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Wow, did we have a great evening this past Saturday with the Bay Area Chamber Awards Banquet — Connecting Community Cultures! Wonderful food, unique entertainment featuring Joanna Goslin and Bay City Swing, and a variety of awards and recognitions which truly make this a community celebration.

Citizen of the Year is an honor given to a member of our community whom by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2017 that award was given to Cricket Soules. A high school mentor, organizer of the Coos Bay D9 Veterans’ Appreciation program and, with her daughter, the reviver of the Pioneer Cemetery. She is one of the generous and hardworking individuals that make this a great place to live.

The Business of the Year award is given to a business that has exhibited excellence in products and customer service; contributed time, manpower and resources to community improvement projects, and excelled in employee relations and training. The 2017 award went to Tower Motor Company, honoring their excellence in business and strong commitment to the community.

Chamber Member of the Year is given to that member who through their efforts has carried us to a new level of community service and impact. In 2017 this honor went to another of our ambassador corps. Lonni Corona, in addition to her work with our red coated ambassadors, is a regular member of the Wednesday Business Connection team from September through May, and also served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber this past year.

What a great evening! See you at next year’s banquet on the last Saturday of January.

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Timm Slater is executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on your Chamber, email us at timmslater@oregonsbayarea.org.

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