CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 annual Business Awards Dinner hosted another memorable evening for more than 550 guests. The Feb. 17 soiree, themed, “The Sky is Limitless,” was held at the La Costa Resort and Spa and brimmed with savories, conversation, speeches and awards.Often described as a Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s signature event, the evening distributed an array of awards and was emceed by financial columnist and radio personality George Chamberlin.For Toni Padron, executive vice president and COO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, the annual business dinner had all of the glitz and glamour of an awards show coupled with top-notch production values.
“We overlook no detail to create a truly unique and memorable experience for those who attend, our finalists and our winners,” Padron said. “The annual Business Awards Dinner is an evening in which we recognize and honor the success of the businesses, organizations and individuals that make the North County San Diego region a great place to live and do business. We celebrate their achievements and shine a spotlight on their dedication, achievements and their extraordinary service to our community.”
Award winners included Businessperson of the Year, Larry Anderson of Tri-City Medical Center; Small Business of the Year, Fish Window Cleaning and Your Ops Manager; Medium Business of the Year, K1 Speed; Large Business of the Year, Datron World Communications; Lifetime Achievement in Business, John Haedrich of TipTop Meats European Delicatessen; Entrepreneur of the Year, Ted Vallas of California Pacific Airlines; Community Leadership, Mark King of TaylorMade Golf Company; and, Nonprofit of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad.
Other special recognition honors went to Mark Dankberg of ViaSat Inc. for the Global Leadership Award, Stater Brothers in Bressi Ranch for an Environmental Spirit Award, and a special Visionary Award bestowed posthumously to Ben Weseloh of Weseloh Chevrolet Kia.
During the course of the evening, Mayor Matt Hall swore in the latest Carlsbad Chamber Board of Directors which included its new chairman Carlton Lund of the Lund Team, Neal Crapo of Wells Fargo, Niels Norby of SD Trophy, Tucker Hohenstein of Colliers International, Ahmed Haque of NRG Energy, and Trisa Mills of TaylorMade Golf Company.
Padron said her favorite part of the evening is seeing the surprised faces of the award winners.
“We do not let anyone know in advance who the winners are,” she said. “We take great pains to make sure that it is a complete surprise that creates an air of buzz and excitement that adds to the evening.”
Enjoying the annual dinner were Col. Michael Naylor from Camp Pendleton, Assemblyman Martin Garrick, Supervisor Bill Horn, and Carlsbad Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin along with her fellow city council members Keith Blackburn, Farrah Douglas and Mark Packard. Also taking part in the festivities were city of Carlsbad representatives such as City Manager Lisa Hildabrand, Fire Chief Kevin Crawford, Police Chief Gary Morrison and Carlsbad Unified School District board member Kelli Moors.
Padron thanked their generous sponsors for making the event possible. The evening, she said, was presented by NRG Energy. Its other event sponsors were AKT, LLP, AT&T, Grand Pacific Resorts, Inc., L+L Printers, La Costa Resort and Spa, Life Technologies, LEGOLAND California, San Diego Gas & Electric, Shapell Homes, Tri-City Medical Center, Waste Management, and Wells Fargo.
Padron also recognized Carlsbad Chamber member vendors including EAJ Media, Flowers Forever, Jeff Kassebaum, L+L Printers and SD Trophy