Santee celebrates community choice awards


Entering its 65th year, the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Night Celebration at the Barona Resort & Casino Golf Events Center on Feb. 20. After weeks of voting, the event featured food, networking and highlighting businesses and people that made a significant impact in Santee’s business community.

Before heading into the people’s choice awards, the Chamber recognized two board members, Bobbie Jo Lewis and Darcy Fagerwood for outstanding contributions. Dan O’Brien of O’Brien Insurance Agency earned the Achievement Award, Curtis Young of Salon Thrive earned the Santee Young Professionals Award of the Year and Santee’s 2019 Business of the Year went to Chick-Fil-A Santee.

Chamber CEO Kristen Dare said Curtis Anderson of Salon Drive has an entrepreneur’s heart through and through.

“There are things I think about when I think about Curtis,” Dare said. “Obvious things like integrity, honesty, a hard worker, super service oriented. He’s constantly going above and beyond. He’s not just an amazing business owner of multiple businesses, but he’s an amazing husband, a really great dad and showing that he’s a family man. He’s a follower of God and there is nothing not to respect about that.”

Anderson said it was an honor for Salon Thrive to be recognized by the Chamber and that he and his wife Katie have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in their businesses to make them what they are today.

“We are in the midst of a great journey and though there is plenty more to do it is a great privilege to be acknowledged at this point in our career,” Anderson said. “Last but not least, I to all of our great employees, thank you. The only way to be successful at anything in life is to have a great team and I definitely have that. I only thrive when they thrive.”

Dare said this is the second year for the Business of the Year award. “They like to support, they like to encourage, they like to elevate, they like to give,” Dare said. These are the qualities that are needed to qualify in this group.”

This is why Chick-Fil-A Santee was chosen as this year’s recipient, Dare said. She said that Chick-Fil-A’s mission is to have a positive impact in the community and over the past year its involvement and partnerships last year placed more than $50,000 back into the Santee community that they donated through fundraising activities, partnerships as they “helped people help themselves.”

Chick-Fil-A owner and operator Kyle Steck said they were humbled in the midst of all the incredible people and businesses that surrounded him in the room this night.

“I’m so grateful to The Chamber in honoring us,” Steck said. “There are a few sitting at our table, but this is nothing compared to our 80 plus team members. We talk about caring and giving back to our community and it is so much more than a chicken sandwich. An award like this validates all of our efforts. When I take this award back to my team and say, ‘Look guys, when you wake up, come to work and make a chicken sandwich, get that order right, and give them a smile, it makes a difference. I was born in San Diego and if you would have told me I was going to be a chicken salesman in Santee, I might have been a little uncomfortable. But I honestly couldn’t picture a more perfect place, perfect community and a more perfect group of people to surround us.”


2019 Chairperson of the Board-Santee Chamber of Commerce Bobbie Jo Lewis

2019 Chairman’s Award-Darcy Fagerwood, Expressions Dance and Movement Center, 2020 Chairperson of the Board, Santee Chamber of Commerce

Achievement Award, Dan O’Brien-O’Brien Insurance Agency

2019 Santee Young Professionals Award of the Year-Curtis Anderson, Salon Thrive

2019 Business of the Year-Chick-Fil-A Santee

People’s Choice

Business Awards

Automotive-Lloyd’s Collision & Paint Center

Banking Institution-Navy Federal Credit Union

Beauty & Salon Services-Raymond’s Barber Shop

Brewing & Distilling-Pacific Islander Beer Company

Business Resources-East County Magazine

Construction & Contracting-Raceway Electric & Solar

Dental & Orthodontic Services-Santee Children’s Dentistry

Education-Santee School District

Entertainment & Performing Arts-Expressions Dance & Movement Center

Financial Services-Movement Mortgage

Government & Utilities-Santee Sheriff’s Department

Health & Wellness-CKO Kickboxing Santee

Hospitality & Recreation-Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

Insurance Services-Farmers Insurance, Mike and Maria Clinkenbeard

Medical Services-Sharp Grossmont Hospital

Professional Services-Furology Pet SPaw

Property Management & Services-Santee Trolley Square/KIMCO Realty

Restaurant Full Service-Eastbound Bar & Grill

Restaurant Quick Service – Chick-Fil-A Santee

Real Estate-Mission Realty Group

Retail-Al’s Sport Shop

Specialty Food & Beverage-Mary’s Donuts

Specialty Promotions & Advertising-The UPS Store Santee

Santee celebrates community choice awards