North Lake Tahoe businesses honored at 65th Community awards
TAHOE CITY Calif. — The North Lake Tahoe business community gathered recently to celebrate the region’s Local Luminaries at the 65th annual Community Awards Dinner held at Granlibakken Tahoe.
Industry leaders, public servants and best-in-class organizations were recognized across ten categories, ranging from Regional Marketing, Innovation, Outstanding Public Service and Best Place to Work. The evening was community focused and integrated North Tahoe’s diverse businesses — from major resorts to locally owned operations.
“We have a great deal of pride in this annual event because it’s all about highlighting North Tahoe businesses and celebrating our regional leaders,” explained Liz Bowling, communications director for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “These are pivotal members of our community; they strengthen economic vitality, raise standards of excellence and contribute to the overarching well-being and connectivity of North Lake Tahoe.”
65th Community Award Winners
Regional Marketing & Promotions: Squaw Village Neighbourhood Company
The Squaw Village Neighbourhood Company organizes, markets and executes events in The Village at Squaw Valley to draw both visitors and locals to the valley region during shoulder seasons. These events are professionally executed and promoted, and regularly incorporate a number of North Lake Tahoe based businesses, typically benefiting a local non-profit.
North Tahoe Innovator: Alpenglow Expeditions
With the launch of Via Ferrata in Squaw Valley — the first of its kind in northern California — Alpenglow Expeditions provides access to the iconic tram face that has never before been available. Owner, Adrian Ballinger, and his team of local experts create unique guiding experiences for visitors and locals alike. Because of their innovation, they have put North Lake Tahoe on a global climbing map and elevated the approach to local rock-climbing experiences.
Outstanding Public Servant: Crystal Betts, Tahoe Forest Health System
Crystal Betts, CFO of Tahoe Forest Health System, is recognized for her exemplary public service efforts, which have directly benefited the North Lake Tahoe community and beyond. Her innovative leadership has demonstrated what it takes to tackle a problem and create a viable, long-term solution through her work on the Financial Customer Service program.
Best Place to Work: Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows is recognized for creating a work environment that is truly Best in Class. With over 2,000 employees in peak periods, their valiant efforts in hospitality and their vision of mountain stewardship and innovation have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the critical employees of North Lake Tahoe.
Nonprofit of the Year: Achieve Tahoe
Achieve Tahoe has been building health, confidence and independence for children and adults with disabilities since 1967. Over the past 52 years, the organization has grown into a year-round adaptive sports center, conducting over 180 days of activities and serving over 600 children, adults and veterans with a wide range of disabilities annually. Achieve Tahoe relies on a passionate team of over 250 trained volunteers, eight full-time staff members and 10 Board Members who guide their participants in discovering life without limits.
Community Improvement & Environmental Stewardship: Northstar California
Northstar California continues to demonstrate environmental stewardship for our North Lake Tahoe region. Over 200 EpicPromise volunteers dedicated more than 800 hours of service to regional non-profits. They also launched the EpicPromise Farm Stand program alongside the Tahoe Food Hub to provide convenient organic, fresh fruits and vegetables to employees and guests, helping to reduce carbon footprints while also supporting regional farmers. Northstar has shown a dedication to forest health and reducing regional fire risk by executing the second year of the Northstar Forest Health Management Plan, where they dedicated over $200,000 to improve the health of approximately 200 acres of forest to date.
Business of the Year: Gar Woods Grill & Pier
For 32 years, Gar Woods Grill & Pier has a been a staple of North Lake Tahoe for locals and visitors alike. As a major supporter and partner of regional nonprofits and organizations, Gar Woods is helping to strengthen the fabric of our community. A few examples include the Snowfest kickoff party and queen coronation, the shockingly chilly Polar Plunge — which, over its 15-year history, has raised close to $100,000, and the Labor Day Fireworks show which generated over $90,000 for the North Tahoe/Truckee Sports programs. In 2018, The Tahoe Restaurant Collection donated to 62 worthwhile organizations, locally and in the Northern California and Northern Nevada areas.
Distinguished Community Service: Ron Treabess
Joining 15 past recipients of the Distinguished Community Service Award, Ron Treabess is recognized for his countless efforts and generous, long-term commitment of service to the North Lake Tahoe community. Wearing many hats throughout his 39 years in North Tahoe, Ron’s time, actions, talents and dedication to our region is immeasurable. With 32 years serving on the TCPUD Board of Directors, 19+ years serving as a volunteer and employee of the NLTRA, nine years on the Tahoe City Advisory Committee and Planning Team, eight years of service on Tahoe Transportation District Board of Directors, seven years of service on Placer County’s LAFCO, 6 years on PCTPA, five years on the Truckee Tahoe North Tahoe Transportation Management Association Board of Directors and many more years coaching youth sports, volunteering at recreation events, playing Santa and being a key player in countless softball games, Ron is a true Local Luminary.
Employees of the Year:
Katelynn Hopkins (Placer County CEO’s Office); Mike Abarno (Tahoe City Public Utility District); Kate Brower (JK Architecture + Engineering); Julia Tohlen (Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association); Brian Herlihy (Sierra State Parks Foundation); Amber Burke (North Lake Tahoe Resort Association); Patrick Scott (Auerbach Engineering Corp); Gabe Young (Northstar California).
Volunteers of the Year:
Stephanie Bragg & Christa Barker-Myers (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District); Lolly Kupec (Sierra State Parks Foundation); Alex Mourelatos (Placer County CEO’s Office).
Source: North Lake Tahoe Resort Association
“The best transactions are defined by sellers being willing to set their ego aside for the benefit of their customers and employees,” writes Mike Bosma.