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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Invitation to the Chamber Awards Dinner

Uploaded: Dec 6, 2012
Wednesday I received a call from Kat Fanning at the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce offering me a free ticket to the Chamber Awards Dinner at the Bridges Golf Club Thursday night. I was surprised because I haven't been a member of the Chamber for several years. I belonged years ago when I was writing the San Ramon Observer website on my own and trying to start a training business.

Later I joined as a representative of Safe Cat Foundation to get supporters and donors for the cat rescue group. That didn't go over as well as I hoped. For the last two years I haven't had much contact with the Chamber.

I emailed my Editor, Jessica Lipsky, to see if she or Express reporter, Glenn Wohltmann would be attending.

"Both Glenn and I will be there to cover it, but feel free to write a blog about it if you wish.

See you there!"

So I figured it would be a free meal and a good story for my Friday blog. However, the meal was very disappointing. There was about 1/8 of a chicken breast with some cream sauce, a cup of rice, and a chunk of salmon, my least favorite fish. So I didn't eat most of it.

I wasn't very hungry. I had egg salad on an onion bagel from Levy's Deli for lunch, and except for the egg salad being made in a blender instead of keeping the whites and yolks in separate chunks, it was very good and filling.

After dinner, Terry Koehne took over the podium as Master of Ceremonies for the awards. He must have ambitions to be a writer on the David Letterman Show, because he interspersed introductions of VIPs and Awards with top ten lists. These were about as good as Letterman's. I'll let you decide if that's a complement or not.

The first award was for Green Company of the Year. It was won by Bishop Ranch and accepted by Alex Mehran, Jr.

The next award was for Educator of the Year. Marc Corti, Principal of Cal High, lost last year to Christy Tyler (my friend), but this year, Corti won.

Darlene Kittredge, who works as a Crime Prevention Specialist for the San Ramon Police Department, won Employee of the Year.

I was beginning to detect a pattern in the winners. Each one was at the top of the list of finalists in the program. I was waiting to see if the next winner was also first in the list, but the pattern was broken and the name at the bottom of the list came up.

It was Hermann Welm for Citizen of the Year. About a dozen people in the audience gave Herm a standing ovation. I was surprised Herm had not won before in the 28 years this award was given out. I went over and asked him if this is the first time he's won, and he said yes. He thought his involvement in politics was the reason for the delayed recognition.

Welm was on the City Council when I moved here 15 years ago. He was Mayor one year and on the Planning Commission. He's a youth soccer coach and volunteer for the Historic Foundation, the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, and San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Welm's award as Citizen of the Year is well-deserved and long overdue.

I was nominated for Citizen of the Year in 2006. I knew I wouldn't win because I was the weakest of the four finalists (it was four finalist back then), but it was a nice ego boost. Mike Conklin and the Sentinels of Freedom Board of Directors were Citizens of the Year for 2006. I wrote one of my San Ramon Observer Commentaries on it.

The final award for Business Person of the Year went to Mary C. Whipple. Whipple is an Attorney specializing in Family Law. She's very active in the Chamber.

When I visited Maine three years ago, my brother and sister-in-law nagged me about having a will drawn up so they wouldn't have a messy legal situation when I die. How can they be sure I'll die first? Anyway I called The Law Offices of Mary C. Whipple about putting together an Estate Plan. She sent me a form to fill out but I never did. I bought an Estate Planner Library CD from Staples, but I haven't filled that out either. I should probably fill it all out and then take it to the Law Offices of Mary C. Whipple to whip-ple it into proper legal shape. Someday.

If you are looking for a serious article on the Chamber Awards Dinner, look for Jessica Lipsky and Glenn Wohltmann's article on the front page. Glenn took lots of photos and Jessica was typing away on her iPad; so you will get the whole story from them.

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