WVCBA is delighted to announce this year's honorees of the Chairperson's Awards of Excellence, our Ambassador of the Year, and the Ken Cunningham Award winner, all of whom were selected by 2023 Chair Dona Lacayo. It has been a long-standing tradition that the departing Chair of the Board bestows discretionary honors on some of the organization’s most dedicated volunteers who have helped advance WVCBA in 2023.
This year's award recipients are:
Top Row (L-R)
Ken Cunningham Award – Andrew Kiefer (CBIZ MHM, LLC)
Andrew Kiefer joined the Board of Directors in 2016 and served two three-year terms, including as Treasurer from 2017 through 2021. In compliance with the WVCBA bylaws, he termed-out at the end of 2021, but was re-elected to the Board in 2023 and accepted the position of Chair-Elect. Andrew was a member of the merger ad hoc committee when the Camarillo and Oxnard Chambers of Commerce united, and has always volunteered to help with numerous Board projects. The Ken Cunningham Award is presented to the WVCBA Board member who best exemplifies the attributes of Mr. Cunningham – a multi-talented, resourceful, energetic, motivated, intelligent and a tireless Alliance volunteer.
Chairperson’s Award of Excellence – Lorraine Castillo (Lauterbach & Associates, Architects, Inc.)
Lorraine Castillo is an active member of the WVCBA Ambassadors. She has served that committee for years, attending most WVCBA events and countless ribbon cutting ceremonies. In the past year, Lorraine volunteered to help the WVCBA team with check-in for many of our events, which is above and beyond the normal duties of the Ambassadors.
Chairperson’s Award of Excellence – Lorena Gomez (Akeso Occupational Health)
Lorena has been an active member of the WVCBA Ambassadors for many years. She is an avid volunteer at WVCBA’s events, including working beside Lorraine at check-in throughout 2023, which was tremendously helpful when the staff was short-handed. We sincerely appreciate her support.
Bottom Row (L-R)
Chairperson’s Award of Excellence – Suki Sir (Garden Acres Santa Claus Inc. )
Suki Sir is the glue that binds WVCBA’s Weekly Business Networking Group. Her organization of the group and motivation to continue growing it has been an inspiration. Suki is an active WVCBA member who attends most events, mixers, and ribbon cuttings. Since her retirement, along with her involvement in the WVCBA, Suki tirelessly volunteers with nonprofits such as Santa To The Sea, Nyeland Promise and Turning Point Foundation, and serves on the board for the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.
Chairperson’s Award of Excellence – Georg Winkler (City of Camarillo)
Georg Winkler is Economic Development Manager for the City of Camarillo. In that role, he is also chief engineer of the annual Camarillo State of the City. That presentation was completely reimagined in 2023, and Georg helped redefine the partnership between the City and the WVCBA in that endeavor. Following the October event, both the city and WVCBA received enormous positive feedback on the revamp. WVCBA thanks Georg for partnering with us on the event.
Ambassador of the Year – Pete Parker (Oxnard College Foundation)
Pete Parker has served on the WVCBA Ambassadors committee since he moved to California for his position at Oxnard College. Before even making the move, he reached out to WVCBA knowing that he needed to start connecting to the community. He attends almost all chamber events, and likes connecting with new and current members. In 2023, he also joined the Steering Committee that spearheads the Oxnard Leadership Program from which he graduated in 2022. He is a positive force with fellow members and the business community, and recently stepped up to become 2024 Chair of the Ambassadors committee.
Retiring Board Members
In addition to the honorees above, WVCBA will recognize the dedication of our outgoing Board members due to term limits. They are:
Craig Classen (JaniTek Cleaning Solutions)
Chris Do (MacValley Oil Company)
Lindsey Downey (Ardalan & Associates, PLC)
Roberto Martinez (Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo)
Shelley Merrell (Integrated Fire & Safety)
Peter Zierhut (Haas Automation)
WVCBA's Annual Meeting & Installation of Directors is at the Courtyard by Marriott on Esplanade Drive in Oxnard on January 31 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The casual reception represents an opportunity to meet the WVCBA’s new Board of Directors, celebrate 2023’s successes, and understand priorities for 2024 under Chair of the Board Andrew Kiefer of CBIZ MHM, LLC. Click here to register>>