Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce holds annual awards dinner

L-R: Pat Galvez, 2017 president of Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce, April Gates of ERA Real Estate, Hurricane Mayor John Bramall, Sherri Dias and Rob Dias of Diamond Ranch Academy, and keynote speaker Justin Osmond. Diamond Ranch Academy was named the 2017 Business of the Year during the chamber's awards dinner, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 17, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

HURRICANE — The Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce recently recognized several individuals and businesses at its annual awards dinner at the Sand Hollow Resort clubhouse in Hurricane.

L-R; Pat Galvez and DeWynn Nelson, the 2017 and 2018 presidents of the Hurricane Valley of Chamber of Commerce, posed at annual awards dinner, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 17, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Andrea Stratton Photography, St. George News

Pat Galvez, the chamber’s 2017 president, served as the host of the Jan. 17 event. He will serve as past president in 2018, with DeWynn Nelson taking over the reins as the current president.

Nelson, who also received the chamber’s 2017 Community Service Award that evening, thanked those in attendance for their ongoing support.

I think there’s an excitement in the community to see what the chamber can offer to help businesses grow and to support them,” Nelson said afterward. 

The event also served as the installation ceremony for the 2018 members of the chamber’s board of directors, who were formally sworn in together.

Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce board members and guests pose during Hurricane Chamber of Commerce awards dinner, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 17, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Joining Galvez and Nelson on the 2018 board of directors are Joseph Prete, Rod Smith, April Chesley, Bryce King, Casey Stratton, Connie Zdunich, Chris Gifford, Nic Lauritzen, Kim Mensch, Kris Smedley and Ike Turner.

Nelson said he is looking forward to working with the board members, whom he called “a diverse and talented group.”

“They are leaders in our communities and I think they’ll do great things this year,” he said.

Nelson also introduced Justin Osmond as the evening’s keynote speaker. Osmond, the son of Merill Osmond of the famous performing family, was born with profound hearing loss. He spoke of overcoming disabilities and maintaining a positive outlook on life, despite adversity. He even performed a short violin piece and was on hand to help present each of the awards.

Justin Osmond addresses audience at Hurricane Valley of Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner, Hurricane, Utah, Jan. 17, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Andrea Stratton Photography, St. George News

Following Osmond’s remarks, the following additional awards were presented:

Business of the Year

Diamond Ranch Academy was named the chamber’s Business of the Year for 2017. Founded in 1999 in Idaho by owner Rob Dias and his wife Sherri, the licensed residential treatment center and therapeutic boarding school for youth ages 12 to 18 moved to its current location, a 55-acre campus in Hurricane, in 2012. With the motto of “Healing Families One Youth at a Time,” the academy and its staff strive to lead struggling youth toward making positive, lifelong changes in their lives.

Small Business of the Year

Main Street Cafe, a popular restaurant in downtown Hurricane, is operated by brothers Enrique and Miguel Tinoco, who got their start in the business in California before eventually opening Tinoco Bistro in Las Vegas in 1998. Yearning for a calmer atmosphere, the brothers moved to Hurricane in February 2016. Main Street Cafe specializes in pasta, seafood, and barbecued hamburgers.

Businessperson of the Year

Rich Klein, who along with his wife Brittany Klein, started his Trail Hero business in Hurricane in 2015, was named the chamber’s Businessperson of the Year for 2017. Klein, an avid off-roader, specializes in hosting clients on multi-day trail rides using stock 4×4 vehicles as well as buggies and other all-terrain vehicles.

Educator of the Year

Longtime Hurricane High School Principal Jody Rich was named the chamber’s Educator of the Year. He was lauded for his service and example to students and staff at the school.

Dixie State University Hurricane Education Center Student of the Year

Karson Rodney DeMille, a single father of two young boys, is a sophomore at Dixie State University’s Hurricane Education Center, where he is majoring in computer information technology, with a planned emphasis in software development. When not working at his full-time job or attending classes, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his sons Traeson and Ryker.

Hurricane High School Student of the Year

Alma Burgos-Munoz, a native of Puebla, Mexico, immigrated to the United States in 2013. She is currently a senior and a straight-A student at Hurricane High. She has been involved with several extracurricular clubs and activities, and is taking advanced placement and college-level courses. Burgos-Munoz plans to attend Dixie State University in the fall, after which she plans to eventually transfer to Utah State University and major in human nutrition and pre-med, with the hopes of eventually becoming a physician.

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