Local businessman and community volunteer, Joe Stokley, won the Citizen of the Year award at the 46th Annual Community Awards Night held on February 21st. He was honored for his active participation in many local organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, College Park Athletic Boosters and other school PTA’s and foundations, and as a volunteer in the Measure K Campaign Committee in 2016. Joe and his wife Sheila have been long time residents of Pleasant Hill since purchasing their first home in 1996 and Joe’s family have lived here since 1974.
Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center received the Green Community Award for its many activities and programs to promote sustainable living techniques. The Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm, co-founded by Marian Woodard and John Matthesen, practices organic farming and serves as a demonstration and teaching garden. In 2015, the Center started the Sustainable Living Workshop Series covering a wide range of topics to educate local residents about sustainable lifestyles.
Jeff Clark of Steven’s Printing was awarded the Business Person of the Year. Jeff, and his brother Steve, have been doing business in Pleasant Hill for over 20 years during which time they have supported many regional and local non-profit organizations such as the Cancer Support Community, Animal Rescue Foundation, Contra Costa Crisis Center and numerous others.
Educator of the Year award was given to Jen Larson-Guerra, a 5th grade teacher at Strandwood Elementary. Jen was recognized for her compassion and dedication to the teaching profession as well as her energy and enthusiasm in the classroom, and commitment to each and every student.
Crestwood Healing Center, a residential facility for adults with disabilities, received the Green Business Award. The Center formed its own ‘Green Machine’ team which implemented many practices and changes saving 1.7 million gallons of water and thousands of dollars by reducing usage of throwaway items such as plastic cups and paper towels. Staff and residents also participate in community cleanup activities.
Teen of the Year went to Maggie McCoy, a senior at College Park High School. Maggie has been an active volunteer at numerous events in Pleasant Hill including Relay for Life, and the Art, Jazz & Wine Festival, and organized the first Earth Day Community Service Day at College Park in April 2016.
Talli Pitcher won the Community Plus Award, which is awarded to an employee of the City, Rec and Park District or the Chamber of Commerce. Talli has been a District employee since 2003 as a coach for the Dolfins Swim Team. She typically works seven days per week putting in countless hours as an aquatics supervisor and coach to hundreds of swimmers.
Other awards presented included: