The Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated several chamber and community leaders at its Annual Meeting and Celebration of Business – Back to the Future themed event Friday. The event was at Shugrue’s Bridgeview Room.
Following are the recipients of the awards.
Ethics in Business Award: Destination Hydration
Philanthropy is defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others. Destination Hydration, within the health and wellness industry, is constantly working to do just that. Destination Hydration illustrates a commitment to business ethics and exemplifies honesty and integrity, also for work in philanthropy efforts in the community. This is a business that believes in always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking simply because it is the right thing to do. Destination Hydration is involved in a variety of community functions, supported and sponsored local youth programs in soccer, football, baseball, dance, cheer, dirt bike racing and jet-ski racing. Philanthropy is defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others. Destination Havasu had just gotten started when COVID reared its head, and in 2021, had gifted upwards of $30,000 in infusions and injections to the community in the promotion of wellness. Nurses from the company, in addition, treated over 2,500 cases of COVID related symptoms in patient homes and when the need grew so large the five to eight nurses that were working 12-hour days, began a car-side service at their clinic, treating patients in their vehicles to continue the effort to stop the spread of infection.
Community Enhancement Award: The Bunker Bar
The Bunker Bar’s partners had a vision and a great love of all things desert when they created this amazing entertainment oasis. With sweat and tears, but a great team, they collected the materials needed, got their permits, then started dozing and grading, building and planning, until they were satisfied the finished product would draw locals and visitors, especially the winter resident variety, north of town and out into the desert. Complete with all the necessities to enjoy live music, libations and a bite or two to eat, The Bunker Bar’s goal to create a fun atmosphere in a rural setting was met. During the fall, winter and spring months, the road to the Bunker Bar boasts a stream of four-wheelers, quads, pick-up trucks, cars and RZR’s, all making their way for an enjoyable afternoon and one of the most unique spots in northwestern Arizona.
Ambassador of the Year: Janina Robertson, Damsel in Defense
Janina Robertson is admired by all. She never says no, and the Chamber asks her to do a lot. She is one of the chamber’s very best lead generators. Not a week goes by, that the chamber doesn’t get a text or two from her letting Chamber staff know of a new business going in, or when she spies a new construction site. Robertson participates in nearly every ribbon cutting, is always on hand for mixers and other connection events, and she keeps great records and minutes for the committee as well. Robertson is also a member of the Chamber Board, helps out at the Health Foundation but has a special job too, and that is being grandma to her precious little grandson Oakley. This ambassador is so awesome, she won this award in 2020 as well.
Whelan Leadership Award: Becky Goldberg, Mortgage West Financial
The Whelan Leadership Award is named in honor of former mayor Bob Whelan and his wife Judy, both supporters of the Leadership Program that has been operated by the Chamber and now the Lake Havasu Chamber Foundation for Education and Leadership for 22 years. Becky Goldberg is an outstanding asset to this community and any organization where she serves as a volunteer. She is like the energizer bunny, constantly on the go and it is always for the benefit of others. Goldberg loves building others up, helping them with their own leadership skills and will do all she can to ensure others are successful. Goldberg is a Rotarian and a past president of her club. After graduating Leadership, she became a Co-Chair, has served on the Education Committee and serves on the Chamber Foundation’s Board of Directors as treasurer, and serves on the LHUSD Disciplinary Board, to only name a few of her contributions to the community. She uses connections she has made through the leadership program to become even more successful in her chosen career path and also uses those connections to better serve the Foundation and the Chamber’s ever-growing needs to serve the community.
Elevating Havasu Award: Scott Taylor, Retired
Scott Taylor is a long-time volunteer for the Lake Havasu community. He goes out of his way to help community residents and businesses. Despite having demanding careers over the course of his lifetime of service in Lake Havasu City and the surrounding communities, Taylor always seems to find the time to make life and business, better for everyone. He has not only been invaluable to the Chamber, but he has also worked tirelessly for other organizations like New Horizons, Sunrise Rotary and the Havasu Community Health Foundation. Taylor has recently retired from a long career with the Anderson Auto Group, following years with Shugrue’s and The Pub. In all these locations, he has used his connections to make lasting community impacts. Taylor never gives up or loses his contagious smile.
Rising Star Award: Brishen McGuire, Republic Services
This award recognizes an emerging leader that exemplifies service, integrity, and excellence in their vocation and in the community – basically someone on the rise who is raising the bar for others. Brishen McGuire, relatively new to Lake Havasu City, has jumped into our community’s crazy mix with both feet. From the Balloon Festival to the Food Truck Festival to this year’s Leadership Lake Havasu fundraiser, he has been there and done that – and has recruited his family to help out as well. Barely moments upon arriving in town last summer, McGuire was recruited to participate in Leadership Lake Havasu and he didn’t even hesitate – and almost immediately became a class leader. He also became a chamber board member and will serve on the Executive Committee starting in July, joined Rotary, and as a Marine, joined the Lake Havasu Marine Corps League. McGuire is always willing to step up and lend a helping hand and has used his expertise with Republic Waste to benefit many local special events, and in the Community Clean Up day last April.
Spirit of Hospitality Award: Janene Samp, Sunset Charters and Tours
The Spirit of Hospitality Award is presented to an individual that is working constantly to enhance visitor expectations and one who provides the very best customer service skills – all resulting in uplifting vacation memories and return visits to Lake Havasu City. Janene Samp does all those things and more. She is someone who has spent a lifetime in the hospitality industry, many of those years in the corporate world including large hotel properties in Las Vegas. Samp chose to return home to Lake Havasu City several years ago, where her family also resides and where she met her spouse – now they have the opportunity to work, and play together, every day of the week. Samp, if she worked in a restaurant, might be compared to those who work “front of the house” because she is the marketing expert, the voice on the phone, the person in the office on-site and the one who not only promotes her own business but all the other businesses in her neighborhood under the London Bridge. She is also a champion at multi-tasking and has no issue taking the wheel and captaining one of Sunset Charter’s vessels, delighting customers on a sunset or other cruise on the lake. She, along with her husband Captain Kenny Samp, bring so much value to the overall Havasu destination package where they are greatly respected and appreciated.
Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award: Ross Johnson, Horizon Community Bank
This award honors a Chamber member that provides amazing volunteer service to the organization over the past year – but Ross Johnson has a very long history of serving and supporting the Chamber – actually 20 years of that history. He had multiple nominations for this award was described as “an undercover volunteer that is always willing to step up when needed” and is at every chamber event. He has a beg heart gives back selflessly. Ross has served on the chamber board in a key position for a number of years, as well as on the boards of many other vital Lake Havasu City organizations like the Lake Havasu City Rotary Club, Hospice of Havasu, and more. Johnson really gets into the spirit of chamber events, wearing funny hats and Santa sunglasses at Desert Bash, and has become our expert poker hand reader. He shows up early for these functions and stays late and helps with everything.
Citizen of the Year Award: Dean Barlow, Retired City Councilman
The Citizen of the Year Award honors someone that has made an outstanding contribution to the community in service and leadership – and has the great honor to serve as the Grand Marshall at the London Bridge Days Parade in October.
Dean Barlow is someone that has given of his heart, with time, service and financial assistance over a number of years – he is someone that has been a driving force of commitment to our city in many ways. Barlow is a very giving individual whose interests are many – and someone who not only helps the community, but also has helped many deserving students attend Mohave Community College or ASU @ Lake Havasu with scholarships so that they can use their education and skills to make Havasu a better place, too. Barlow is a former Lake Havasu City councilman, has served as Vice-Mayor, is a longtime member of the Sunrise Rotary Club, a member of the Keep Havasu Beautiful committee, has been a member of the Lake Havasu Historical Society and Museum and he’s an expert at pouring the concrete balusters for the Pima Wash project in his own garage! This wonderful gentleman has firmly supported the Chamber of Commerce for many years, almost never missing an annual meeting like this one.