With one of the largest turnouts since the recession of 2008, the Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards gala at the London Bridge Convention Center on Friday evening.
Many awards were passed on to businesses and community members by the chamber. Most notably were the two recipients for Citizen of the Year and Chamber Business of the Year.
Go Lake Havasu Tourism Bureau took home the prize for Business of the Year. In their award announcement speech, it was said that “the chamber thinks there is a direct correlation between the rise in tourism related sales taxes over the past two years and the team at the organization who’ve been together for that same amount of time.”
Jim Salscheider earned the title of Citizen of the Year and a spot as grand marshal of the London Bridge Days Parade as a result, which the chamber called “an amazing honor.”
Salscheider was given the award for all of his work during his time at the head of the Lake Havasu Marine Association. He’s been working with them since 2007, and has been involved with all things that matter to the lake.
He fought against no-wake buoys that were quietly placed in a favorite water skiing spot and led an educational campaign about the invasive species that the lake is all too familiar with — quagga mussels.
Several more awards were presented as well, with Marsha Becker taking home the Business and Education Leader award for her work at the high school and their Career Explorations Internship Program.
Ambassador of the Year award was presented to Lucky Atkinson of ACE Pest Control for his constant participation in the chamber and work in the community.
Havasu Booster of the Year winner was the Lake Havasu Museum of History. The Chamber cited the museum and its volunteers for their contribution to tourism and their role of community historian in a town that’s home to the “world’s largest antique” — The London Bridge.
The Chamber’s Community Development and Improvement Award was given to the Western Arizona Humane Society to recognize the development of the new animal shelter in the old Bureau of Land Management building.
The Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Cassie O’Hara of HavaSmash. O’Hara is a member of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee and regularly attends all chamber functions, according to CEO Lisa Krueger.
This year’s Outstanding Young Professional Award recipient was artist Aymie Spitzer from the Partnership for Economic Development. Spitzer is a graduate of Lake Havasu High School who moved away after college, only to move back a few years later to restart her career at home.
Once back home, Krueger said Spitzer became aware of a positive cultural and social shift in the community and decided to join the wave of young entrepreneurs looking to extend their wings and make a positive change for their hometown.
Spitzer helped contribute to the Citizens for Havasu Schools movement in 2016, was instrumental in the city’s entry in the Vision 20/20 competition, helped broker the collective known as Creative Comrades, and she is a founder of the First Friday art event in downtown.
The Ethics in Business award was given to Horizon Community Bank.
The bank, which opened 16 years ago, employes nearly 100 workers. Krueger said the bank is “community-oriented in an industry filled with corporate-style competitors and the team that works there are some of the best community promoters we know.”
The company’s employees are involved in chamber functions and serve as members of Rotary and Kiwanis and other service organizations, as well as helping with school functions and major community events like Winterfest and the Balloon Festival, Krueger said.
- By Daisy Nelson Today’s News-Herald 6-7-2019