Dinner to honor Man and Woman of year

Chamber picks three businesses of 2017

WINNER Intero Real Estate Vice President and Managing Officer Renee Kunz stands in the Hollister office. Intern is one of three businesses to receive an award from the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce is set to host its 97th annual Man and Woman of the Year award dinner and dance Saturday, Jan. 27 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister to honor locals Jim Hart and Frankie Gallagher.

The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce will also present awards to Margot’s Ice Cream Parlor, Galaxy Self Storage, LLC and Intero Real Estate Services, Inc. for Businesses of the Year, with additional awards going to Pierce Real Estate as Chamber Champion, and Mike Fisher and Fisher’s Restaurant as Rising Star Entrepreneur.

“We were totally surprised, honored and flattered,” said Margot Tankersley of Margot’s Ice Cream Parlor. The San Juan Bautista parlor has operated for over 21 years.

“I enjoy volunteering,” said Gallagher, who’s been the marketing and public relations director at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital since 2002. “I enjoy meeting people in different activities I’m involved in. I think that’s what makes the community so great and gives it that small town spirit with the fairs, Veterans Day parade, rodeo parade and the different civic organizations.”

The Woman of the Year has worked and volunteered with numerous local organizations, including the VFW Post 9242, Hollister Downtown Association and San Benito County Saddle Horse Association.

Man of the Year Jim Hart has also been involved with numerous regional groups like Hollister Relay for Life and the Hollister Kiwanis Club, where he has held positions including secretary, treasurer, and president.

“I was surprised and quite humbled,” Hart said. “It’s not something that I ever expected. There’s so many deserving people in this community and it’s quite an honor.”

“We have been hardworking and have maintained great market share,” said Renee Kunz, vice president and managing officer at Intero Real Estate. “I think this represents and acknowledges the hard work and determination, our passion we have for our community.”

Galaxy Storage Owner Ken Balestrieri said he was excited to receive one of the Business of the Year awards.

“We’ve been in the community for 20 years,” Balestrieri said. “It’s an opportunity for us to serve the community and now be recognized for how we serve the community. We’ve offered rent-free storage to many of the charitable entities in town and we offered free rent to storm victims last year. We support the community by keeping our rates in line with the market.”

Facility Manager Socorro Barajas said she appreciated the community recognition.

“We appreciate the business and support from everyone who’s been a tenant,” Barajas said. “It’s great to receive this award, it means a lot to us. Our main thing is to be as much of a service to the community as well as a blessing to the people here in town.”

The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce 97th Annual Man and Woman of the Year award dinner and dance will be held Saturday, Jan. 27 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club at 3825 Union Road in Hollister. The event’s theme is Margaritaville and encourages Jimmy-Buffet-style attire, to “dress the part, but please no shorts” according to sponsors.

Tickets are still available at $65 per person.

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