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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Napa Chamber Celebrates 2023 Business Excellence & Community Engagement

By John Dunbar   |    Photos by Art & Clarity

A sold-out crowd of nearly 400 guests attended the Napa Chamber of Commerce’s 134th Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on January 19 at the Meritage Resort and Spa to honor and celebrate business excellence and community engagement exhibited by award nominees and winners in 2023.

Jeri Hansen, CEO and President of the Napa Chamber, provided context to this year’s awards presentation. “One year and one week ago, I stood here on this stage in my first official duty with the Napa Chamber of Commerce. It’s been quite a year, and we are committed to building on this momentum. We celebrate our achievements, but we look forward to the exciting opportunities, the untapped potential, and the discoveries we will make along the way as we shape our future,” Hansen said.

“When you join the Napa Chamber of Commerce, you become part of a long-standing pillar of the community. Founded in 1889 to facilitate trade and commerce, the Napa Chamber has evolved into an organization that harnesses the power of collective action to enhance our economic vitality and improve the well-being of our entire community. Being a member of the Chamber shows that great things can happen when we come together to move, speak, and act. There is a collaborative spirit that defines the Napa Chamber of Commerce,” added Hansen.

Event emcee Adam Housley commented that the businesses were being recognized for the goodness they provided our Napa Valley community. “We are celebrating how we come together in times of need and crisis, in times of joy and festivity, and in those times that occur in the regular moments of our normal days,” Housley told the audience.

Awards were presented to Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine for Small Business of the Year, Bank of Marin for Large Business of the Year, Treasury Wine Estates for Sustainable Business of the Year, Van Winden’s Garden Center for Member of the Year, and Amelia Barad of Kitchen Door restaurant for Customer Service Person of the Year.

Napa Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year was awarded to Alison Christianson, and a partnership between Abode Services and a coalition of local chef’s and restaurants was recognized as Collaborating Community Champions for their work providing food to people with limited access to healthy meals. This award is given to a partnership of a business or businesses and a nonprofit organization who collaborate to achieve a common goal.

The event culminated in the Citizen of the Year Award, recognizing a community leader whose tireless passion serves as an inspiration and has helped shape our community. This year, George Altamura was honored for his significant and longtime contributions to the Napa Valley community, as a business leader and for his founding 31 years ago of Hands Across the Valley, the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting organizations that provide food security for residents of Napa County.

During the annual meeting portion of the program, the Chamber’s 2024 Board of Directors also were installed.

Former Napa Mayor Jill Techel provided words of inspiration and the oath of office to: Board Chair Christi Coors-Ficeli, Goosecross Cellars; and Directors Greg Brun, Napa Valley Wine Train; Mike Basayne, Solano-Napa Small Business Center; Michael Collins, Archer Hotel; Andrea Clarke, M.D. Kaiser Permanente; Alonso Corona, SsAM; Debra Dommen, Treasury Wine Estates; Ken Frank, La Toque; Adam Ghisletta, Avenue 8 Real Estate; Dave Graham, BottleRock Presents; George Nielson, GD Nielson Construction; Richard Rybicki, Rybicki & Associates; and Kevin Teague, Holman Teague Roche Anglin.

“The Chamber luncheon was a huge success, and everyone had a wonderful time” said Chair Coors-Ficeli. “I am thrilled to continue to work with our staff and my fellow Board members to build on the value and influence of the Napa Chamber. I am looking forward to the year ahead and the new initiatives that we are taking on. We will continue to connect with our members on the topics that are most important to them and their businesses.”


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