Here are The Bee’s ‘Excellence in Business’ winners

Nine Stanislaus County businesses and organizations and one individual have been chosen as winners in The Modesto Bee’s first Excellence in Business competition.

Awards are presented in a variety of categories, including manufacturing, health care, charitable work, finance and real estate development. A distinguished panel of judges met in late July to choose the winners among dozens of nominations.

“The Bee is honored to shine a light on these exceptional organizations,” Ken Riddick, president and publisher of The Bee, said. “The competition was really stiff, and it’s truly impressive to see the work that they are doing to make Modesto and Stanislaus County a better place.”

The categories and winners are:

▪ Retail/wholesale/general business: Prime Shine Car Wash, Evan Porges

▪ Charitable/nonprofit: Stanislaus Community Foundation, Marian Kaanon

▪ Health care: Doctors Medical Center, Warren Kirk

▪ Professional services: Franklin & Downs Funeral Home, Kristi Ah You

▪ Agribusiness: Stewart & Jasper Orchards, Jim Jaspar

▪ Small business: kitchenCRATE & bathCRATE, Scott Monday

▪ Finance/banking/insurance: Oak Valley Community Bank, Bill Nunes

▪ Manufacturing/warehousing: Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group, Chris Murphy

▪ Judge’s Special Recognition Award: Top Notch Kennels, Lisa Moore

▪ Hall of Fame Award (recognizing an individual): Jeffrey P. Cowan

Winners will be honored at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon Sept. 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Modesto. A special section profiling the winners will appear online and in the print edition of The Bee on the same day. Tickets are $25 and are available at For more information, contact Deanna Whitmore at 209-578-2209 or

Judges were Lynn Dickerson, CEO of the Gallo Center for the Arts; Joe Duran, executive VP/Self-Help Federal Credit Union; Birgit Fladager, Stanislaus County district attorney; Joe Kieta, editor, The Modesto Bee; Ken Riddick, publisher, The Modesto Bee; Cecil Russell, CEO, Modesto Chamber of Commerce; Tom Van Groningen, retired local businessman; and Christine Schweininger, president, Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.