By Donia Moore
“Outstanding Lifetime Achievement
Award” Winner - Jim and Joan Nielsen
1998 was a very good year for San Clemente because Jim and Joan Nielsen decided to move closer to family. These true team players bring high quality standards to everything they do, and “no” isn’t part of their vocabulary.
Retired from federal law enforcement, Jim ran a successful forensic accounting and investigations business. Joan has deep roots with the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley (ALCV) and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
It didn’t take Joan and Jim long to jump right into the community they adopted. Jim is a leader and inveterate fund raiser for many San Clemente organizations. Both are equally active in: the DBA Car Show; the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation; Oceanfest; and Courtney’s Sand Castle. As Treasurer and Board member of Courtney’s Sand Castle Charitable Foundation, Jim’s leadership helped the organization meet their $450,000 fundraising goal.
Jim also serves in leadership positions for: Carnival Colossal; Friends of San Clemente; San Clemente Ocean Festival; San Clemente Chamber; San Clemente Junior Lifeguards’ “Raise the Bouys” fundraising; and the San Clemente Open Surf and Skate Competition.
Joan’s list of projects is as encompassing as Jim’s. You’ll find her chairing the San Clemente Friends of the Library “Meet the Authors” luncheon committee and helping in the book store.
Joan and Jim have five grandchildren, three in Forster Ranch and two in Mission Viejo. Joan loves being available to her family and spending time with all five.
Don Glasgow Took Home the 2013 “Citizen of the Year” Award
Don Glasgow says he’s ”retired”, but when you realize how involved he is in San Clemente, it’s hard to believe he’ll ever really be retired.
Don’s first project in San Clemente was collecting golf clubs for returning Marines. He collected over 65 complete sets and 6,000 golf balls. Next, he went on to raise $8,000 for Courtney’s Sand Castle thru the Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Fall Carnival. Don currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fish for Life, helping enhance the lives of special needs children.
Working hard is natural to Don. He labored as a field hand from the age of eight-years-old in the small town in Missouri where he was raised. At 20, he joined the army before finishing college at Bowling Green University. Eventually graduating with a BS in 1960, Don went into the furniture and retail industry, working for Barker Brothers and other similar companies as an overseas buyer. That experience gave him respect for other cultures.
“Hearts Helping Hearts” grew out of Don’s experience building homes for impoverished families in Mexico. He and his organization collect medical equipment, clothing, shoes, toys, hygiene supplies, and anything else to make life better for the poor in Mexico. This year he decided to add collecting used bikes and helmets to this project. So far he has collected 60 bikes. “My goal is 100 bikes. Let's see what happens!”
Casino San Clemente Voted the Prestigious “Business of the Year”
Bringing the beloved historic Casino San Clemente back to life is a major accomplishment for Linda and Shaheen Sadeghi, and a wonderful gift to the community. Linda Sadeghi is a member of the newly formed North Beach Community Association and former featured speaker to the DBA. Both Linda and Shaheen are involved members of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, underwriting the “Taste of San Clemente” at the Casino for the last two years, as well as hosting a business mixer.
San Clemente’s non-profit organizations have benefited by holding fund-raising events in the beautifully refurbished1930s-era building. The Sadeghis support many of them, like the local Boys & Girls Club, via underwriting the annual Exchange Club’s Art Auction and in-kind donations to annual fundraising dinners. They offer their lovely venue to other non-profits, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation and “Families for FAM” food drive. The Sunrise Rotary Club has held their multiple-charity “Dancing for a Cause” fundraising event there for several years. Doors are opened to the community with the family-friendly Halloween Spookathon and the Blues & Barbeque Birthday Bash. Weekly tours of the historical building (free to the public) allow visitors to experience the magnitude of the five-year renovation project.
Their North Beach area investment has added a spark of revitalization to this historical northern gateway. Hiring local staff for both the Casino and “Ellie’s Table”, a café and bakery located in the Casino, is a path the Sadeghi’s are proud to walk.
Nancy Hunt Receives the distinguished
“Volunteer of the Year” Award
Nancy Hunt volunteered for almost every event the Chamber held in 2013, including the Seafest; Fiesta Street Festival where she served as Captain; Military Events; San Clemente Micro-Brew Fest and the San Clemente Mixologist Competition. The epitome of an outstanding volunteer, the busy owner of Keller Williams was named the 2013 Volunteer of the Year for her unflagging dedication to the Chamber and to the business community.
While most people in town know Nancy as a tireless Chamber Board Member since 2007 and Past Chair in 2011, she is also recognized as a strong and savvy supporter of the business community at large. Nancy is always available to champion the mission of the Chamber, whether it’s attending business Ribbon Cuttings, Grand Openings, participating in various political functions and military affairs or acting as an overall goodwill ambassador. Generating good will and building support among present and potential Chamber of Commerce members, local businesses and our community are the guiding principals at the forefront of both Nancy’s personal conduct in the community and that of her business.
Church is central to the Hunts’ lives. For many years Nancy has directed children’s music programs in the various churches they have attended.
Four generations of Hunts now live in town, ranging in age from six months to 80+ years. Family matters to the Hunts, so a lot of time is spent watching grandchildren’s athletic events, school plays, and dance recitals.
“Educator of the Year” Awarded to
Well Deserving Denise McDermott
Denise McDermott’s motto should be “never say never”, according to colleagues at Our Lady of Fatima Parish School. After 27 years as a dedicated, passionate educator there, she’s still searching out creative ways to introduce new learning material to her students. Denise imbeds real life situations into her lessons, making them easier for her students to relate to in the classroom.
Only a seasoned teacher who loves education as much as Denise does could understand the importance of fostering excitement of learning in her charges. Known around school as “the teacher that goes above and beyond her duties,” Denise has wholeheartedly committed herself to a total of 35 years in the field of education, serving as committee coordinator for reading, social studies, English, spelling, intermediate level, standard testing, California history, middle school level, religion, “Social Staff Cheer,” and FAM, the last three of which she still manages. In 2007, Denise was awarded a distinguished Honorary Captain of the Brig, Pilgrim, docked in Dana Point Harbor, in honor of her 20th year of empowering students to experience a piece of California history.
Denise moved with her family to California in 1987 after teaching in Philadelphia for nine years. She has been Our Lady of Fatima’s 4th grade teacher ever since. She spends her spare time with her daughter and retired police officer husband going to the beach, reading, baking, listening to music, and spending time with family, pets and friends.