CARLSBAD — Award wins have been contagious at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Two regarded executives recently accepted prestigious honors from the San Diego Business Journal. Toni Padron, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Ted Owen, president and chief executive officer, won awards at two separate functions.
These executive decorations have brightened the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce spotlight highlighting their dedication toward their employees and business members.
On Nov. 17, Padron received her win at the 18th annual Women Who Mean Business luncheon. Padron, who has worked for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce for 11 years, was acknowledged for her leadership, achievements and contributions for communities and companies in San Diego County.
“I was incredibly honored,” Padron said. “It means that I have made a difference and it is what I strive to do every day.” Additionally, she said she was flattered to be in a room with so many other talented, amazing women.
Among her long list of accomplishments at the chamber, Padron was recognized for establishing the Small Business Success Center and Pathways to Success program.
For those who know Padron, they often hear how much she loves her job.
“I have the privilege every day of working with what makes this country great and that’s business and free enterprise,” she said. “It’s the ability to live the American dream.”
Her members are a hodgepodge of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs. In fact, she calls their passion contagious.
For Owen, having Padron win this award is something he said is quite special to him.
“This is a very prestigious award for Toni,” he said. “I actually started this program 25 years ago when I was the publisher at the San Diego Business Journal.”
Owen attended the fifth annual San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO Awards on Dec. 8, where he won the Small Business Nonprofit category.
Having won numerous awards over the years, Owen said he was both shocked and pleased to win it.
Owen has been with the chamber for nearly seven years. Since his time there, he said what he enjoys most are the people he works with.
Currently, the chamber has 1,600 members and 90 percent of them are small businesses.
“And when you can make a difference in their lives that’s a huge difference for them,” he said.
Owen said the chamber has had the honor to help counsel and mentor struggling businesses that have turned themselves around to where they’ve stayed in business and have even hired an additional employee. Owen describes the feeling as a big sense of accomplishment.
Owen points out that the recent awards both he and Padron have won bring their chamber to a whole new level.
Padron said that she and Owen have worked hard to create a special chamber culture in their office.
“We create excellence, we want people to think outside of the box, we allow our employees to be the very, very best and their feedback is what makes us the type of chamber that we are,” she said. “And these awards are reflective of that.”
Bev Jorgensen, vice president of corporate member relations, is thrilled about her associates’ award wins.
“Toni is an incredible business woman,” she said. “And Toni is a great friend to everyone.”
For Jorgensen, the wealth of knowledge and business experience that Owen brings to the table is unparalleled. She also shared that Owen often cooks for his staff and always wants to make sure that everyone is happy in the office.
“I’ve been here almost five years and I can say it’s been the best of my career,” she said.
“I’ve learned so much from Toni and Ted.”