55th Annual Awards Gala honors the best in Temecula Valley

TEMECULA, Calif., — On Saturday, July 24th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 55th Annual Awards Gala. This black-tie event honored exceptional businesses, service/charitable organizations and individuals who have been nominated for their dedication, innovation and leadership in our community.

The evening included dinner, an extravagant silent auction, entertainment was provided by Killer Dueling Pianos, and an outstanding awards presentation.

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Hemet teacher killed, husband critical, after struck by hit and run driver while using PCH crosswalk

UPDATED: Corona movie theater shooting leaves woman, 18, dead, man, 19, on life support – Victims ID’d

Distracted driving suspected after driver plows into back of CHP SUV at scene of earlier crash

Hemet inmate accused of murdering cellmate at Riverside County jail

14-year-old unlicensed driver runs stop sign, kills Hesperia man, 59

Over 600 people attended this year’s Gala which took place at Pechanga Resort & Casino in the Summit Ballroom. The
event’s Title Sponsor was Abbott and Premier Sponsor was Pechanga Resort & Casino. The Temecula Valley Chamber of
Commerce would like to thank all of the sponsors and congratulate all nominees as well as award recipients for their
contributions and service to our community.

Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce members Electra Demos, Denise Lanier, Dorcas Shaktman are seen at last night’s 55th Annual Awards Gala. TVCOC photo

55th Awards Gala Award Recipients:

Valley Young Professional of the Year: Eric Bunge, Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley

Eric Bunge is the Community Outreach Director for Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. He’s been working in this role for 3
years and during this time has become fully immersed in the local community. He serves as the community relations chair for Valley Young Professionals, is about to embark on his second semester as an instructor for MSJC’s Introduction to
Construction class and recently launched The Affordable Shoppe – a family owned small business that builds and customizes wood creations.

Visit Temecula Valley Welty Tourism Professional of the Year: Dan Stephenson, The Rancon Group & Europa
Village

At 25 years of age, Dan was ambitious and excited to excel and succeed in business. And so it was, in 1968, when he roamed the open territory of the Temecula Valley that he found a dream that could encompass a lifetime. In 1971, Dan formed Rancho Consultants, a real-estate brokerage and land development company, which later shortened its name to Rancon. He then proceeded to move his family, lock, stock and barrel to this pristine, rustic, location where he was going to make his mark. But now, with a family, making your mark meant not only business opportunities but providing a quality of life for his family and all the families he envisioned wanting to settle in the Temecula Valley. Family is at the core of his
motivation.

The agents and staff at Rancon Real Estate, the management team and staff at the Rancon Group, Chardonnay
Escrow, Ranch Self-Storage, as well as all the villagers at Dan’s exciting new Temecula Valley Winery – Europa Village, are
also his family. It is important to him that his family is able to thrive in a community rich in a high degree of quality of life.
With Dan Stephenson at the helm, the Rancon Group of companies built the first master-planned community, Alta Murrieta, in Southwest Riverside County. During more than four decades of “doing the same thing in the same place” Stephenson has amassed a reputation for spearheading high-quality projects and maximizing his investors’ returns. Today, both Rancon Real Estate and the Rancon Group are staffed with the most qualified real estate professionals in the market area.

Ambassador of the Year: Tom Somers, Stonehouse Insurance Services

Tom brings to his role as a Certified Financial Planner a wealth of business, insurance and financial experience accumulated
during his career as an executive in various service industries in New York, Europe and California. Tom is known as a
thoughtful, innovative advocate for his clients, dedicated to helping them achieve financial security. He is an active member of several community organizations, including a loyal ambassador of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for close to 15 years.

Ruby Service Charitable Organization of the Year: Rotary Club of Temecula

Founded in 1975 the Rotary Club of Temecula is 100 members strong and is part of Rotary International which was founded in 1905 and has 1.2 million members worldwide. Focused on five avenues of service, Youth, Vocational, International, Community and Club the Rotary Club of Temecula impacts our community, the region and the world with endless opportunities for our members to put their passion of service above self into action.

Emerald Service Charitable Organization of the Year: Assistance League of Temecula Valley

Assistance League of Temecula Valley is a nonprofit service organization of volunteers committed to identifying and serving the needs of the Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and Romoland communities through philanthropic programs developed and administered by our members. Assistance League member volunteers have not been deterred by the effects of COVID-19, but instead have rallied together and found innovative ways to continue reaching out to our communities, coming together with local partners to find innovative ways to continue to serve the individuals who have come to rely on our assistance.

Bronze Business of the Year: Tina M. Gottlieb Chiropractic, APC

For 25 years Dr. Tina’s passion and focus of her work has been providing specific upper cervical chiropractic care so that her
patients can lead successful, thriving lives and not have their time drained by a health issue, pain, or a lack of energy. Dr.
Tina is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, a 19 year member of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, a 18
year member of the Rotary Club of Temecula, a business owner, host of Audacious, wife, and mother of a 14 year old
daughter.

Sterling Business of the Year: FirstLight Home Care Temecula

FirstLight Home Care of Temecula is owned and operated by Christine and John Hamby, Temecula residents for more than
20 years. Their mission is to hire and train extraordinary people to provide exceptional personal and companion care services to the citizens of our community and their families. Their company is a values-based organization that demands impeccable integrity, complete dedication to the business of caring, and uncompromising loyalty to those who trust them with their care.

Gold Business of the Year: Home Perfect Restoration

Home Perfect Restoration has been in business in Temecula since 2013 and has 3 divisions to the company. Home Perfect
offers cleaning services to include carpet, tile and grout, and upholstery cleaning. The next divisions offers 24 hour disaster recovery services to include water, mold, fire, and smoke damage clean up. Home Perfect also offers construction and repair services to completely restore homes or businesses after a disaster as well as offer remodels, additions, and TI’s.

Platinum Business of the Year: Milgard Manufacturing

Milgard has manufacturing and customer care locations in the Western U.S. and Canada. Our dealer partners are small
business owners invested in supporting the local community, just like we are. Our local presence allows us to be close to our customers and to be an involved neighbor. At Milgard Windows and Doors we have an unwavering dedication to quality and service. We are committed to the following guiding principles: The individual must be respected, The customer must be given the best possible service, Excellence and superior performance must be pursued.

Citizen of the Year: Craig Davis, Craig Davis Family Insurance Agency, Inc.

Craig and Kathy Davis have lived in the Temecula Valley for thirty years and recently celebrated 30-years in business this
past October. Craig is highly involved in the community. He is a long-time member of the Temecula and Murrieta/Wildomar
Chambers of Commerce. He is a past president and proud member of Rotary Club of Temecula and serves on several
committees. He is the Rotary District Membership Chair for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. He serves as a Trustee
on the Temecula Public Cemetery Board. Craig supports a number of area non-profits monetarily and through volunteerism
and serves on the Advisory Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters and WAVES. He and his wife are a Big Couple in the Big
Brothers Big Sisters Program. Craig tries to live by the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.

Lifetime Achievement: Pat Comerchero, Friends of the Temecula Children’s Museum

Pat Comerchero is the President of the Friends of the Temecula Children’s Museum. In 1999, Pat and her husband, Jeff
Comerchero, who was on the Temecula City Council, saw a need and an opportunity to advocate for the development of a
Children’s Museum in Temecula. Once the idea gained traction, she rolled up her sleeves and started working with the
architects and designers on what the museum was to be. The Imagination Workshop, later appropriately named
“Pennypickles”, opened to rave reviews in 2004 and has enchanted hundreds of thousands of aspiring young scientists ever
since. Approximately two years after the opening, the museum won a prestigious award from “The Themed Entertainment
Association” (THEA) and was selected over some of the most significant theme parks in the world, including a new
Disneyland in Europa and a Safari Park in Africa. Through the years, Pat has conceived and implemented many programs to
benefit the region’s youth. One that she has been especially proud of is the “Protege Program”, in which she works with other area non-profits to identify teen foster children and then employs them. She has worked hard to get grants and sponsors to fund it. Pat also serves her community as a volunteer working with CASA (Court appointed Special Advocates) serving Foster youth.

Chairman’s Choice Award: Kimberly Freize Uhler, 2020 TVCC First Vice Chairman of the Board

Kimberly is the owner of Clear Blue Promotions located in Fallbrook, California. In addition to owning her own business,
she held the role of First Vice Chairman of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce Board in 2020. She proved to be a
valuable and supportive asset to the organization and to the Chairman of the Board. It is with great honor that Chairman Al
Rubio recognizes Kimberly for her leadership, guidance, and perseverance through one of the toughest years we ever could have imagined.

IN BUSINESS TODAY:

MSJC Temecula Valley Campus completed, “Cutting-edge academic facility” expands access to SW Rivco learning

Sovovatum Village Town Center, “an attractive gateway to Tribe’s vast landholdings”, to break ground at Soboba

Better Nutritionals’ CEO & Founder up for Entrepreneur of the Year as company expands into Norco

RivCo burger fans now have new dining options after Wahlburgers opens today at Morongo Casino

Online “Meal Marketplace” FamilyGrab.com set to expand into Riverside County

Sponsors of the 55th Annual Awards Gala include: Abbott, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Ranch RV & Self-Storage, Paradise
Chevrolet Cadillac, Southwest Healthcare System, California State University San Marcos, The Law Offices of Rosenstein &
Associates, Rady Children’s Health Services, Rancho Christian Schools, The Shella Foundation, Temecula Valley Hospital,
DCH Auto Group Temecula, Fabozzi & Miller, APC., Pacific Western Bank, Promenade Temecula, Temecula Valley
Toyota, Corner Bakery Café, Craig Davis Family Insurance Agency, CR&R Environmental Services, Eastern Municipal
Water District, Kaiser Permanente, Pulido Cleaning & Restoration, Mt. San Jacinto College, Raising Cane’s Chicken
Fingers, Riverside County Board of Supervisors 3rd District, Wilson Creek Winery, Star Way Productions, Murrieta VIP
Florist, City Of Temecula, Ashley Bee Photography, Creative Industries Media Group, and Valley News.

The Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization based in Temecula, CA. The Mission of the
Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce is to promote positive economic growth while protecting the environment for all
business and by doing so, support the programs which preserve and improve the quality of life for the entire community.

To learn more about the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, please click here. For more information regarding upcoming events, please click here or contact the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce at 951-676-5090 or info@temecula.org.

Follow the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/temeculacc
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/temeculachamber/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/temvalchamber



Contact the editor: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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