2013 Award Recipients Announced

In Uncategorized by Sina Enayati



San Ramon Chamber of Commerce announces Community Award winners presented at festive, entertaining dinner event held December 5, 2013

The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce presented the 29th Annual Night of the Stars Community Awards at the Bridges Golf Club December 5, 2013. More than one hundred and fifty 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

Steve Renfro – Steve is a long-time San Ramon resident and is very active in the community working as the League President for the San Ramon Girls Athletic League (SRVGAL) which serves over 1000 softball players every year. He has volunteered his time and energies with SRVGAL for over 11 years. In addition, he also assists Coach Joe Callaway at California High School as the Varsity Asst. Softball Coach and coaches a highly competitive 14U Travel Softball team with the NorCal Valley Stompers.

Business Person of the Year

Ian Schuster – Ian is the President and founder of Schubros Brewery in San Ramon, CA. He moved to San Ramon in 2007, after working 8 plus years overseas in London and Tokyo managing Aeon’s (Asia’s largest retail chain) private label program, and Altria’s (Kraft, Miller, and Philip Morris during his tenure) brand portfolios.   Prior to that Ian was an officer in the US Navy, serving in the Kosovo War and 2 Iraqi conflicts. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and London Business School.

Educator of the Year

Nicholas Zefeldt – Nicholas began working in San Ramon as an educator in 2007. As a third grade classroom teacher, he works to bring the curriculum that he teaches to life while being a role model for each of his students. In 2012, he began working as instructional technology coach, where he supports a staff of 50+ educators and 1,100+ students at Live Oak Elementary School. In this role, he teaches staff and students alike, how to podcast, blog, and harness the power of the Internet to learn in all elementary grade levels. This winter, he will co-found the Golden Eagle Coding Club, an extracurricular group at Live Oak Elementary that will provide fourth and fifth grade students the opportunity to have positive experiences with computer science from a young age. Nicholas refuses to wait for the classroom of the future. He is passionate about bringing our education system into the 21st century and educating students in culturally relevant ways.

Employee of the Year

Janel Rupp  – Janel joined the Fisher-Nickel, Inc. Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in 2008, as an Administrative Assistant to the project management team but quickly moved up to take on the responsibility of the center’s education and outreach program.  Since assuming the role, Ms. Rupp has helped strengthen, streamline, and disseminate the FSTC message through her involvement in industry associations and events. She is the architect of all FSTC social media and she also develops educational and outreach materials to highlight the FSTC as the leading energy efficiency resource for the industry.

Green Company of the Year

Sprint – Tony D’Anna West Area Manager, Solution Engineering and Cloud Services, accepted the award.  Sprint has made a commitment to social, ethical and environmental responsibility. Sprint is constantly seeking out ways to improve our business practices in efforts to increase sustainability. Through leadership and meaningful action, Sprint and our employees strive to do the right thing for our customers, our communities and our planet in order to protect and improve our way of life. Our sustainable business practices continue to lead the industry.  Sprint ranked No. 3 on Newsweek’s 2011 and 2012 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies, up from No. 6 in 2010 and No. 15 in 2009. Sprint was also recognized as the mobile telecommunications sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in both 2011 and 2012 and was awarded the 2012 North American Green Excellence award by Frost & Sullivan.

“The Community Awards recognize individuals in our community who strive to make a difference,” said San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Chair, Rich Mendoza, with Iron Oak Home Loans.

In addition to the Community Awards, the Chamber of Commerce presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Simon Tan, Owner of Webivia.com, for his volunteer work with the chamber.