© Greater Douglas Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Recognize the "Lifeblood of Douglas"

The Greater Douglas Chamber of Commerce hosted the first annual Douglas Business Excellence Awards, on Nov. 19, at the Douglas Country Club.

The banquet served as a revival event for the Chamber, which has historically hosted similar awards ceremonies that recognize accomplished local businesses, entrepreneurs, and community advocates.

This year’s nominees were submitted entirely by public vote, in five categories.

Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (CCHCI) was selected as Business of the Year; LPs Dance won Small Business of the Year; Martha Segovia, owner of Casa Segovia Restaurant was given the Legacy Award; Cornelia Munoz was selected as Woman of the Year; and Alex Espinosa was awarded Man of the Year.

“This means so much to us in a community that we love,” said Mac McPherran, Chief Financial Officer, CCHCI. “We say that caring for patients and building healthy communities is our mission...We truly believe in this city, and we’re so very proud and humbled.”

CCHCI was noted for serving the Douglas community since 2001, with expansions in the Ginger Ryan Clinic, the Pediatric Center of Excellence and soon, the Early CHildhood Center of Excellence.

About 33 percent of all of Chiricahua’s 10,000 Patients in Douglas do not have insurance, and rely on CCHCI to provide access to health care. In addition, CCHCI provides services to those in public housing, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and has agreements with four high schools.

Chiricahua has participated in many community events throughout the year including the Douglas Care Fair, Binational Health Month, the Relay for Life, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk, and the Candlelight Walk and Vigil held for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Mariel Valenzuela, Director of LPs Dance, accepted her award for Small Business of the Year on Saturday, calling it a great honor.

Legacy Award winner, Martha Segovia, 84, was recognized for her devotion to the local food industry over the last 70 years.

Woman of the Year, Cornelia Munoz has been a lifelong community advocate, volunteering in many capacities over the years.

“From a young age my parents taught my four sisters, and I to pay it forward,” Munoz wrote in her acceptance letter. “This is something each of us have embraced throughout our lives. Giving back to the community has become a way of life for me.”

Munoz is more commonly known for spearheading the annual Douglas Heritage Relay for Life, as a committee leader.

Alex Espinosa accepted the Man of the Year award, thanking and expressing his love for his family, and community.

In recognition of outstanding leadership, support and service, William Tardibuono, Man of the Year nominee, was presented with the 2016 Community Award.

Since he was a child Tardibuono began volunteering with causes such as the American Cancer Society, local youth groups, and community events such as Douglas Days, and the DRWC Turkey Trot.

“I have been raised by wonderful and loving parents, and family, who have always taught me that giving back is the key to being the best person you could be,” Tardibuono said. “At a young age I always wanted to help those in need.”

Mayor Robert Uribe helped present the awards and gave recognition to Executive Director, Nubia L Romo for her continuous efforts in promoting the community with her events.

Susan Kramer was also recognized for her work during her time as the past president of the GDCOC.  

In addition to the presentation of awards the event featured live entertainment by Encore Dance Company, LPs Dance Studio, Guillermo Navarro, Annika Oviendo, Grupo Synthonia, and Grupo Imperiales.

The event venue was decorated by D’Marbel Event planning.  This year’s sponsors were as follows. Major sponsor, Southwest Carpet Interiors and other sponsors; Son Paises, Casa Segovia, and the Heritage Relay for Life of Douglas.

2016 Miss Douglas Days, Geovanna Cornejo Terry also participated in the event, and created the dessert table that was sponsored by the Heritage Relay for life.

“For years the people of this community have worked hard to make Douglas one of the finest cities in the world,” said Romo. “The smelter industry once flourished here, while that time is behind us, where there was once uncertainty there is now excitement.”

She continued, “It’s our time to make our impression, and shape the future of our historic city. The people who sit before me, those who we are recognizing tonight, you are the lifeblood of this community.”

Courtesy of Aaliyah Montoya, Douglas Dispatch.

Business Excellence Awards Winners