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San Clemente Journal

Chamber Celebrates Citizens

The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce 2018 Board of Directors

The 2017 "Citizen of the Year,” "Business of the Year," “Educator of the Year,” “Volunteer of the Year,” "Outstanding Lifetime Achievement” and “Young Entrepreneur” award winners have been honored.  These prestigious awards were given out to their deserving recipient at the Chamber’s “Annual Meeting of Members, Installation of Officers & Directors and Award Ceremony,” Sponsored by Southern California Edison, CR&R Environmental Services, the Toll Roads, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center, San Diego Gas and Electric, Rod’s Tree Service, Rainbow Sandals and Starfish Signs & Graphics on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club at 6:00 p.m., in beautiful San Clemente.

Master of Ceremony, Senator Pat Bates began the evening’s event and introduced Assemblyman Bill Brough to install the following Board Members:

 Executive Committee: Chairman of the Board – Steve Ynzunza, Coast Property Services; Vice Chairman - Susan Jennrich, Outlets at San Clemente; Chief Financial Officer – Chuck Narey, Hayden, Narey & Persich, C.P.A; Immediate Past Chairman - Antoine Price, Café Mimosa;

1st Vice Chairman – Burton Brown, Atomi Financial Group and 2nd Vice Chairman – Ricky Rodriguez, Rod’s Tree Service.

 Directors: Jeff Bott - Transportation Corridor Agencies, Nick Buchanan – Cape Point Development, LLC, Mike Burke – Burke Consulting, Pat Huber - Rainbow Sandals, Nancy Hunt - Keller Williams Realty, Don Kindred - San Clemente Journal, Lance Larson – Larson Corporation, Stavros Lozano - Inka Mama's Peruvian Cuisine, Mike Lomonaco – Lomonaco Coast Plumbing, Tony Struthers – MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center and James Wynne - Johnston Pacific Commercial Real Estate.

 “Educator of the Year” went to a well deserving Sarah McKeon           

Ms. McKeon holds a Masters of Education-National University, Bachelor of Science-University of Massachusetts, UC Irvine Fellow-UCI Writing Project, Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and Science Single Subject Teaching Credential.

Ms. McKeon has taught for fourteen years at Capistrano Unified School District and is currently a 6th grade science teacher, ELD Advisor, AVID Teacher, STAP – Secondary Teacher Assistant Principal – Shorecliffs Middle School

Taka-O Restaurant, Business of the Year

 Taka-O Japanese Restaurant” won the prestigious “Business of the Year”

The Business of the Year Award criteria includes Community Involvement, Chamber Support, and Business Standards – Taka-O Japanese Restaurant exemplifies all these principles and more.

Taka-O Japanese Restaurant, Proprietors Roger & Kelly Sugano, have proven to be an asset to the community. 

Taka-O Japanese Restaurant is located in the heart of San Clemente.  The Restaurant, established in 1980, is a local favorite.  Taka-O has been a member of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce for over 36 years.

Stephanie Aguilar

 Stephanie Aguilar took home the prominent 2017 “Citizen of the Year” Award

First and foremost, San Clemente is about families. We are a community that keeps an eye on our youth and intend that this town will be very much the same for future generations. Stephanie Aguilar personifies these San Clemente values. She and her husband Ryan have two young children and have lived here for over two decades, always with a passion for keeping San Clemente true to its identity.

Stephanie Aguilar is the founder and president of the San Clemente Skatepark Coalition, an important and thriving group dedicated to improving skateboarding in our town and creating additional local skateboarding opportunities. The Coalition was formed in 2016 and the numbers speak for themselves: over 700 people like the Coalition on Facebook. Over 1,000 signed a position in support of more skateboarding opportunities in town. The rallying of the local skate community in the form of “Skatepark Warriors” to attend and speak at city hall proved a positive way to expose the youth to the process of local politics and encourage making a difference in the local community.

Stance, Goody’s Tavern, Cliff Bars, Hapa J’s, and others have stepped up to help the coalition. If you are unfamiliar with the link between surfing and skateboarding, just ask Stephanie. The two sports are closely entwined and a foundation of San Clemente’s identity.

 “Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award” Winner – Barbara Barnes

Wife, mother, grandmother, leader, educator, consultant and volunteer. Barbara Barnes has played each of these roles with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Barbara began her career as an educator, spending 10 years as a teacher and 14 years as a school principal in Cupertino CA.  She then moved to Orange County to be Director of Business Partnerships for the Irvine Unified School District. Taking early retirement, she soon began forming partnerships of her own, consulting with educators, business leaders and under-served communities. She was instrumental in the transformation of poor performing, inner city and multi-racial, low socio-economic schools. Addressing the needs of often neglected students eventually took her on the road, and she found herself traveling to a multi-racial, 17-language school in Bellflower, CA, a Vietnamese school in Sacramento, CA, and an African American school in Chattanooga, TN, among others.

 Shauna Hunt – Receives 10th Annual Ambassador of the Year

The purpose of the Ambassadors is to generate goodwill among the present and potential Chamber of Commerce members, local businesses and the community in which we live and conduct business. Ambassadors must create and carry out specific, measurable programs, and seek to involve others in their activities. To be committed to Membership retention within the Chamber of Commerce. As a Chamber Ambassador in 2017, Shauna Hunt was the epitome of an outstanding Ambassador Council volunteer. 

 Carson Kropfl receives Young Entrepreneur of the Year AwardAt age 11, Locker Board founder Carson Kropfl faced the “Sharks” in the season 9 premiere of ABC’s hit business reality show Shark Tank and struck a deal for his innovative skateboard company.  The show’s celebrity investors heard the young entrepreneur’s pitch and fought to partner with Locker Board, the first non-folding, compact and sustainable skateboard designed to fit in a locker or backpack.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, outbid Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, as well as Robert Herjavec, tech entrepreneur and investor, for the opportunity to invest in Locker Board. Branson told Carson that the reason he invested in the 7th grader was because he reminded him of himself.