Recognizing those who give

Mark Turner

Each year, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce identifies individuals in the community who go above and beyond to make Gilroy a better place.
And each year the task of choosing them becomes more difficult—not due to a lack of candidates, but because so many people in this community deserve to be recognized and awarded for the fine work they do to improve the lives of others, display leadership and simply give of themselves.
The Board of Directors of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce sets high standards when evaluating candidates for the chamber’s prestigious Spice of Life awards. The board recently gave their stamp of approval to the final list of names brought forward by the nomination committee. The annual award recipients will be recognized at the Spice of Life Awards Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 7 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club.
A common theme that seems to appear with all of the Business and Civic Award winners is that of giving back to the community. Involvement and participation are critical to the ongoing efforts of a healthy and vibrant community, and these award winners are doing their part. They are actively involved and never shy away from giving of themselves. They give their time, energy and resources, not to mention the gifts of help, encouragement and support.
Elia Scettrini, educator of the Year, realized being a teacher would allow her to have a positive effect on young people.
Konni Thomas with First Street Coffee, Small Business of the Year, feels personally rewarded by giving to others.
Gregg Giusiana, Man of the Year, takes pride in doing good to and for others.
For Gene Sakahara, Volunteer of the Year, TEAM work is an acronym for Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
Paula Goldsmith, Woman of the Year, defines compassion by her actions.
Olam International, Large Business of the Year, believes in supporting the community that has supported them.
Bridget Brown, the Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award winner, demonstrates leadership and volunteerism, and DreamPower Horsemanship, Non-Profit of the Year, mobilized the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to help accomplish their mission of building lives filled with dreams.
Congratulations to each of these individuals and organizations for the fine work they do in giving back to the community, representing all that Gilroy has to offer, and for fulfilling the Golden Rule of doing unto others.
Mark Turner is the President and CEO of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at (408) 842-6437. He wrote this piece for the Dispatch.