room celebrates the community | Business


The Highland Region Chamber of Commerce thanked the outgoing Board, welcomed the new Board and honored influential members of the Highland community for their service at the chamber’s annual dinner on Thursday evening April 7 at Elks Lodge in San Bernardino.

Guests were seated at tables representing streets in Highland such as Water Street, Greenspot Road and City Creek Road.

They had the opportunity to mingle before the program, which included dinner and dessert and a beautiful view of San Bernardino at night from the top of the hill at Elks Lodge.

Singer Andrew Sandoval entertained with his fine selection of songs.

Highland Mayor Larry McCallon thanked outgoing directors and installed new directors for 2022.

They include: Gail Shelton, Chamber President, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Kivett-Teeters Realty; Kari Hill, vice president, Redlands Unified School District; Jody Scott, Chief Financial Officer, Jody Scott Tax Service; Jane Bouch, secretary, Avon Recruitment and Sales; Ryan Vollkommer, Past President, Modern Woodmen of America; Joalene Given, Director, Updog Media; Kenneth Shoji, Director, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Gerard Sabate, Director, Highland Dental Arts; Monique Guerrero, Director, Unforgettables Foundation; Kelli Kowalski, Director, Brightwater Senior Living of Highland; Miguel Cantos, director, Cantos Jewelry; Chris Nielsen, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s recipients include: President’s Award to Brightwater Senior Living of Highland; Creative Marketing Award to Print Professionals; Hospitality Award to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Ambassador of the Year, Chris Marin, Marin Rentals; Home Business of the Year, Jane Bouch, Avon Recruitment and Sales; Business of the Year, Staples of Highland; Municipal Employee of the Year, Barrie Owens, Code Enforcement Officer; Police Officer of the Year, Deputy Trever Strand; Firefighter of the Year, Jason Emery, Fire Apparatus Paramedic Engineer; San Manuel Firefighter of the Year, Matt Miller, firefighter-paramedic; Citizen of the Year, John Mura, CEO, East Valley Water District.

Brightwater Senior Living of Highland has been honored for its commitment to its residents, especially during COVID-19 for the past two years.

This award was chosen by outgoing Chamber Speaker Ryan Vollkommer.

Brightwater has been a pillar of strength and continuity for its residents during these trying times, Shelton said. “This population has been impacted by COVID-19, but this business has never missed a beat.”

Brightwater provided the chamber with its first monthly breakfast in 2021 after restrictions on COVID events were lifted.

“We are very honored to be part of this community,” said Kowalski, Brightwater’s Chief Operating Officer and outgoing Chamber Manager.

Barrie Owens was selected as City Employee of the Year. Mayor Larry McCallon spoke about his work as the city’s Code Compliance Officer and Homeless Liaison.

“Barrie is results-oriented and likes to get things done. So you can imagine what work he communicates and coordinates with the police department, the county homeless services department, the county flood control district, and all the other local agencies that are critical to solving the homeless problem. -shelter.

The Citizen of the Year was John Mura, CEO of the East Valley Water District. EVWD built its headquarters on Greenspot Road in Highland in 2014, along with community gardens and event spaces.

The water district is also set to open the Sterling Natural Resource Center in July, a new state-of-the-art wastewater recycling facility that provides a sustainable water supply to Highland residents.


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