San Ramon Chamber of Commerce announces Community Award winners presented at festive, entertaining dinner event held December 6, 2012

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Contact: Kat Fanning, 925.242.0600

For Immediate Release

SAN RAMON, CA-December 11, 2012 — The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce presented the 28th Annual Night of the Stars Community Awards at the Bridges Golf Club December 6, 2012. More than two hundred guests, including nominees, corporate sponsors and elected officials attended the event.

Terry Koehne, communications and community relations director at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, served as the comedic and entertaining emcee for the awards.

The San Ramon Chamber presented five awards:

Citizen of the Year

  • Hermann Welm – Former City of San Ramon Mayor and Community Volunteer. Hermann has served the community in elected positions, including the San Ramon City Council and the Planning Commission. He has been a youth soccer coach for 24 years, a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum and at San Ramon Regional Medical Center. He is a member of the Blackhawk Chorus and the San Ramon Rotary Club.

Business Person of the Year

  • Mary C. Whipple – Attorney at The Law Offices of Mary C. Whipple, focusing on family law.  Opening her law office in 2008, Mary is experienced in family law, which includes divorce, custody, support, prenuptial agreements, and domestic-violence restraining orders. In addition, Mary is a member of the Ambassador’s Committee for the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce; a volunteer at the Contra Costa County Superior Court, where she assists self-represented litigants in completing their divorces; and a member of Divorce Angel, where she provides information regarding family law matters to members of the community.

Educator of the Year

  • Mark Corti – Principal at California High School. Under Mark’s leadership California High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School (2006) and a California Distinguished School (2005, 2009). The school has been recognized numerous times by Newsweek as one of America’s Best High Schools. He was named the principal of California High School in 1999.  Before working at Cal High, he served as an assistant principal at San Ramon Valley High School for six years. Mark taught physical education and coached in the Fremont and San Ramon Valley Unified School districts prior to entering administration.

Employee of the Year

  • Darlene Kittredge – Community Resources and Youth Service Unit at the San Ramon Police Department. Darlene works as a Crime Prevention Specialist, and facilitates many programs, including the Crime Free Multi-Housing, Neighborhood Watch, National Night Out, Coffee with the Cops, and Stranger Danger education for children.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce.

 Green Company of the Year

  • Sunset Development Company/Bishop Ranch. Alexander Mehran, Jr., general manager and senior vice president of Bishop Ranch Development, accepted the award. Bishop Ranch excels in green business activities. The company has an award-winning transit program that eliminated 10,000 cars on the road by providing free bus passes to their tenant commuters. A majority of their buildings are Energy Star rated and in the final stages of LEED Gold Certification. Bishop Ranch has energy-saving initiatives, including: using only green-certified products in janitorial/cleaning, saving 200,000 pounds of waste annually by using microfiber clothes instead of paper towels, and they have a comprehensive recycling program.

“The Community Awards recognize individuals in our community who strive to make a difference,” said San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Chair, Laura O’Brien, CFP®, Summit Financial Group, LLC.

In addition to the Community Awards, the Chamber of Commerce presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to D. Christian Claytor, attorney at Claytor Law Group for his volunteer work with the chamber.

For information about the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, contact 925.242.0600 or e-mail at The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce office is located at 2410 Camino Ramon, Suite 125, Bishop Ranch 6, San Ramon, CA 94583.

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San Ramon Chamber of Commerce
Since 1983, the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce has provided local businesses with benefits by hosting business-to-business opportunities for sharing advice, political representation and customer introductions. Networking, business education and advocacy are its passion and specialty. The mission of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce is “To enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the San Ramon Valley by representing business and community interests.” The Chamber is devoted to helping the local business community by promoting members and facilitating opportunities for business development. The Chamber respects the entrepreneurial spirit of new business owners and believes that the money they invest in Chamber membership will be one of their wisest investments. The Chamber’s focus is threefold:

  • First, to provide opportunities or local and regional businesses to meet, exchange ideas and foster new business relationships.
  • Second, to provide an online resource to the community that promotes our member businesses and refers their products and services.
  • Third, work with the membership to influence legal and political issues that impact the business community.

The Chamber is always looking for new ways to assist members. Today’s web technology is making it easier to communicate with members, coordinate meetings and refer customer traffic to our members businesses. As they move into the future the Chamber will continue to focus on the promotion of members and the tangible values of Chamber membership.