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Chamber celebrates locals with awards

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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More than 200 local business leaders, elected officials and prominent citizens turned out for the annual awards luncheon put on by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. Held March 29 at Lake Natoma Inn, the event also marked the installation of new directors for the chamber. Eric Hanson, board chairman for 2011-12, took pride in the chamber’s work over the course of his term, which ended that day. “We had a great rodeo, the signature event of the chamber,” he said. “I got to ride in the Cattle Drive for the first time this year.” He said Folsom Live, another signature event, was expanded in 2011, but will probably be scaled back a bit this year. “FLYP (Folsom’s Leading Young Professionals) has really stepped up their game,” he said of the youth organization that is an offshoot of the chamber. He said the chamber also increased social media efforts. “We’ve weathered the downturn in the economy and are working our way up to a new normal,” Hanson said. One of the big questions is the Dan Russell Arena at Folsom City Lions Park. “What do we do with it?” Hanson asked, referring to the aging structure. Bob Flautt, with Folsom Lake Bank, is the new chairman of the board. He closed out the luncheon by talking about the bright future ahead for Folsom. “Folsom has a resiliency about it and we will do fine,” he said. “The chamber is in the process of reinventing itself. … At its heart, what the chamber does is advocate for businesses and provides a forum to get together. We are (also) a resource for businesses.” The chamber recognized many individuals and businesses. Walmart received the Business Partner of the Year Award. Folsom store manager Keith Johnson accepted the award. Steve Miklos, who sits on the Folsom City Council, was inducted into the chamber’s Wall of Fame, honoring those who have shown a dedication to the causes of the chamber. Other inductees include Jim “Digger” William, Sharon Williams and the late Jack Kipp. Thelma Scott-Skillman, president of Folsom Lake College, received the Community Champion Award. Harry Elliott III, with Elliott Homes, received the Visionary of the Year Award. Elliott Homes owns the Palladio shopping and lifestyle center in Folsom. Dan Haverty, retired Folsom Fire chief, received the Chairman’s Award. State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, also received the Chairman’s Award. Chad Bowman received the Ambassador of the Year Award. Robert Newhouse received the Volunteer of the Year Award. The chamber’s next event is the Economic Forecast, to be held April 13 at Folsom Lake College. Visit folsomchamber.com for more information.