Uploaded: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 1:31 PM
Chamber announces community award winners
|The Danville Area Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of its annual community awards this week, which honor three outstanding residents and one organization that have made a difference in the San Ramon Valley.
"These individuals and organizations exemplify the best of Danville," said Tom Hart, of Empire Realty and the 2013 chairman of the Board.
Dana Dornsife, founder and current president of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, will be lauded as citizen of the year. She founded Lazarex -- which connects end-stage cancer patents with clinical trials after traditional treatments have failed -- in 2006 after watching a family member succumb to pancreatic cancer at age 42.
Dornsife serves on several boards including Epeius Biotechnologies, developing genetic medicines for the treatment of cancer and the USC Huntington Institute for Advanced Studies. At USC, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Brain and Creativity Institute and the Board of History and Culture through the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Until 2012, Dornsife served on the board for Global Healing, which is dedicated to providing developing countries with modern healthcare, and is active with her husband, Dave, in support of World Vision, an international humanitarian agency. She is a council member and trustee for the Yosemite Fund and was recently inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at the University of Southern California for meritorious service.
Dornsife is also the owner of Martini Sky in Danville's Livery.
Allstate Insurance agent Bill White, owner of William White Agency, will be honored as businessperson of the year.
"For over 6 years Bill has portrayed the balance of successful business practice," Chamber CEO Shelby McNamara wrote.
White won 2011 & 2010 Inner Circle of Champions in Leadership Award in 2011 and 2012, was the 2012 National AllState Leadership Speaker last year and was a board director for Adventist Health Systems.
"He makes a substantial civic contribution through his involvement in the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce, Exchange Club, Danville D'Elegance, Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Alamo Chamber of Commerce," McNamara continued. "He has a history of bringing businesses and people together whom he feels can benefit each other."
White sponsors the putting contest at the annual Aloha Golf Classic, has served on the Chamber Board of Directors for 3 years and initiated the very first Danville Business Outreach Walk in 2012 where community volunteers survey local businesses and results are communicated to the Town Council.
Danville d 'Elegance will be honored as the charitable organization of the year, an award sponsored by the Danville Express. All profits from the 9-year-old foundation are designated to fund research and patient care for Parkinson's patients; d'Elegance has returned over $1 million to their designated non-profits, the Parkinson's Institute of Sunnyvale and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
"Besides the wonderful dinner/auction at the Blackhawk Museum this organization also has an outstanding car event in downtown Danville, open to the public for Sunday family fun," McNamara wrote. "They have brought positive attention to Danville andů. It is a gift to Danville to have such a strong community based volunteer run foundation which
showcases Danville at its best as a community and community involvement."
Founders Chris and Jim Edlund have been in business in Danville for the last 19 years and Chamber members since 1995. The foundation is run by a steering committee of 18 dedicated volunteers with weekend fundraising activities planned and run by a team whose lives have been touched by Parkinson's disease.
Terry Koehne, community relations coordinator for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, is the recipient of the Chamber's first employee of the year award. Since 1996, Koehne has dealt with all levels of community, business and media relations, employee training on communication and maintains the district's electronic communication tools.
A former radio sports broadcaster for KSFO San Francisco, Koehne is known for his humor and often emcees events. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the following community organizations:
-The San Ramon Valley Education Foundation
- Leadership San Ramon Valley
- Museum of the San Ramon Valley
- The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce
- The San Ramon Rotary Club
- TRAFFIX Technical Advisory Committee
- StreetSmarts Committee
- SRV Community HeartSafe Committee
- Quail Run Elementary School Learning Fund
"I urge everyone to attend the State of the Town and Community Awards Luncheon on March 21st so that we may all personally acknowledge Bill, Dana, Jim and Chris, and Terry for their noteworthy contributions to our community," Hart said.
The 2013 State of the Town luncheon and community awards will be held at Round Hill Country Club (3169 Round Hill Dr., Alamo) from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Visit the Chamber website for more information.
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