Atascadero Chamber celebrates in 2019

Awardees for the 2019 dinner were individually surprised by the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce staff making announcements this year. (photos submitted)

Annual Dinner sold out for Jan. 12

ATASCADERO — Normally an event preview stokes a little interest ahead of a community event and informs would-be attendees how they can take part, but three weeks before they’re slated to host one of their biggest events, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce has sold out of tickets.

Those who were weren’t in the know may miss out on pours from presenting sponsor Derby Wine Estates and a Phil’s Catering provided dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Atascadero Lake Pavilion, but they can still join the Chamber later in the year by honoring 2018 awards winners: Citizen of the Year Jeannie Malik; Business of the Year Glenn’s Repair and Rental; Entrepreneur of the Year Farron Elizabeth; Community Service awardees Mike and Charlotte Byrne; the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year Gary Borjan, and a special award this year goes to Lifetime Member Ray Johnson.

Infused with a little of the Atascadero spirit, the gala will be an “orange-tie event,” and, noted Chamber CEO Derrick Kirk, overseeing his second year of the ceremonies, a big kick off for their year, “It’s a lot of fun for me because of how excited our community members get on behalf of our awardees.”

As mentioned the award for Johnson is a rare treat, recognizing a long-time booster of chamber activities who’d always be welcome at their events with or without an invite. The award simply formalizes their regard and waives membership dues for life.

Kristie Steele, the Chamber’s Director of Business Engagement, added that the Annual Installation Dinner for new board members seemed like the perfect time to recognize Johnson as a former board president.

For fans of good surprises, on Oct. 19, the staff at the Chamber and friends of Malik who had nominated her for Citizen of Year surprised the local realtor with an impromptu announcement streamed on “Facebook Live.” And her reaction is still on video through the Chamber’s social media. Malik is known to many in the community through her work on behalf of the local Friends of the Library.

The Chamber repeated the campaign through the week taking the other award recipients by surprise where and when they could. Glen’s Repair and Rental got their announcement a tad earlier with a presentation made at a local a meeting of the Atascadero Kiwanis Club.

For those unable to attend the installation dinner in January, doors to the Chamber’s relatively new office on El Camino Real, across the lot from the Galaxy Theater and near the pedestrian bridge to Sunken Gardens, are always open during business hours.

Anyone looking for a taste of Atascadero, local souvenir or just information on new and exciting things to do in town is encouraged to stop by. With more space available in this office, they are putting the final touches on a carefully curated collection of merchandise from local vendors and have hosted a “Holiday Hub” with gift ideas through Christmas.

Look for more event streaming and archival footage of Chamber announcements at their Facebook page


Awardees for the 2019 dinner were individually surprised by the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce staff making announcements this year. (photos submitted)

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