s Tisa’s Salon & Spa and Garden Market, owned by Maria and Victor Almazan. “Garden Market and Tisa’s Salon have been in business for a number of years,” during which time, Chamberlain said, both have proven to be “civic-minded businesses and great service providers.”

The Beatification Project Award also was expanded to two recipients, the nonprofit America In Bloom and Santa Paula Chevrolet. “America In Bloom demonstrates dedication and volunteerism and a can-do spirit,” Chamberlain said, is evident throughout the city. “Santa Paula Chevrolet,” led by Dealer/Operator John Macik, “has done a significant enhancement to the footprint” of the award-winning dealership on West Harvard Boulevard.

Noting the inherent differences among those nominated within the same Business of the Year category led to more creative selection, according to Barbara Kroon, Chamber membership services director. “With the nominations so different we split them up and out!” she noted.

And although the Beautification Project Award historically is given to the improvement of a specific property such as the honor for Santa Paula Chevrolet, Kroon said the work of America In Bloom is ongoing. “They should get it every year,” but Kroon said America In Bloom was being honored specifically for three projects that beautified the city’s gateways.

“It’s always nice to have too many choices,” noted Kroon. “It speaks to what a nice community Santa Paula is... and that’s why we have multiple honorees.”

The February 12 Awards Luncheon will be held at the Museum of Ventura County Agricultural Museum (The Mill) located in the historic Railroad Plaza. Mayor Ralph Fernandez will also address the State of the City at the awards luncheon.

Tickets to the event, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m., are only $35 each and are available at the Chamber office at the historic Depot (corner of 10th and East Santa Barbara streets). Kroon said tickets can be reserved by phone, 525-5561, and she would also be glad to discuss Awards Luncheon sponsorship opportunities.

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