Yucca Valley Chamber installs officers, honors business leaders

Southern California Edison of Yucca Valley and Woods Automotive are honored at the Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner.

YUCCA VALLEY — About 200 Yucca Valley community members gathered at Hawk’s Landing Thursday night for the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner. 

An annual event, the dinner honors leaders in the local business community.

“The chamber opened for business in 1951,” said Chairman of the Board and owner of Big O Tires Tom Huls. “Since then the chamber has worked towards enhancing the quality of life for Yucca Valley.”

Huls has served as the board’s chairman; Thursday was his final day in office. He kicked off the night by awarding Chuck Uyeda the 2019 Chairman’s Award. 

“I nominated Chuck because he’s been instrumental with the CMC Foundation,” said Huls. “ Chuck has served on the CMC Foundation since 2010. He is a passionate advocate for the students.” 

After honoring Uyeda, Huls brought Yucca Valley town manager Curtis Yakimow to the stage to install new officers for the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. 

Renu Idnani owner of Travelodge, Karen Faulis CEO Hi-Desert Medical Center, Leah Verigan manager of US Bank, James Stankewitz Manager of the Optical Dept of  Walmart, Judy Moore with Hi-Desert Publishing, John Zaccaria with Advanced Imaging Systems and Jennifer Collins owner of Farmers Insurance were installed onto the board. 

Serving on the executive board will be Chairman Patti Brown, Chairman Elect Dustin Moore, past Chairman Tom Huls, Vice Chairman Corporate Records Tonya Chiu and Vice Chairman Corporate Finance Morreyah Parrett.

Upon her appointment, Brown took over as emcee for the rest of the night and handed out special awards to the Hi-Desert Water District, Woods Automotive and Southern California Edison. 

 Woods Automotive was named Yucca Valley Business of the Year with fewer than 25 Employees. The Hi-Desert Water District was named Yucca Valley Business of the Year with more than 25 employees and Southern California Edison of Yucca Valley was given a special award. 

Michelle Gardner and Francisco Gonzalez are honored as the Town of Yucca Valley’s employees of the year.

Cindy Melland, publisher of Hi-Desert Publishing and manager at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, was named the Most Valuable Person of the Year. 

“Cindy moved to Yucca Valley in 1985 to raise her family and start Valley Independent Printing,” Brown said. “She has shown time and time again that together we can do anything.”

“Thank you and what an honor this is,” said Melland. “This is proof that together we can.”

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