The Napa Chamber Foundation and Mechanics Bank presented the 4th annual Napa Valley Community Awards on May 18 at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa.
Nearly 200 people attended the event. The luncheon started with Foundation Chair and immediate past Chamber of Commerce board chair Mike Silvas recognizing all the past winners in the room and describing the origin of the Napa Chamber Foundation.
Founded in 2006 the Chamber Foundation has since awarded more than $38,000 in funds back to the community by scholarship or funding grants.
Co-sponsor, E. Michael Downer, vice chair of Mechanics Bank, thanked the Wiseman Company for underwriting the program and Comcast for co-sponsorship of the Student of the Year award.
All the nominees in five categories were recognized with plaques as the award winners for nonprofit employee — Bob Pallas, public safety officer; Brandon Carter, community booster, Dell Coats; hospitality/tourism, Jeanne Hohn; healthcare professional — Dr. Michael Shifflet were announced and applauded. Special awards were given to the Outstanding Teacher of the Year — Evan Blasingame, Napa Valley College Student of the Year — Rob Holst and Community Icon — Clemente Cittoni. Teacher Blasingame challenged the group to “call a teacher and tell them they are awesome, and find a young person and tell them they are capable.” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Nemko said it is not easy to be named Outstanding Teacher of the Year, with more than 1,000 teachers in Napa and a grueling application process.
Student of the Year Rob Holst earned scholarship checks presented by Mechanics Bank Chairman D.D. Felton and Scott Adams from Comcast for his past diligence and future education. Longtime Napan, Clemente Cittoni, earned a standing ovation for his Icon status with many fond memories around the room of his malfatti’s and ravioli’s, now available at Val’s on Third Street.
Napa Chamber President and CEO Lisa Batto presented the award to Cittoni, saying “Napa Valley may have their great wine icons, however, the city of Napa has Clemente Cittoni.”
Profiles of the eight nominated nonprofit organizations for the yet-to-be-announced Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year award were interspersed throughout the presentations.
The field of eight nominees included: Community Action of Napa Valley, Community Projects, Inc., Connolly Ranch Education Center; Kiwanis Club of Napa; Napa Valley Community Housing, Napa Valley Support Services, The Salvation Army and The Table.
The winner was announced, then Napa Valley Community Housing was announced as Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year, with Executive Director Kathleen Dreesen accepting the award.
For more information about all of the winners, visit www.napachamberfoundation.org.