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Success & Service: Modesto Chamber honors individuals, companies at 103rd gala

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce honored nearly two dozen companies or individuals for their service in 2016 during its 103rd annual awards gala last weekend.

Carol Solario of American Chevrolet received the Vera Girolami Ambassador of the Year award. Kyle Wolderstorff of Principal Financial Group earned the Ted Shields Welcome Team Member of the Year honor. The Stanislaus Family Justice Center was recognized as the top nonprofit.

The small business of the year honor went to Burnside Body Shop. Jason G. Pink of Gianelli & Associates was recognized as the Leadership Modesto Graduate of the Year.

Distinguished service awards went to Vito Chiesa, Craig Lewis and Paul Van Konyenburg. Chris Murphy of ModestoView and Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group earned chamber member of the year, and the legacy of Bob Piccinini and the Save Mart Cos. were honored as citizen of the year, an award given in memory of Robert J. Cardoza.

Membership milestone awards went to Atherton & Associates LLP, 75 years; Gilton Solid Waste Management Inc. and Warden’s Office Products Center, 50 years; and 25-year awards went to Building & Construction Trades Council of Stanislaus, Merced, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, the California Poultry Federation, the Community Services Agency, E. Clampus Vitus Chapter 58, the Law Offices of Mayol & Barringer, Phillips Lighting & Home Inc., Prime Shine Car Wash, TD Gingerich Insurance Solutions Inc. and the Warmerdam CPA Group.

Orestimba, Escalon among top high school welders

Career Technical Education students from seven area high schools competed in the third annual Welding Showdown at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. The 35 competing students showcased their welding skills to industry representatives who helped judge the competition. Venture Academy Family of Schools, a charter school operated by the San Joaquin County Office of Education, received top honors in the team competition, and students from Orestimba High School and Escalon High School took top marks in the individual events.

3 area teachers receive innovation grants

Three area teachers are among the 10 receiving Promise of Innovation grants from the Teachers College of San Joaquin: Amada Boyer of Sipherd Elementary in the Empire Union School District received $524 for a music curriculum program; Sarah Sanchez of Turlock Unified’s Cunningham Elementary received $700 for flexible seating; and Linda Sumrall of Manteca High School received $2,500 for creative technology resources.

Author! Author!

Modesto resident Doug Souza is among the winners of the Writers of the Future contest for speculative fiction. He earned a cash prize; a trip to Hollywood for a weeklong intensive professional workshop; a gala awards ceremony that draws in excess of 1,000 attendees; and will have his winning short story published in “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 33.”

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