Greenwood Chevrolet, one of this year's winners, was involved earlier in 2010 with making a wish come true for a local resident who had been diagnosed with cancer. This group of people helped to rebuild his truck.
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The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce
amp; Visitors Bureau and its Board of Directors has announced
the annual list of citizens and businesses of the year. The
citizens and businesses will be honored at the chamber’s 90th
annual Dinner Dance to be held at San Juan Oaks on Jan. 15.
The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau and its Board of Directors has announced the annual list of citizens and businesses of the year.

The citizens and businesses will be honored at the chamber’s 90th annual Dinner Dance to be held at San Juan Oaks on Jan. 15. Tickets are now available at the chamber office, 650 San Benito St., suite 130. The theme this year is: “A Century of Taking Care of Business.” The chamber also will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

This year’s recipients are:

Woman of the Year: Barbara Scott

Man of the Year: Doug Emerson

Retail Business of the Year: Greenwood Chevrolet Buick GMC

Professional Service Business of the Year: Intero Real Estate Services

Hospitality Business of the Year: The Knife & Fork Cafe

Non-Profit Service Business of the Year: Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

Small Business of the Year: Rx-TEK

Community Development Business of the Year: Santana Ranch

Ambassador of the Year: Tamra Koll

The following are biographies provided by the chamber:

Woman of the Year

Barbara J. Scott was born in Modesto and raised in Tracy. She attended San Joaquin Delta College for two years. She worked in the accounting field and office management for 44 years. She also owned an upholstery business in Auburn from 1981-1985. Barbara recently retired in 2008, although she has kept busy with volunteer work, her four grandchildren, traveling with her husband Charlie as well as taking watercolor painting classes and quilting! Barbara is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the Hollister Downtown Association. She has been a volunteer for the HDA for eleven years and has been on the Board for five years. She graduated from Leadership San Benito in 2010 and says one of her proudest accomplishments was her class project, the “Welcome to Hollister” sign. Barbara has volunteered for many organizations including American Cancer Society, San Benito County Arts Council, San Juan Bautista Chamber of Commerce, Hollister Independence Rally and VFW-Hollister. When speaking of Charlie and her travels she says they have been awesome trips “but our home in Hollister is the best.”

Man of the Year

Doug Emerson grew up on a small farm that had been homesteaded by his great grandfather in rural Minnesota. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in math from Augsburg College. He then moved to Los Angeles where he taught high school math and physics and served as an administrative assistant. In 1970, he married his wife Linda and they moved to San Jose. For the next 34 years, he worked for East Side Union High School District where he served as a teacher, Dean of Students, Continuation School Administrator, Systems Analyst, Director of Employee/Employer Relations and Chief Financial Officer. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and a Master of Science Degree in computer science both from San Jose State. During 1993-2001 he taught computer programming at Evergreen Valley College. In 2001, he and Linda moved to Hollister and he has been a Hollister City Councilman since 2005 and the Mayor in 2008. He and Linda have two children and two grandchildren. Other than being involved in the community politically, Doug is also involved in many organizations. He was a founding director of the Homeless Coalition in 2005; he is still a Board Member and Treasurer. He is a member of Hollister Rotary and a past Board Member of San Benito Youth Services. He graduated from Leadership San Benito in 2006. He also has been involved with or financially supports Relay for Life, Community Food Bank, YMCA, Hollister Youth Alliance, Emmaus House, Chamberlain’s Children Center and countless others.

Retail Business of the Year

Greenwood Chevrolet Buick GMC: Greenwood Chevrolet Buick GMC is locally owned and operated. They feel the quality of their employees, products and attitude towards customer service and relations makes for a great experience. Greenwood Motors was established in 1980 and has had various changes throughout the years. In 2001 they became Greenwood Chevrolet Buick GMC and will be celebrating their ten-year anniversary in January 2011. They have 40 employees and believe they can make a difference in the automotive industry with customer service being their number one focus. Even in tough economic times, the Greenwood’s and their employees continued to give back to the community. They have been involved with many organizations including the YMCA, local school programs, the SBC Chamber, Exchange Club, Make a Wish Foundation, United Way, Red Cross, Pop Warner Football and Cheer, Scholarship Programs- Gavilan College Foundation Board and countless others. “We are appreciative and very thankful for the support of the local community and proud to give back to those less fortunate.”

Professional Service Business of the Year

Intero Real Estate Services is guided by principles of trust, respect and integrity. They empower people to achieve their dreams. They believe in honesty above all else. They are true to their word and always strive to do what is right. They were formed by a key group of real estate entrepreneurs. These men had a futuristic vision on where real estate was going as an industry and why they could improve the quality of real estate transactions and the quality of services that were being provided to Realtors. Gino Blefari the President/CEO of Intero along with the other founders, were able to accomplish more collectively in a shorter period of time than any other organized real estate firm ever accomplished in the history of the industry. The Hollister office opened in 2002, the second office of Intero to open and they had two employees! They currently have four employees and 65 Realtors. Intero Real Estate is heavily involved in Small Steps as well as quite a few other organizations. They are involved with Hollister Rotary, Red Cross, Community Foundation for San Benito County, Heritage Foundation, Saddle Horse Show, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Kinship Center, Hollister Downtown Association, SBC Chamber of Commerce, Baler Backers, plus many more! Intero is “passionate about San Benito County.”

Hospitality Business of the Year

The Knife and Fork Cafe opened its doors in July of 2008. Owners Bob and Sheila Stevens didn’t want to see any more empty store fronts, so they decided to re-open the existing cafe and add their personal touch. They have since increased table tops by adding outdoor seating, which is a terrific spot to enjoy a meal in warm weather. They began with five employees and have expanded to now employ 13 people. Their mission is to successfully operate a full-line restaurant in downtown Hollister with great service and a friendly staff and, of course, good cooking. In addition to the cafe, the Stevens’ also own She’s Apparel & Shoes in downtown Hollister. They are currently working on opening “Heavenly Bakery” in early 2011, also in the downtown area. The Knife and Fork Cafe is very generous in donating gift certificates and food to many local organizations. They are involved in the Hollister Downtown Association, Hollister Exchange Club and San Benito County Chamber of Commerce. Bob and Sheila will tell you “no they are not crazy” for operating three businesses, that they enjoy providing goods and services locally and being involved in keeping downtown thriving.

Non-profit Service Business of the Year

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital was originally located on Monterey and Hawkins streets in Hollister, was presented to the public November 13, 1907. The facility was the community’s principal hospital. The hospital was conceived and built to serve the community of Hollister and all residents of San Benito County so residents would not perish for lack of medical resources and to create an enduring tribute to the memory of Hazel Hawkins (Little Sunshine), Mr. T.S. Hawkins’ granddaughter. It is unknown how many employees started with the hospital in November 1907, but today it employs 579 people. The hospital became a “hospital district” in 1957 and the current campus was dedicated in June of 1962. The hospital became the San Benito Health Care District. Its mission is “the San Benito Health Care District is a public agency that serves as a responsive, comprehensive health care resource for its patients, physicians, and the health care consumers of the community.” The hospital and its employees are involved with several organizations including Hollister Rotary, Small Steps, Relay for Life, Hollister Downtown Association, SBC Chamber, San Benito High School Sports Medicine Program, Leadership San Benito, Juvenile Diabetes Walk, Community Pantry, Emmaus House, Diabetes Coalition, Priority Passport, Scholarship Programs and countless others. The hospital “believes in supporting the community financially as well as giving of our time and resources to make the community viable, healthy and prosperous.”

Small Service Business of the Year

In February 2004, Rx-TEK was started by Erick and Amanda Johnson. Their mission statement is “honesty, integrity and professionalism. Customer service is priority one. Rx-TEK is here to provide old-fashioned customer service with the highest quality of professional service. Rx-TEK will always be transparent and completely honest when fixing customer problems.” All of Rx-TEK’s staff are trained and certified by multiple vendors. Customers are treated as family and friends. Their staff will go out of their way to make sure customers are happy and well taken care of. They currently have three employees and use outside contractors and partners for projects that have specifications outside their scope of work. Rx-TEK is actively involved in donating to various organizations in the community. Other than donating their services to local non-profits, they also support baseball programs, Chamberlain’s Children Center, Toys for Tots, Kinship, San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and others. Rx-TEK has remained competitive during this economic climate by “treating our customers with respect, charging a fair price and being professionals at our job.”

Community Development Business of the Year

Santana Ranch was a vision of Anthony Guerra and local landowners in the 1980s. The landowners wanted to create new quality housing, jobs and services in San Benito County as well as an asset for the community. The plan for Santana Ranch has evolved over the last 25 years, but the elements of Mr. Guerra’s vision still make the foundation of the new community. Their mission is “to create much needed jobs and build a mixed-use community that will be an asset to the people of San Benito County for many generations.” There are about 20 people currently working on the design and entitlements of Santana Ranch as well as many County staff members and consultants. After breaking ground there will be more jobs, many of those contracted out to local companies working in homebuilding, construction and real estate related businesses. Santana Ranch has given a lot back to the community. This is just a very small segment of those they support, YMCA, Hollister Downtown Association, SBC Chamber, Leadership San Benito, San Benito County Business Council, VFW, Saddle Horse Show, Girl Scouts, Hollister Ag Boosters, Relay for Life, San Benito County Farm Bureau, Economic Development Corporation, Salvation Army, SBC Junior Rodeo plus many more. Santana Ranch says, “Now that we have received the approvals, we can put people to work, create new jobs and build a community that everyone will be proud of.”

Ambassador of the Year

Tamra Koll has spent most of her life in Hollister, where she grew up with two younger sisters. Her parents were long term residents of Hollister in the restaurant business. She attended Hollister public schools, Sacred Heart School and graduated with honors from San Benito Joint Union High School in 1987. After graduating from High School, she attended Hartnell College in Salinas, CA. While attending Hartnell College, she worked full time in Monterey at an Insurance company and later in Salinas at an Accounting firm. In 1991, she began working for a Vegetable Seed Company in Salinas. This is where she became aware of her desire and interest in graphic design. With much encouragement, in the spring of 2010, she decided to take the leap of faith and pursue her graphic design and marketing business, Creative Design, as her full time career. Tamra has been married for ten years. She enjoys shopping, cooking, walking, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Her future plans include continuing to reside in Hollister where she can increase her involvement locally and give back to the community. She has become very involved in the Chamber. She joined in January 2010 as a member and immediately became an Ambassador. She has been very dedicated to the group and has since joined the Board of Directors. She was awarded National Philanthropist of the year by the Chamber for her dedication, drive and commitment to the Chamber. You can always see her bright smile and warm personality at Chamber functions. Tamra is also a current student in the Leadership San Benito class. One of Tamra’s mottos is “You must believe in yourself if you expect others to believe in you!”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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