Twenty-two business industry executives, community volunteers, chamber of commerce representatives, educators, business owners and tourism and agricultural leaders were honored last week at the 18th annual Spirit of Sonoma Awards, presented by the county’s Economic Development Board.
The honorees are all selected by various local business associations and collectively recognized at the annual December luncheon, held this year for the first time at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa. The 22 men and women join a roster of more than 220 previous honorees dating to the first awards in 2001.
The Spirit of Sonoma awards were created to honor individuals who contribute to the economic development of the communities in which they live, work and conduct business through donations of their time and expertise in support of local business and in helping others.
Ten men and women from Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Geyserville, Mark West, Windsor, Sebastopol and Guerneville were among the honorees to receive the prestigious Spirit crystal engraved award. Included was Laurie Kneeland, owner of The Mail Center, nominated by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce; Judy Voight, of the Voight Foundation, nominated by the Geyserville Chamber of Commerce; Shelley Monahan Anderson, of the Healdsburg High School mentor program, nominated by the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce; Willie Lamberson, community volunteer and county planning commissioner, nominated by the Mark West Chamber of Commerce; Clare Harris, of Guerneville, nominated by the Russian River Chamber of Commerce; Mia Del Prete, of West Sonoma County Union High School District, nominated by the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce; Steve Dutton, Dutton Ranch, nominated by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau; Joe Bartolomei, of Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn, nominated by Sonoma County Tourism; Kevin Barr, of Redwood Empire Vineyard Management, nominated by Sonoma County Winegrowers; and Joanne Hutchins, volunteer with and nominated by the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.
— Rollie Atkinson