Carlsbad businesses honored at Chamber of Commerce dinner

CARLSBAD — Local businesses small and large were recognized for their achievements at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s 43rd annual Business Awards Dinner on March 4.
More than 500 people gathered for the event, which celebrated Carlsbad businesses that have experienced growth and maintained a positive outlook in the past year. The annual dinner was held at the Park Hyatt Resort Aviara, 7100 Aviara Resort Drive.
“These are all businesses that have done creative things to get over the hump of the recession,” Director of Communications Colleen Gibbs said. “They’ve been nominated by the community and their employees to earn this recognition.”
Highlights of the award ceremony included recognition of Bill Canepa of the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach as Businessperson of the Year; Christine Davis of Coolest Shoes in California as Entrepreneur of the Year; and Knox Williams of Rayne Water Systems for Lifetime Achievement in Business.
“One of the coolest awards we’re giving out tonight is Small Business of the Year,” Gibbs said. “These are two- and three-person businesses that have employees and clients that believe in them and want to see them succeed.”
The Grand Deli, a downtown Carlsbad Village restaurant, and Productive Computing were awarded Small Business of the Year, while Arbor Scientia and Marrs Maddocks & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. won the Medium Business of the Year title. Buffini & Company was awarded Large Business of the Year.
“We’re really excited and weren’t expecting anything like this,” Mike Downs, owner of the Grand Deli, said. “We’re thrilled.”
Additionally, Brookfield Homes won the Environmental Spirit Award; Partnerships with Industry won Non-Profit of the Year; John Simons was recognized with the Village Visionary Award; and the Community Leadership Award was given to Steven Tague of Tague Insurance Agency.
“These businesses have been struggling recently just like everyone else so it’s great to recognize them for staying afloat in such a tough economy,” Gibbs said.
Five United States Marines recently awarded Purple Hearts were also honored at the event with a special award recognizing their sacrifice. Marines have been included in the Chamber’s annual awards event since 2004, Gibbs said.
“These men deserve to be recognized for what they have sacrificed and we think this dinner is a great opportunity to do so,” Chamber of Commerce President Ted Owens said.
The event was sponsored by Grand Pacific Resorts, Inc., Legoland California, Life Technologies Corporation and Tri-City Medical Center, among others.

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