Port O Call – 2019 Business Awards

Local businesses strengthen our community in countless ways. They give to local charities, bolster our economy, perform community service, and provide fresh food and highquality services to the city of Stockton. On top of that, they create the kinds of personal touches that define the city and its culture, as well as provide communal experiences you won’t find at a chain store, restaurant, or gym. It is for these reasons and others that the Stockton Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Business Awards Luncheon, honoring the individuals and companies that make Stockton special. 

The 34th annual luncheon, held on June 6 at the Hilton at 11:30 a.m., recognizes both businesspeople and chamber members for their role in empowering our community, and for accomplishments such as increasing environmental awareness, encouraging healthy living, and continuing to grow the relationship between the Chamber and our local businesses. For their efforts in welcoming new members to the Chamber, volunteering at Chamber events, and otherwise fostering togetherness in the Stockton business community, Bruce Adams of the Stockton Chorale, Susan Cruz of Smile Business Products, and Roy Nightengale of 105-9 The Bull have been named the Stockton Chamber Welcome Squad Ambassador of the Year, Stockton Chamber Liaison Ambassador of the Year, and the Sam and Cindy Overall Volunteer of the Year, respectively. For Cruz and Nightengale, these are repeat awards indicative of many years of enthusiasm for and service to the Chamber. And for Adams, who only started working with the Welcome Committee this last year, it’s a testament to his great energy and positive attitude, which have already made him an invaluable member of the committee. 

All three recipients shared a similar sentiment, that the most rewarding part of the work was the people they met doing it. “It is great to get to know the members this way,” said Cruz. “We are like-minded businesspeople who care about the community and about helping each other.” 

But of course, what good is the Chamber without the wonderful people and businesses it supports? People like Alice DeBerry of Haggerty Construction, who won Business Employee of the Year for her excellent ability to adapt to the needs of any given job, as well as her drive to help others. “What I think is great about working in Stockton is all of the wonderful people and families in this community,” said DeBerry. “At Haggerty, we assist clients by advising, building, and restoring their homes and businesses. I love working for 10 PORT PORT CALL CALL Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce AWARDS By Jordan Severns such an amazing company and being able to help clients get their lives restored.” 

The recurring theme from all the winners is a deep love for the people of Stockton, demonstrated again by Marianne Prieto, who was named Business Manager of the Year for her work at the Children’s Museum.

“I have always had a passion for children,” she said, adding, “the Stockton community truly helps and supports one another and to me that is the best part about being involved.” Prieto is a constant advocate for the children of the city and has worked hard to bring traveling educational exhibits to Stockton. 

The Chamber also recognizes businesses that work to make Stockton healthier. The P3 Stewardship award is given to businesses that take steps to make our environment cleaner. This year, the award goes to Collins Electrical Company Inc. for their commitment to recycling all office paper and e-waste, reducing energy through use of solar power and efficient lighting, and sourcing locally to decrease their carbon footprint. Lord’s Gym City Center received the FRESH Award for encouraging employee and community wellness. In addition to the obvious way a gym encourages health, executive director Heather Green tied it into the theme of togetherness. 

“There are so many different factors that impact a healthy lifestyle, but having a support system is essential,” said Green. “To ensure underserved communities receive the support they need to attain their own version of what living a healthy lifestyle looks like is a goal of ours, and one we believe is essential to the overall health of the Stockton community.” 

Michael and Laci Midgley have been serving delicious food from Midgley’s Public House for about five years now, but just as impressive as Chef Midgley’s cooking is the couple’s willingness to give. After the Camp Fire, Michael went to Paradise with enough food for a thousand people, and he has cooked for local Stockton Fire Fighters. It is this kind of upstanding citizenry that has earned them the title of Business Persons of the Year! The Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2019 is Bobby Page Sr. of Village Barber Shop, where Bobby has spent nearly thirty years, for fourteen of which he was the owner. The walls of his business are an impressive monument to American veterans, containing hundreds of photographs of his customers and his customers’ family members who have served. Page believes that veterans are the bedrock of our country, and therefore our community, and that to honor them is a vital part of respecting the city of Stockton. 

Come down to the luncheon on June 6 for a wonderful afternoon with the community—and honor the people who have made it great while you’re at it!