Selected by their peers, Santee Chamber’s Annual Awards honors the Best of Santee

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When a chamber touts an event as a celebration and it is a celebration they are doing something right. The Santee Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Night Dinner and Celebration on Feb. 19 at Barona Casino & Resort.  

They celebrated outgoing Chairman Eddie Vandiver Jr., politicians attending the soiree, awarded plaques to special guests, and singled out the winners of the social media contest named Santee’s Favorites.

When a chamber touts an event as a celebration and it is a celebration they are doing something right. The Santee Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Night Dinner and Celebration on Feb. 19 at Barona Casino & Resort.  

They celebrated outgoing Chairman Eddie Vandiver Jr., politicians attending the soiree, awarded plaques to special guests, and singled out the winners of the social media contest named Santee’s Favorites.

All the while enjoying the beef filet and sea bass dinner with the turtle parfait served up by the Barona Casino & Resort’s staff.  

Chamber president, John Olsen, said the mixture of over 23,000 page views, shares, and digital voting contributed to choosing the final winners of the two phases of voting. The first phase had all the nominees and the second phase selected the winner in each of the 22 categories. A smart program for a chamber because it taught how social media can impact a business to the uninitiated and was second nature to business members who grew up with social media.

As fitting as it could be Santee Person of the Year, Elana Levens-Craig, proved herself to be just that by handing out a flyer with opportunities on where to volunteer to the more than 560 attendees after getting her award.

The Chamber put together a festive event that also included a nod toward our military members and veterans. It awarded the Santee Kiwanis American Patriot award to Sergeant Major Bill “Oohrah” Paxton.  Paxton read a poem that drew upon references to our flag, country, leaders, and heroes.

Other awards were given to:  Joseph Kemery-Teacher of the Year, Ms. Tamani Pugh-Deputy of the Year, Sandy Pugliese-Rotarian of the Year, and the Les Hart Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ms. Mirna Sabri.

A partial list of the winners of the social media voting:  Roger Daniel’s Alignment & Brake, The UPS Store, Perpetual Tree Care, Barona Casino, Santee Lakes, Whissel Realty, Phil’s BBQ, Padre Dam, and Nothing Bundt Cakes.  For a full list of the winners visit: www.santeechamber.com.

Incoming Chamber Chairman Robert Lloyd of Lloyd’s Collision stepped on the stage and invoked the spirt of “we’re going to knock it out of the park” next year.

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