Small Business Advocates of the Year

SmallBizAwardIconEach year since 1996, the California Chamber of Commerce has recognized several small business owners who have done an exceptional job with their local, state and national advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

Honorees are nominated by local chamber of commerce executives. The criteria used in the selection process include taking leadership roles in or working on federal, state or local ballot measures, testifying before the state Legislature and representing a local chamber of commerce before local government.

2017 applications must be received by May 1.

​​​​​2016 Winners

Three Receive CalChamber Small Business Advocate of the Year Award​​​​​​​

2016 Small Business Award Winners

Allan Zaremberg (left) and Mike Murphy (right) recognize (left to right) Yolanda Carrillo, Lucille Harris and Lydia Zabrycki as the Small Business Advocates of the Year.

The California Chamber of Commerce honored business executives from Corona, Fresno, and Ripon with its 2016 Small Business Advocate of the Year award, recognizing them for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses.
The CalChamber announced the awards in Sacramento before more than 200 attendees at the CalChamber Capitol Summit.

The 2016 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Yolanda Carrillo, executive director/CEO, Corona-Norco Family YMCA, Corona;
  • Lydia Zabrycki, director of operations/business development, Precision Civil Engineering Inc., Fresno;
  • Lucille Harris, owner, Tuff Boys and W&L Harris Ranches, LLC; Ripon.

Past Winners

2015

Two Receive CalChamber Small Business Advocate of the Year Award​​​​​​​

The California Chamber of Commerce honored business owners from Lodi and Torrance with its “2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing them for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses. The CalChamber announced the awards in Sacramento before more than 200 attendees at the CalChamber Legislative Briefing.

The 2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Tiffany Gomes, owner, Classic Design Floor to Ceiling, Lodi;
  • Rob Van Lingen, president, Van Lingen Towing and Public Service Impound, Torrance.

2014

(May 20, 2014) The California Chamber of Commerce honored business executives from Fresno, Redondo Beach, San Francisco and Turlock today with its “2014 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing them for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses.

The CalChamber announced the awards in Sacramento before more than 200 attendees at the CalChamber Legislative Briefing.

The 2014 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Scott Miller, owner, Gazebo Gardens Nursery and Miller-Clark Landscaping, Fresno;
  • Michael Jackson, chairman of the board, The Dardanelle Group, Inc, Redondo Beach;
  • Michael ​Lynch​​, owner, Mike Lynch Consulting, Turlock; and
  • Mark Dwight​, owner, Rickshaw Bags, San Francisco.

Read about each winner in the May 20, 2014 Press Release.

2013

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From left: Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber president/CEO; Craig Lewis; Frederick E. “Fritz” Hitchcock, 2013 CalChamber chair.

(May 21, 2013) The California Chamber of Commerce honored business executives from Modesto, Riverside and Simi Valley today with its 2013 Small Business Advocate of the Year award, recognizing them for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses.

The 2013 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Craig Lewis, president, California Prudential Realty, Modesto;
  • Robert Stockton, principal, Rick Engineering Company, Riverside; and
  • Jim Vigdor​, operations/environmental health and safety manager, Alcoa Fastening Systems, Simi Valley.

2012

(June 22, 2012) The California Chamber of Commerce has named business owners from Oxnard and San Jose as recipients of the 2012 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award, recognizing them for their advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

The 2012 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Suzanne Scar, owner, Central Coast Imaging Solutions, Oxnard; and
  • Janis ​Schneider, owner, R&J Jewelry and Loan, San Jose.

2011

2011_SBA

(From left to right) Sam Smith, Jerry Miller, Les Malo, and Brian Hawley

(June 7, 2011) The California Chamber of Commerce honored four small business executives last week with its “2011 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing recipients for their advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

The CalChamber presented the awards at a luncheon before more than 400 attendees at the California Business​ Summit in Sacramento.

2011 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Brian Hawley, Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer, Luminex Software, Inc., Riverside video;
  • Dr. Les Malo, Founding Partner, Director of Medicine, Garden Grove Dog & Cat Hospital, Garden Grove video;
  • Jerry Miller, Managing Partner, IMC Municipal Consulting, Long Beach video;
  • Myron “Sa​m” Smith, President, Genesis Financial/Creative Employee Benefits Inc., Los Angeles. video

2010

sbya_winners2010

(From left) CalChamber Board Chair Larree M. Renda, Joanne Davis, Debbie Hunsaker and CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg.

The California Chamber of Commerce honored five small business executives with its “2010 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing recipients for their advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

The CalChamber presented the awards at a luncheon before more than 400 attendees at the California Business Su​mmit in Sacramento.

2010 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Joanne Davis, President, Davis Group Consulting, Long Beach
  • Debbie Hun​saker, President/CFO, Alert-O-Lite, Fresno

2009

051809SmallBusinessAwards

2009 Winners (left to right): Mark Waronek, Victoria Salisch, Dave Penry, Lou Monville. Not pictured: Cynthia Schneider

The California Chamber of Commerce honored five small business executives with its “2009 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing recipients for their advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

The CalChamber presented the awards at a luncheon before more than 400 attendees at the CalChamber Business Summit in Sacramento.

2009 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Lou Monville, Vice President, O’Reilly Public Relations, Riverside
  • Dave Penry, Owner, Pacific Landscapes, Santa Rosa
  • Victoria Salisch, Partner, Lang, Richert & Patch, Attorneys at Law, Fresno
  • Cynthia Schneider, Senior Vice President, American Security Bank, Corona
  • Mark Waronek, Owner, Waronek and Associates, Torrance

2008

SmallBizAdvocate08

Sharon Tyrrell, Lori Lofstrom, Ruth Evans. Not pictured: Frank DeSmidt.

The California Chamber of Commerce honored four small business executives with its “2008 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award.

The awards were presented at a luncheon before more than 600 attendees at the CalChamber Business Legislative Summit in Sacramento on May 20.

2008 Small Business Advocate of the Year winners are:

  • Lori Lofstrom, Partner, Holmes and Lofstrom, LLP, Long Beach
  • Sharon Tyrrell, Co-Owner, Capree Escrow, Inc, Riverside
  • Frank De Smidt, Retired, Milpitas

 

2016 Winners

(May 17, 2016) Yolanda Carrillo has been a leader in Corona and Riverside counties for nearly 20 years as the executive director/CEO for the Corona-Norco Family YMCA. She also serves on the Corona Chamber’s legislative action committee as well as the Corona Chamber’s board of directors.

(May 17, 2016) Lydia Zabrycki is a founding member of the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and serves on the chamber’s Board of Directors. She is part of the Fresno County “One Voice” delegation with representatives from the private sector, public sector and elected officials that are talking to congressional representatives about issues affecting the region.

(May 17, 2016) Lucille Harris is the owner of Tuff Boys and W& L Harris Ranches, LLC. A Manteca native and resident for more than 80 years, she has written persuasive letters grabbing the attention of legislators and government agencies to do what she feels will help small businesses in California. She has spearheaded countless grassroots efforts, assisting campaigns and championing for elected offices that have helped represent her communities as well as local businesses.