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Danville chamber presents community awards

150+ turn out to recognize town's top citizen, employee, business and charitable organization of 2013

Some of Danville's finest citizens and contributors took center stage Thursday as the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce presented its annual community awards.

The chamber honored its local Citizen of the Year, Employee of the Year, Business of the Year, Charitable Organization of the Year and Chairman's Award recipients during a luncheon at Crow Canyon Country Club.

More than 150 business professionals, government officials, town representatives and other community members attended the afternoon event, sponsored by Allstate Insurance William White Agency.

Citizen of the Year

Longtime community advocate and supporter Mary Tuttle received the chamber's 2013 Citizen of the Year award.

For more than three decades, Tuttle has served as one of the most committed chamber ambassadors and has remained actively involved in the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club.

Tuttle taught in schools across five states during her 25-year career, and she and husband Roy owned Pocket Coupon Directory for a number of years. She remains actively involved in youth education, tutoring local first- and second-graders throughout the San Ramon Valley to this day.

She also helped found the Blackhawk Food, Wine and Film Festival, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit local nonprofit organizations.

Employee of the Year

Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo was named the 2013 Employee of the Year.

Calabrigo, who has worked for the Danville government for nearly 30 years, has headed town administration as its town manager since 1993. He is the longest-tenured city/town manager in all of Contra Costa County, where he has lived for the last 46 years.

He has been directly involved in a variety of projects and efforts that significantly impacted the Danville community, including the development of yearly town budgets, comprehensive general plans, expanding the town's park and recreation programs, the construction of the Danville Library and Community Center, and the creation of the town's first community emergency response team (CERT).

Business of the Year

The Bridges Restaurant and Bar was awarded 2013 Business of the Year.

The highly regarded downtown restaurant has remained on the national map since gaining notoriety after the release of the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire." Bridges served as one of the film sets for the hit comedy, which starred Robin Williams.

Additionally, current owner Randy Negi and general manager Lisa Waldman -- who accepted the award -- have contributed thousands of dollars annually to local schools, charities and nonprofit organizations.

Charitable Organization of the Year

The Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley received the Charitable Organization of the Year award, which was presented by the Danville Express.

More than two dozen Kiwanis were on hand for the presentation Thursday afternoon.

The group of avid community activists gives back to the greater Danville area in a variety of ways.

With funds generated by organizing the town's Independence Day parade, the Kiwanis support local organizations that provide services and opportunities to local youth and seniors.

Kiwanis members also volunteer their time through local service endeavors, including the Danville Library book sale, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, the Adopt-A-Family program and the child car seat safety inspection program.

Chairman's Award

Scott Bigelow, of Boisset Wine Living, was selected as the 2013 Chairman's Award winner.

One of the most active chamber members, Bigelow is a chamber ambassador and serves on the chamber board of directors and a number of chamber committees, including as chair of the Aloha Golf Committee.

Bigelow was handpicked to receive the award by last year's chamber chairman, Tim Hunt, from Empire Realty.

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