PVCCA Annual Awards Honorees

PVCCA Annual Awards Honorees

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.com

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comThe Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture announced it’s award winners from 2017 and will present the awards at it’s annual dinner on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

The theme of this year’s event is “The Pajaro Valley: History in the Making.” The dinner takes place at the Fairgrounds and will be a semi-formal event. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by calling the chamber office at 724-3900 or e-mailing Shaz@pajarovalleychamber.com.

Man of the Year
Harry Wiggins

Woman of the Year
Mary Bannister

Lifetime Achievement
John Kegebein

Business of the Year
Pajaro Valley Printing

Organization of the Year
Pajaro Valley Historical Association

Event of the Year
Watsonville Airport Open House “Fire in the Sky”

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Man of the Year

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comHarry Wiggins is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army and has a set of master skills he has shared with the youth of our community. He and his wife, Clarice attended local schools and have been role models for mentoring and creating leaders. Harry was the Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts Troop 505 with 13 Eagle Scouts having been mentored by him.

Harry believes in giving back to the community. He currently serves as a Board Member for the Watsonville Salvation Army among many other memberships and activities to improve his community.

He serves on the Pajaro Valley Water Management ad hoc Basin Management Committee and was inducted into the Watsonville High School Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2012, he was selected as Veteran of the Year for Santa Cruz County by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, and in 2015 he was selected as one of the recipients of the Monterey Annual Veteran of the Year award. Harry has worked tirelessly for the community and is most deserving to be honored as the 2018 Man of the Year.

Woman of the Year

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comMary Bannister: There is nothing more important to the health and prosperity of the Pajaro Valley than securing the sustainability of our water supply – and there is no person who has contributed more to achieving this goal than Mary Bannister.

As a graduate of UCSC with a degree in geology, Mary’s career began in Alaska working on the Alaskan Pipeline. It was there that she met her husband, Rick. They chose to make their permanent home in the Pajaro Valley.

During her 17 years of service at the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency and her final nine years serving as the General Manager, Mary’s strength, perseverance and passion enabled us to begin turning the tide on groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion.

She has overseen the construction of the Harkins Slough Managed Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Facility, the Recycled Wastewater Facility, and the Coastal Distribution System that has so far delivered 12 billion gallons of blended recycled water to coastal growers for crop irrigation in lieu of groundwater pumping. These projects have already resulted in a noticeable reduction in the rate of saltwater intrusion into our valley’s fresh-water aquifers.

Lifetime Achievement

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comJohn Kegebein: The Pajaro Valley just wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for John Kegebein. Life on the farm has always been a passion for John. Beginning in his early days on the family dairy farm where he helped his dad with the animals, it’s a way of life he has treasured and wants to pass along to future generations.

Serving in the United States Army at Fort Ord, John fell in love with the Central Coast and made the Pajaro Valley his permanent home. In 1963, John came to work at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and has been there ever since. He began doing maintenance and later found himself with the title of Fair Manager. The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds runs in the Kegebein blood as his son Dave now serves as the Fair Manager.

Over 30 years ago, John was a founding member of the Agriculture History Project, which has grown, through his leadership. John is quick to give the credit to the countless volunteers through the years, but it’s his passion for preserving the history of agriculture that is contagious. John is currently working on adding a Living History Farm at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, which would include livestock and life on a farm was like many decades ago.

John’s community service doesn’t stop at serving on the Chamber board and Ag History, he is also a very active Watsonville Rotarian.

Lifetime Achievement means a lifetime of dedication to the entire Pajaro Valley – that makes John the Chamber’s Executive Committee’s choice for the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Business of the Year

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comPajaro Valley Printing: and its loyal staff, Dan Carrillo, Sean and Nanette, hold themselves to the highest standards for the wide range of services they provide. They have served corporate giants like Granite to small individuals in elementary school working on their school projects for the past three decades.

“You will receive the same courtesy and consideration as a walk-in customer as you would as a corporate client” said local educator Ari Parker. It is through the tireless efforts of Danny Carrillo and Sean Parker – two Watsonville High School grads that allow Pajaro Valley Printing to be the finest example of a hometown small business.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that their staff have not helped support our local community” states fellow Freedom Rotarian, Trina Coffman-Gomez. Pajaro Valley Printing has embodied the quintessential ‘Good Samaritan’ who always does the right thing, helps out those in need and doesn’t seek recognition.

Organization of the Year

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comPajaro Valley Historical Association: In 1940, nearly 78 years ago, there was concern about preserving the Pajaro Valley’s rich history of the generations of families who settled here. The local chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West then created the Pajaro Valley Historical Association in Watsonville. This has grown into a treasure trove of historical artifacts and documents that celebrate the history of our beautiful Pajaro Valley for future generations to both enjoy and build upon. This is due to the dedication of volunteers, archivists and Board of Directors who have given countless hours to this amazing Association.

Judy Nielsen, Chair of the Board for the Pajaro Valley Historical Association states, “The Board and Volunteers are very humbled and honored to be chosen as the Organization of the Year. It was completely unexpected and very much appreciated. The Bockius-Orr House, donated to the Pajaro Valley Historical Association in 1993, the Borina Archive & Research Center, the Carriage House Museum and beautiful gardens are open to the public, free of charge, on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday of each week from 11:00 to 3:00, on the 2nd Saturday of each month and by appointment. We invite the public to come and enjoy the history of the Pajaro Valley.”

Event of the Year

Annual Awards Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comWatsonville Airport Open House “Fire in the Sky”: The sky at the Watsonville Airport was turned into a spectacular display of pyrotechnics on July 4th of this year as “Fire in the Sky” kicked off what will now be an annual event. When City Manager, Charles Montoya, mentioned the idea of having an open house and fireworks show on the Fourth of July at the Watsonville Airport to Airport Manager, Rayvon Williams, no one was prepared for it to attract over 7,000 people. Montoya states, “Rayvon and his team at the Airport and the City staff came together and organized an amazing event. They were dedicated to making this an event to remember.” Montoya also gave special thanks to the generous sponsorships that made “Fire in the Sky” possible.

A steady stream of families came in to enjoy a festival-like atmosphere with food trucks, aircraft displays, live music and a Kidz Zone with an outdoor movie. The evening ended with an awesome 30-minute display of professional fireworks. Montoya hinted that this is just the beginning of what will be a Watsonville tradition.

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