San Benito County Chamber of Commerce

San Benito County Chamber of Commerce will announce Man, Woman and Businesses of the Year at the December Holiday Business Mixer held at San Juan Oaks on Dec. 13 beginning at 5:30.  The evening will begin with shopping, as local businesses will have a small sampling of their products so attendees can do their Christmas shopping while networking.   

This year we have received a record number of 18 Man & Woman of the Year nominations and 11 Businesses of the Year. The selection committee for Man & Woman of the Year is made up of all past recipients. Chamber of Commerce CEO, Juli Vieira said, “They are going to have a very tough decision to make as everyone nominated is well deserving. The committee spends several hours reading each application and then meets to make their decision.”

Past recipients of these awards have been involved with many community activities and donated hours upon hours to local non-profits, schools, churches and boards. The tradition of selecting a Man & Woman of the Year dates back many years. The list of honorees includes Ann Baccala, Dorothy Root, Al Centmayer, Paul Bertuccio, Herman Botelho, Renee Holthouse, Howard Harris, Herman Fehl, Mary Damm, Denise Cauthen Wright, Barbara Cosio and Will Sutton just to name a very few. 

The list of past winners also includes the mother/daughter teams of Orlaine Tavares 1988 & Ellen Tavares Brown 2001 and Babe Hubbell 1990 & Mary Hubbell 1994. Not be out done by the mother/son team of Velma Tiffany 2010 & Bob Tiffany 2014.

Husband & wife teams include Mary McCullough 1980 & Gerald McCullough 2009, Ed Stephenson 2008 & Michele Stephenson 2007, Charlie Scott 2012 & Barbara Scott 2011 and San Juan residents Jim Sleznick 2006 & Gayle Sleznick 2015.

Last year’s Man of the Year Paul Rovella and Woman of the Year Margie Barrios will be turning over their reigns to the 2018 honorees on Dec.13 but the real party begin on Jan. 27 at San Juan Oaks where the community will come together to celebrate the Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and Businesses of the Year.  The night will include dancing by Moondance, awards, food & celebration.  The chamber has select Margaritaville “Jimmy Buffet Style” as the theme and encourages everyone to dress the part.

The chamber will also be thanking David Huboi, outgoing board president, Peter Spurzem & Lori Thompson retiring board members for their dedication on behalf of the chamber.