Installation dinner kicks off 2011 at Auburn chamber

New president Tony Hazarian takes helm; standout members to be honored
By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Chamber of Commerce will usher in a new president and honor standout members at an annual installation dinner Jan. 8. Tony Hazarian, Auburn Journal publisher, will officially take the reins from Bill Radakovitz, retired owner of Nancie’s Records. Theme of the evening is All Things Tony, according to Rosie Joe Herrnberger, chamber administrative assistant. “We’re paying homage to things Tony (Hazarian) enjoys,” Herrnberger said. Journal Editor/General Manager Deric Rothe will install Hazarian and other new officers. The chamber board selected four members for special recognition. Reese Browning, owner of Old town Pizza, is Goodwill Ambassador of the Year. Dennis Lloyd, retired elementary school teacher, is Volunteer of the Year. Becki McGinnis, co-owner of Autovantage Service Center, will receive the Rising Star Award and Wayne Manning, Manning Consulting, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. They all ranked high for their work with the chamber and in the community, Herrnberger said. Browning is always promoting the chamber, networking with other members and getting people involved in chamber activities, she said. Herrnberger nominated Lloyd for the volunteer award and describes him as “awesome.” “He comes in here every Wednesday and helps me,” she said. “He does all the stuff I don’t want to do and he always has a witty joke for me. He’s very active in the Lions Club. I’ve seen him at events. He’s cooking food and passing out food. He does a lot with the Lions Club.” McGinnis is very supportive of local business, Herrnberger said. “She’s done a lot with her company the past year ...” Herrnberger said. “At networking luncheons she’ll stand up and talk about her business and how she’s truly thankful for the community’s support in helping hers and other businesses grow.” Manning stands out as a mentor and for his leadership. “He continues to accomplish and guide and lead people,” Herrnberger said. As he prepares to head the chamber, Hazarian said his focus will be on continuing to provide programs and services for the members and promoting Auburn as a great place to do business. “I think honestly it is connecting with our members and finding out more of what they want out of the chamber and getting more members involved in chamber activities,” he said. “… I think a lot of our members, even those who have been members for a long time, may not fully use the services the chamber has. (We’ll be) making sure members know what we do and finding out if indeed we are providing the services they need.” The evening’s program will also include comments from Radakovitz as he reflects on his year of leading the chamber. There were so many things, he said. “I suppose the largest event involving the chamber other than the Festival of Lights was Listening to Business where we went out into the community to meet with businesses and then followed that up with the Power Breakfast,” he said. Another breakfast was dedicated to a discussion on social networking including Facebook. A third focused on the Americans with Disabilities Act, addressing business concerns, compliance and protection. “We put together with (Auburn Mayor) Bridget Powers the Auburn Airport Business Park Association,” Radakovitz said. “We had Wednesday Night Live Downtown for six weeks.” There was also the chamber’s participation in the Central Square Streetscape project as well as Auburn’s Amgen involvement. “The Amgen thing is really big and the chamber played a part in putting that together and getting approval for Auburn to be a start city,” he said. The aspect Radakovitz enjoyed most was interacting with businesses. “Probably having been in business for 30 years Downtown and then being retired for the last eight years, it was getting back in touch with the business community — getting the opportunity to meet with them one-on-one, getting the opportunity to moderate some of the events the chamber puts on and doing things I felt were beneficial for the business community as a whole,” he said. The installation dinner will also include entertainment by comedian Joe Klocek. “He’s performed at the Punch Line and the Comedy Club and he has been on ‘Last Comic Standing,’” Herrnberger said. The chamber is still seeking sponsorships for the event. “We’d love to have some help to pay for decorations and it keeps the cost of the dinner down,” she said. ------------ 105th annual Installation & awards dinner When: No-host bar at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 Where: Auburn Elks Lodge, 195 Pine St. Cost: Tickets are $37.50 per person and $75 per couple. Deadline for reservations is Jan. 4 Information and tickets: Call the chamber at (530) 885-5616