The Brea Chamber recognized the community's high achievers at their Annual Membership & Awards Gala on January 14. Year end awards were presented as they recognized businesses for outstanding achievements and service. Individuals who had contributed significant time, dedication and support to the Brea business community were also recognized. Nominations were accepted from Chamber members, as well as the community at large.
The Business of the Year Awards recognize companies for a variety of achievements, including community involvement, length of time in business, overcoming adversity, creating jobs, business leadership, customer relations, employee welfare, technology/product innovation, environmental leadership, sales/market growth and advocating for a strong local economy.
The Business of the Year: Manufacturing award was presented to Beckman Coulter, a company that met every one of those criteria. For the past 75 years, they have been a respected leader in their industry, consistently creating innovative products that focus on improving patient health and reducing the cost of care. One of Brea’s major employers, this company’s recent campus renovation included many significant improvements not only to the workplace, but to their work process. As an environmental steward, they have led the way as the first company in Brea to receive LEED certification from the Green Building Council and one of just a few in Orange County to receive the gold designation. This company’s rich history also includes a commitment to philanthropy, employee volunteerism and the community. The employees at their Brea facility alone contributed more than 600 volunteer hours in 2010.
Opening a restaurant is a brave venture in any economy, and opening one during a recession should have been a recipe for disaster. Cha Cha’s Tacos & Tequila, the Business of the Year: Service award winner, met the challenge head on. Featuring a California-Latin-inspired menu, their ambience and organic ingredient resonated with residents and critics alike. First year sales were strong despite a down economy. Cha Cha’s has also received the Orange County Register Critic’s Award for Best Margarita in Orange County, as well as Gayot Awards Top 10 for Mexican Restaurants, Sunday Brunch and Best Late Night Scene. In addition, they have generously donated to local schools, churches and charities.
Target, the Business of the Year: Retail award winner, made a tremendous impact on unemployment in Brea. They opened the Brea location in October 2009, hiring close to 300 employees, most of whom were Brea residents. The store’s unique podium style design, consistently clean and well-stocked shelves, affordable price point, and fast, friendly and efficient customer service contributed to sales in their first year exceeding their projections. Every resident of Brea reaped the benefits of the sales tax boost this company generated, helping to support our basic city services.
Innovation is the hallmark of business success. Technigroup USA, the 2010 Innovation Award winner, is not only innovative themselves, but also assists other companies to become so as well. Their entire range of office furniture is developed with the environment in mind. Their products are also designed so that they are interchangeable. They give their customers the flexibility to mix and match different systems to create a completely custom layout, resulting in the most productive workplace possible.
Ambassador of the Year Terri Daxon (Daxon Marketing Communications) was recognized for her commitment to the Brea business community and steadfast support for Chamber programs. As the longest tenured Ambassador, she is someone the Chamber can always count on to do the jobs that need doing and to have a positive attitude that lifts the spirits of those around her.
Jim Richardson (Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary) was recognized as a true champion of the Brea Chamber with the Chairman’s Award of Excellence. His unwavering support though volunteer hours and event sponsorships was deeply appreciated.
The Citizen of the Year award was presented to Dennis O’Hern, an individual who has made significant contributions to the quality of life of this community through his personal volunteer effort. A dedicated volunteer, he is a tremendous resource for many of our community’s organizations, including Brea Little League, Brea Downtown Owners Association, Boy Scouts, and the Kiwanis Club of Brea. He has helped with numerous community events, including the annual Jazz Festival, Easter Egg Hunt, the Fourth of July Celebration and the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. His service has been instrumental in numerous community service programs, including Toys for Tots, back-to-school clothing and school supply grants to hundreds of children, Thanksgiving food baskets for needy families, and much, much more. As an Ambassador for the Brea Chamber of Commerce, he has helped with a variety of special projects and events, as well as volunteering in the office and wherever else help was needed.
Master of Ceremonies Congressman Gary Miller installed the Chamber's 2011 Board of Directors and wished them a successful year. 2011 Chamber Officers are Chairman of the Board Michael Duran (Citizens Business Bank), Chairman-Elect David Rader (Brea Baptist Church), Vice Chair Finance & Administration Michael Becher (Miller Giangrande LLP), Vice Chair Member Services Tina Javid (The Gas Company), Corporate Secretary/CEO Sharon Wagner and Immediate Past Chair Ric Clough (PSL Color Graphics).
Also serving on the 2011 Board of Directors are Pat Buttress (Southern California Edison), Dr. Henry Cardenas (Advantage Care Chiropractic), Michael Lawton (Lawton Real Estate), Bill Murray (Edward Jones Investments), Mary Ann Railey (Placentia-Linda Hospital), Jim Richardson (Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary), Brady Sherard (TAPS Fish House & Brewery), Marilynn Small (Coffee News), Steve Adams (Global Financial Solutions), Jonathon Ekno (Ekno Insurance Group), Jonathan Lyng (Black Gold Golf Club), Rod Parsons (Attorney at Law), Jim Snover (The IMS Company) and Russ Tanakaya (Embassy Suites Hotel).
The Brea Chamber of Commerce has been connecting business with opportunity for nearly 100 years.
Event Photos Available
Take some time to relive the special memories from the 2011 Chamber Gala. Your favorite photos can be easily ordered with your credit card in a highly secure purchasing environment. Please visit http://www.illuminatedphotos.com/. Go to 'Just For Clients', then 'View Event', find your portrait session and fill in the following information:
Thank you to Illuminated Photography for providing this service.