Gilbert chamber recognizes business community during awards luncheon

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The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce reflected on the past year and awarded members of the business community at its 13th annual business awards luncheon June 19.

Ralph Willett, a certified public accountant, and photographer Elaine Kessler were named Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year.

Gilbert chamber President and CEO Kathy Tilque focused on the town and business community in her remarks when she recognized the town for being honored with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Best City for Business in Arizona” award.

“When I think about what we do today, it’s not about the chamber. It’s about you and all you do,” she said.

Outgoing board Chairman Eric Reber acknowledged the chamber’s leadership and honored outgoing board members and students who had received chamber scholarships.

Reber reported the chamber had reached a milestone of more than 800 members. He also said it had an 84% renewal rate, the highest it has been in the chamber’s four-decade history.

“I can tell you that businesses are noticing [our efforts],” Reber said.

Reber then passed the gavel to Chairman-elect Matt Streeper, who reassured the crowd of the chamber’s commitment to its businesses.

“We are working for you every day and invite you to join me as we do great work in the community,” Streeper said.

The program concluded with the chamber recognizing the finalists for its awards and announcing the winners.

Other businesses and people who were awarded include:

• Gilbert Public Schools (Employer of Choice)
• 910 West (Small Business of the Year)
• Arizona Veterinary Oncology (Mid-Size Business of the Year)
• Northrop Grumman (Large Business of the Year)
• Emily Staples (Chamber Volunteer of the Year)
• Barb Dwyer (Foundation Volunteer of the Year)
• Rudy Apodaca (Gilbert Leadership Award)

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