Back 2 Prom was the theme of this year's Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Celebrate Awards held on March 3rd at the Brittan Middle School gym, which was decked out for the occasion by Moggia Events. The gym was live with rock n'roll music as champagne, wine and appetizers were served. Dinner was prepared by Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant and a silent auction was open for bidding throughout the evening. The energy was electric as recipients accepted their awards.
CommonWealth Credit Union, Large Business of the Year
Thirty years ago, Common Wealth Central Credit Union opened their first branch in Morgan Hill and have been a fixture in the community ever since. Their support and exceptional volunteers are consistently visible during the Taste of Morgan Hill, ٤th of July Parade, Holiday Light Parade, Rock the Mock, Friday Night Music Series, Career Days and Read Across America. Their community contributions include volunteer hours at Cecelia’s Closet, the awarding of Charitable Cause Grants, volunteer hours with Re-Building Together Silicon Valley, support of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation and bestowing of Santa Clara County Educational Scholarships. It’s no wonder why in ٢٠١٧ they were voted the “Best Banking Institution” in the Morgan Hill Times. CommonWealth Central Credit Union is a strong charitable supporter, active participant and celebrated business in the entire Morgan Hill Community
Ponzini's Community Garage and Towing, Small Business of the Year
Ponzini Community Garage and Towing- has been in business in Morgan Hill for ٦٦ years. Thousands of people in Morgan Hill have received assistance from Ponzini Community Garage and Towing, always relying on the honest, professional, and affordable service that they receive from Gary Ponzini and staff. Charitable contributions can be seen in the company’s devotion to the Edward Boss Prado Foundation, the non-profit created and operated by Gary’s wife Cecelia Ponzini. Their support expands into the Morgan Hill Police Department HOPE Program, El Toro Youth Center and Morgan Hill’s homeless and disadvantaged communities. The company received an award from AAA for providing over 50 years of service and Gary was acknowledged as a Community Foundation Philanthropy Honoree in 2017. Ponzini Community Garage and Towing emphasizes professional service, support for local business needs and belief in the Morgan Hill Community.
Learning & Loving Center, Non-Profit of the Year
Founded in 1994, the center has helped more than 3,000 women increase their literacy, lifestyle skills and employment opportunities and over a 1,000 immigrant children have been tutored in the English language and preschool skills to better prepare them for entry into Kindergarten. They offer a variety of educational classes as well as Enrichment Classes. Currently 150 immigrant women utilize their services with an average of 10-12 women graduating from the program with a high school degree every year. Their work has resulted in immigrant women and children becoming better citizens and contributing members to society.
Coach Jim Green, Educator of the Year
Coach Green has been an educator with the Morgan Hill School District for over 39 years. He is well known and respected across generations and throughout the community. He is also known for telling the BEST stories. He has been involved in ASB Leadership and has served as a PE instructor, an athletic coach and an athletic director. He founded the South County Basketball Academy (SCBA) that teaches athletic skills and sportsmanship to Morgan Hill youth from lst through 8th grade.
Kathy Sullivan, Woman of the Year
Kathy Sullivan volunteered as a docent for the Morgan Hill Historical Society, a position which later evolved into her role as President of its Board of Directors. Her position as President requires extensive work in overseeing the business of collecting funds and to preserve, maintain and operate the Landmark while at the same time working with an inspiring team of all-volunteers to provide educational and recreational programs for the community. Her enthusiasm, support and energy, along with the efforts of many before her, have been instrumental in evolving the Historical Museum and Villa Mira Monte into the organization and landmark that they are today.
Brian Sullivan, Man of the Year
Brian “Sully” Sullivan is a true champion/advocate of Morgan Hill. He has served as Board Chairman for the MH Chamber of Commerce and Board President of the Charter School of Morgan Hill. Sully’s volunteer and service commitments can be found within the Silicon Valley Association of Health Underwriters (SVAHU), Nor Cal Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC Nor Cal), March Vision Care Policy Review Board, Aquatics Center Review Committee and more. He keeps informed by frequently attending Chamber Committee Meetings (Education & Economic Development), MHUSD School Board Meetings, City Council, and City Commission meetings.
Sandra McNeal, Volunteer of the Year
Sandra McNeal opitomizes how volunteers bring their unique skills, experiences and passion to in an area of their personal interest. For Sandra, that area has been the Chamber's Rock the Mock Program, which specializes in interview skills training at MHUSD High Schools. Her extensive professional background in human resources and as a Professional Certified Coach made her well qualified to lead a group of fellow volunteers in the training of high school students on how best to represent themselves.
Ariana Berumen, Student of the Year
This year’s recipient of the Student of the Year award was presented to Ariana Berumen. Ariana is a Live Oak High School ASB Vice President and the Vice President of Community Service for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She maintains a 4.34 GPA and was instrumental in re-establishing the Migrant Education Consortium for Higher Achievement Club. Her dedication to school clubs and education are equally matched to her service contributions.