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Chamber installs officers, lauds individual efforts
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The 2014 Ripon Chamber of Commerce plaques went to, front row from left, Jordan Nash, Volunteer of the Year; Mike Nash, Ambassador of the Year; Janet Dyk, Business of the Year; Robert Mayfield, Ripon High Educator of the Year and Pam Huisken, Ripon Christian Schools Educator of the Year teaching kindergarten. Back row from left are, Trevor McGinnis, Police Officer of the Year; Vince and Stephanie Hobbs, Citizens of the Year and Scott Scheffel, Firefighter of the Year. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

It was a red carpet event Thursday night when San Joaquin County Supervisor Ken Vogel officially installed five board members to new terms on the Ripon Chamber of Commerce board during a dinner at the Spring Creek Country Club.

Vince and Stephanie Hobbs were selected through an online vote of more than 230 members to receive the Citizen of the Year honors.  The couple is credited not only with an extensive involvement in chamber activities but more importantly for spearheading the restoration of the Ripon High School stadium and the installation of an all weather track around Stouffer Field.

Educator of the Year plaques went to Robert Mayfield at Ripon High School and Pam Huisken at Ripon Christian Elementary School.  Mayfield has taught social studies at Ripon High for the past eight years and Huisken has been teaching for the past 15 years introduced by her Director of Curriculum Mary Ann Sybesma.

Ripon High Principal Lance Morrow told the audience at the country club that Mayfield was known for “his high expectations” for his students. “His high aspiration to impart his knowledge and passion for social studies creates a desire for students to continue with the most advanced social studies classes even though his classes are some of the most rigorous on campus.”

Sybesma was equally proud of her teacher from the lowest grade level at the school.  “For Pam it’s not only the curriculum that matters, but the individuality of each student.  Whether telling a story about something that happened the night before at home or listening to questions about math facts, each child is treated as unique, valued and important as one of God’s children,” she said.

Sybesma added that one of Huisken’s goals every year is to make her students find a springboard to their future education after learning some English, Spanish and Korean language skills in her classroom.

Ripon Officer Trevor McGinnis was presented with his plaque by Chief Ed Ormonde who told of the many assignments his officer has mastered over the past seven years after coming to Ripon from the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office.  Of his many charges he has been the leader with the children’s Junior Police Academy as well being assigned to Ripon schools as a resource officer.

McGinnis has served as a soccer coach for the past three seasons.  He and his wife Melissa have seven children of their own – six girls and one boy.

Janet Dyk won Business of the Year honors for her involvement in the community through her business in the downtown, Magpie Antiques.  Dyk has long been the leader in the county-wide AgVenture that introduces thousands of third graders to agriculture in the fields.

Mike Nash and his daughter Jordan shared Ambassador of the Year and Volunteer of the Year honors respectively.  Both have given their all in the chamber office and in the community events throughout the year, according to Chamber Director Tamra Spade.  Nash is senior sales representative for Mo-Cal Coffee in Modesto.  Daughter Jordan is a 5-Star full service manager for MTC Distributing also in Modesto.

Firefighter of the Year honors went to reserve firefighter Scott Scheffel who was introduced by Fire Chief Dennis Bitters.  The chief told the chamber audience that Scheffel had donated some 560 hours of his time to the fire department throughout the past year.  He added that reserves like Scheffel have the same training as the regulars in his department.

Newly installed President John Mangelos made a special effort to single out the office staff at the chamber – Tamra Spade and Laura Roots Spence – saying it took a team to put an installation dinner together lauding their organizational skills and making it easier for him.

It was truly a red carpet event with chamber members and guests climbing the club’s stairway on a red carpet before having their pictures taken that will appear on the chamber’s website in the near future.