More than just a hashtag, the Third Annual Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce business awards was a celebration of what member businesses brought to Livermore. Chamber CEO-President Dawn Argula welcomed over 200 attendees to the Sept. 26 luncheon.

“The #LivValBiz Awards bring the focus back to you, by recognizing our member businesses and organizations that have a special role in supporting the Chamber and being a catalyst for business growth and champions for a strong community,” Argula said.

Keynote speaker Catharine Baker, former California Assembly member, noted how unique it was to have the five Tri-Valley Chambers all working together to enhance the future of their cities and businesses. “Your own solutions will be more balanced, more lasting and have a greater impact for your community”, she said.

Steve Larranaga, Chamber Board of Directors President, presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Shiela Fagliano, for representing the Livermore Chamber of Commerce and strengthening the local economy. Fagliano, Community Relations Manager at Livermore Sanitation, laughed when her vast experience of cutting ribbons at ribbon-cutting ceremonies was mentioned.

The Economic Development Award for Recruiting and Creating Jobs that Drive Innovation and Change went to Comcast, which has invested over $5 million in Livermore over the past 30 years.

Sean Marler, co-owner of the BratPak Kamp and Kafe and lifelong dog lover, accepted the Emerging New Business Award. A certified dog obedience trainer, Marler called his business “doggy day care.”

Winning the Best in Hospitality Award, Concannon Vineyards, a Valley winery for over 135 years, was complimented for enhancing visitor experiences and encouraging return visits to the Valley.

Introducing the award for Manufacturer of the Year to Topcon, John Marchand, Chamber member and Livermore mayor said, “when our businesses succeed, our community succeeds.”

Pinot’s Palate won the Dream Big Small Business

Award. Owner Leslie Warren described her business as a place to meet new people, old friends, paint and have a fun experience.

Wendy Gutshall accepted the Awesomeness Award for Safeway. “Over $25 million in food and financial support were given by Safeway last year in Northern California alone. We appreciate this award,” she said.

Commenting on this year’s winners, Sonja Gividen, 2018 Ambassador of the Year said, “It’s an honor to be part of such a dynamic group of businesses and individuals.”

The event, held at Wente Vineyards, marked the end of the Livermore Chamber’s yearly luncheon series which educates and informs the audience on many topics of importance concerning the local, regional, state and federal economy.