The Danville business community stepped out in understated style Thursday night for the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce community awards and officers and directors installation.
A casual affair with small plates and wine from 10 local eateries, the "Salutes and Salutations" dinner at the Danville community center honored four outstanding residents and one organization that have made a difference in the San Ramon Valley. New board and chairman Jonathan Watts was also sworn in for the 2012-2013 year.
San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price was honored as citizen of the year for his commitment to public service and citizen-helping-citizen outreach with the PulsePoint foundation and CPR app.
"I'm very excited to be in a position to enable citizen superheroes by extending the reach of the CPR/AED mobile application worldwide through the PulsePoint Foundation," Price said. "Every day nearly 1,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the U.S. alone one every two minutes. I believe this app can significantly improve that outcome through increased citizen engagement and awareness."
Price was recently selected by the American Heart Association as the 2012 heart of gold honoree, which recognizes s an individual who has made significant contribution to the advancement of cardiovascular disease protection and has enhanced the welfare of the Greater Bay Area community.
Marcia Harmon, owner of Cottage Jewel and chairman of Discover Danville, was honored as business person of the year. Harmon was described as the cheerleader for Danville, exuding more energy, drive and passion than anyone else. A writer, guest lecturer and accomplished artist, Harmon believes that businesses should help businesses.
"Her good neighbor belief is that if you help your neighbors, it will come back to you," Chamber President Shelby McNamara said in a release.
San Ramon Valley High's Janet Willford was presented with the educator of the year award for her superb motivation and guidance of her leadership students. A teacher for more than 15 years, Willford has been a champion for the "It Happens" the teen driving safety campaign, the lighting of the old oak tree and was instrumental in rallying students in support of the Corral family following the death of Lance Cpl. Joshua "Chachi" Corral in November.
Presented by the Danville Express, the charitable organization of the year award went to The Wheelchair Foundation, which has led an international effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities. Founded by Kenneth Behring in 2000, the Foundation has delivered or committed almost 900,000 wheelchairs to over 156 countries throughout the world.
The Foundation also responds to needs other than just wheelchairs in an emergency situation, having taken tons of wheelchairs and medical supplies to Haiti within a week after their devastating earthquake in 2010.
Additionally, Dee Thompson, from the Law Office of Terry L. Thompson, was given the chairman's award.
Other nominees for citizen of the year were Ultimate Security Owner David Miller and Send Out Cards' Tom Eager, while Dougherty Valley High Principal Jason Reimann and leadership/English teacher Travis Bell were considered for educator of the year. Empire Realty's Tom Hart and Bill White of Allstate Insurance William White Agency were in the running for business person of the year.
Among the seven candidates for charitable organization of the year were the Danville Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley and Community Presbyterian Church of Danville, which completes an impressive amount of mission work each year. The Danville d'Elegance Foundation was also among the nominees; the foundation has raised over $500 million for the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale for patient care and for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for medical research.