Chandler Chamber honors local individuals, companies The Chandler Arizonan

Chandler Chamber honors local individuals, companies

October 10th, 2020 Chandler Arizona Staff
Chandler Chamber honors local individuals, companies


The format was different but the Chandler Chamber of Commerce kept alive its 33-year-old tradition of honoring individuals and local businesses recently with its annual Community Awards presentation.

Instead of a gala gathering at a local hotel, the Chamber was forced by the pandemic to hold the celebration virtually as it honored six local companies, five educators, two other individuals and Chandler-Gilbert Community college. In addition, the Chandler Chamber Community Foundation awarded a scholarship to Michael DiMatteo.

The fact that participants couldn’t gather in person did not diminish the event’s significance, said Chamber CEO/President Terri Kimble, who told the viewers:

“One of my favorite things about Chandler is being the smart city that we are. When adverse conditions arise, we set the bar higher and reach for the stars.”

Presented by Gila River Hotels and Casinos and hosted by ImprovMANIA co-owner Dave Specht, the celebration honored the Salt River Project as the Large Business of the Year; AvAir, the Medium Business of the Year;  Laser Creations, the Small Business of the Year; and NOW Financial, Micro Business of the Year.

Dunston Simpson of Cox Business announced the Community Cup award for Chandler-Gilbert Community College, calling it “a resourceful anchor in the community” as a public servant and an academic institution “guided by: innovation, exploration, sustainability, engagement and inclusiveness.”

Mary Kaye Allen was awarded the Chamber cup by sponsor Dignity Health, which praised her friendly and helpful demeanor as Chamber’s front-desk recipient.

A retired Chandler-Gilbert Community College administrator who helped create the New Adventures in Learning program in Sun Lakes, Allen drew kudos as one of the Chamber’s “mighty pillars.”

The Chandler Cup went to the Douglas Allred Company for its partnership with the city. Mayor Kevin Hartke said the company “is “a critical factor in our community’s economic competitiveness” and that one of the reasons behind the city’s job growth is the fact that it “continues to drive opportunities for corporate recruitment.”

Chandler Police Lt. Shawn Hancock won the James R. Snedigar Public Service Award. John Nissen of sponsor Earnhardt Ford said Hancock, the former president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association, “is an accomplished instructor and was awarded for advancing the Chandler P.D. training program.”

After his promotion to lieutenant in 2014, Hancock launched the Chandler Police Leadership Cohort, “which serves emerging leaders across all City of Chandler departments,” Nissen noted.

Hancock also is board chair of ICAN and a member of the Chandler Chamber Community Foundation Leadership Institute.

The Business Diversity in Action Award went to Dr. William Crawford of the D.W. Consulting Group.

A former Phoenix Police Department employee and Maricopa County Community College District administrator, he is senior vice president of an education services company, a minority-owned firm.

He also co-chairs the Chamber’s diversity committee, is president of the Arizona Justice Educators Association, chairs the city’s merit board and is vice chair of city’s retirement boards.

The Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year went to Robert Sinkule, CFO of Yoga’s Arc.

The Veteran’s Advocate Award was given to TurbineAero. Kelly Bello of Ghett’Yo Taco noted that 70 percent of the company’s employees are military veterans and each is honored on a “wall of fame” it maintains at its headquarters.

Megan Vogus, a music teacher at Basha Elementary School, was named Educator of the Year.

Amy Davis of Northrop Grumman, which sponsored the educator awards, said Vogus is known for “encouraging children’s joyful imagination and musical spirit” and has coordinated the Chandler Unified School District Elementary Choral Festival for eight years.

“Her choir at Basha Elementary brings her unparalleled joy and she can think of no better job to have than to make music with children,” Davis said.

The School Administrator of the Year went to Dr. Kymberly Marshall, who oversees Chandler Unified”s special education programs.

“She has a knack for developing talent and she brings out the best in her peers and colleagues,” the Chamber said.

Sheila Boyns, a paraprofessional at CTA Freedom Elementary School was named School Support Staff of the Year. Boyns also works for the city’s Therapeutic Recreation Department, which provides sports and activities for developmentally disabled children and young adults.

The Red Apple Award went to Victor Serna, Seton Catholic Preparatory principal for his community leadership.

He was praised for strengthen relationships between the business community and educational institutions and working “tirelessly to ensure the safety of his students and faculty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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