K.I. JONES AWARD CRITERIA
This award is presented to an individual in the Fairfield-Suisun area who has, over a period of time:
- Donated time and effort to the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber
- Makes noteworthy accomplishment(s);
- Exhibited outstanding initiative, inspiration, leadership, and organizational skills which produce significant results directly benefiting the community and its citizens; and
- Must be a current member of the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber in good-standings
Laughs, reflection mark celebration at annual Buzz Awards
Article Source: Daily Republic
By: Bill Hicks
The awards serve to recognize the contributions made in a variety of areas by groups and individuals, such as the Business of the Year, Nonprofit Organization of the Year and Educator of the Year.
Event emcee Victor Escobedo, himself a local business owner, opened the night with some humor, calling upon his background as a standup comedian. One of his chief observations was why Fairfield was home to two Denny’s restaurants located across the street from one another.
“Working for myself is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done,” Escobedo said, acknowledging the difficulties associated with owning a small business. Escobedo also poked fun at the thought of hiring himself. “What kind of person works for an idiot like me? Or what kind of a person hires an idiot like me? Even worse was the fact that I knew I was lying on my resume.”
Escobedo also praised Fairfield as a community to both operate a business in and to call home.
“Fairfield is like the Belgium of the Bay Area,” he said. “Belgium is a short ride to Italy, France, Germany, Spain. I love being in Fairfield. It’s such a vibrant place to be.”
Part of that vibrance, the awards served to showcase, comes from the organizations and people within the community. The chamber itself was recognized for developing and cultivating that vibrance by 11th District Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley.
“Having been in the Assembly for just a few short years . . . you guys (the chamber) have got it going on, you really do,” Frazier said. Frazier’s 11th District Small Business of the Year award went to Gillespie’s Abbey Carpet and Floor, whose president and general manager, Monte Hoover, is the outgoing chairman of the board of the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to handing the chairman’s position over officially to incoming Chairman Steve Huddleston, Hoover noted the progress the chamber made in the previous year.
“Attendance is up at all of our chamber events,” Hoover said.
He also noted that chamber membership is likewise up, adding 101 new members in the past year. Hoover said he was confident that Huddleston would continue that trend of improvement.
“I’m blessed with a solid support system,” Huddleston said. “I’m optimistic you won’t regret this.”
Escobedo continued the comedy element, hitting Huddleston with his first order of business as chairman of the board for the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce: “Can you please find out why Fairfield has two Denny’s?”
Buzz Award Winners
- Ambassador of the Year: Charles McCullar
- Nonprofit of the Year: Nalls Foundation
- Educator of the Year: Tamia Farley, Green Valley Middle School
- Fairfield Business of the Year: Vezer Family Vineyard
- Suisun Business of the Year: La Cabana
- K.I. Jones Award: Steve Lessler
- Citizen of the Year: Jim Spering
- Best Partnership: KUIC and Solano Community Foundation