By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“One of the things that inspires me about this community is that everybody here seems to give back something,” said chamber President Amanda Funaro.
“This is a time for us to celebrate these contributions, and there are so many people who deserve these honors.”
More than 100 people attended the brunch at Fort Worden Commons to celebrate the awards, which represent a three-cornered stool regarding local community spirit.
“When I became a mother, I felt two passionate, opposing pulls,” said Crystie Kisler, the co-owner of Finn River Farm and Cidery in Chimacum and the Tim Caldwell Business Leader of the Year.
“One was to raise my two children into healthy and happy men who would be good for the world, and the other was to help create a world that would be good for my boys.
“I can’t get is all done, but I keep trying because of the amazing support of the community, the support of local food producers, the local investments and the mentorship of people who have helped me in my business.”
Nominated along with Kisler were Susan Jacob, who owns and operates Sport Townsend, and Michael Haberpointer of Active Life Physical Therapy.
YMCA Executive Director Erica Delma, recognized as the Young Professional of the Year, also stated that her accomplishments were a result of support by others.
“There are so many people who deserve this award, and the only reason I won this was because so many of them helped me,” she said.
Also nominated for Young Professional of the Year were Live in Harmony owner Annalisa Barelli and ReCyclery manager Chauncey Tudhope-Locklear.
Bill James, the Citizen of the Year, said he was inspired to volunteer due to the boredom of retirement and “a bad thing” that happened to his family.
“I decided to follow the old Nike adage of ‘just do it’ instead of just sitting around,” he said.
“There are a lot of places you can help, whether it’s with kids or with seniors, where you can find a place and follow your passion.”
James, who has served on several local boards and worked with abused children, was joined in his category by Ian Keith, Heather Dudley-Nollette and Le Hornbeck.
The Citizen of the Year award has been given since 1949, while Business Leader of the Year began in 1998.
The newest award, for the young professionals, is in its second year.
Funaro said she hoped that Young Professional honorees would one day be recognized in the other categories.
“We are planning a succession here, and the Young Professionals of today will be Business Leader and Citizens in 15 years.”
Along with the awards, the event revealed the names of the chamber’s executive board and board of directors.
Aside from Funaro, the new executive board consists of President-elect Jordan Eades, Vice President of Records Mary Stuart, Vice President of Finance and Past President Dominic Svornich, Vice President of Outreach Heather Bailey and Vice President of Membership Vi Koenig.
The new board of directors consists of Katherine Baril, Suzy Carroll, Austin Henry, Nancy McConaghy, Kris Nelson, Will O’Donnell, Tana Rublaitus, Mendy Short, Susan Windle and Jennefer Wood.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.