Chamber rolls out red carpet

2011 Business Excellence Awards presented
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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The Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce rolled out the red carpet for its annual Business Excellence Awards ceremony last Friday night at the Niello Porsche dealership.
Twelve awards were presented to business owners and businesses during the three-hour Academy-Award style event.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Community Spirit Award to former William Jessup University President Dr. Bryce Jessup.
Board chair Dave Butler and 2010 Community Spirit Award recipient Kathy Lund thanked Dr. Jessup for his leadership and vision.
“We are the only city in the area that offers a pre-school through four-year education,” Lund said. “Thank you for bringing the university here.”
In accepting the award, Dr. Jessup acknowledged the support of the community in providing a home for the private school.
“We have been blessed by coming here,” Dr. Jessup said. “We wandered in the wilderness for 20 years, but we made it to the Promised Land — Rocklin. We are family and we can’t thank you enough.”
He thanked Dr. John Jackson, who became president of the university this summer, and Jo, his wife of 56 years.
“I also offer thanks to my God who led us here,” he concluded. “I’m proud to be part of this community.”
Dr. Jessup, who retired in May, had served as president of the university for 25 years.
During his presidency, the university substantially improved its financial position, achieved regional accreditation, significantly increased enrollment, broadened its curriculum and moved to the 128-acre campus in Stanford Ranch.
Christee Owens, founder and co-owner of Icing on the Cupcake, was named Business Person of the Year.
Owens, along with her partners, Chuck Meridith and Shirley Nagasawa, opened the first Icing on the Cupcake on Pacific Street in November 2007.
Over the past 3-1/2 years, the partners have opened stores in Folsom and Sacramento and the volume has grown to 150,000 cupcakes a month.
In June, they opened a 7,000-square-foot storefront and kitchen in the shopping center at the corner of Lonetree and Blue Oaks Boulevard in West Rocklin.
In addition to developing a great product, Owens said in an interview earlier this year, their success can be attributed to marketing, including products featuring the signature chocolate brown and soft pink Icing on the Cupcake logo.
Finalists for Business Person of the Year award were Bill Halldin of Halldin Public Relations and Anthony Owings of A.R. Owings Financial Services.
Dave Butler, 2011 Board Chair, presented the Chairman’s Award to Sosamma Samuel-Burnett, chair of the Public Policy Department at William Jessup University.
Samuel-Burnett was recognized for her leadership in Rocklin’s inaugural Walk and Talk through nine residential neighborhoods, Butler announced.
The two-day event was hosted by the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Rocklin, William Jessup University as well as area schools and businesses for the purpose of connecting with local residents.
In October, volunteers spent two days visiting neighborhoods asking homeowners what their priorities for the city are.
Other awards
Ambassador of the Year:
Tina Cecil of Select Tax and Bookkeeping. Finalists were Ron Fig, Julie Luna, Brad Meacham and Terry Poppingo.
Best New Business: Origin Coffee and Tea. Finalists were Big Daddy’s Pizza and Skipolini’s.
Friendliest Business: Icing on the Cupcake. Finalists were Randy Peters Catering and R.C. Willey
Green Business: JMS Site Services. Finalists were Brower Mechanical and Fig’s Landscaping
Community Service: Rocklin Fire Department. Finalists were R.C. Willey and Riebes Auto Parts, Inc.
Home-based business: The Town Planner Calendar. Finalists were Demarle at Home and Take Shape for Life Lee and Lana Batishev
Non-profit achievement: A Touch of Understanding. Finalists were Origin Coffee & Tea and Placer SPCA
Restaurant of the Year: Skipolini’s Pizza.Finalists were Primo’s Pizza & Burgers and Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse
Best Website/Use of Social Media: Halldin Public Relations; Finalists were Icing on the Cupcake, Rocklin Family Chiropractic
Nominations for the annual awards were submitted by residents, while the winners were selected by representatives from the Chamber’s Ambassadors, Board of Directors and staff, announced board member Scott Yuill.