2018 ANNUAL AWARDS
BILL STROECKER BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Bill Stroecker Business of the Year award honors the accomplishments in the business community of a member of the Chamber who has shown drive in leading local development with sights on the future of Fairbanks. The business is recognized for consistent community involvement, an excellent business reputation with the public, and as a leader in their own profession and/or field of business.
Past recipients include:
2018: Design Alaska
2017: Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
2016: Sunrise Bagel and Espresso
2015: HooDoo Brewing Company
2014: Northern Alaska Tour Company
2013: Date-Line Digital Printing
2012: Madden Real Estate
2011: Mt. McKinley Bank
2010: Chena Hot Springs
2009: Santina’s Flowers & Gifts
2008: Advance Printing Company
2007: Pacific Alaska Forwarders
GEORGE NEHRBAS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
The George Nehrbas Volunteer of the Year award is presented to a member of the Chamber who has distinguished themselves as an outstanding volunteer. It is the Chamber's most visible recognition for volunteer contributions to our community. All employees of Chamber member businesses and organizations are eligible to receive this award.
Past recipients include:
2018: Clark Milne
2017 : Mike Richards
2016: Dr. Katherine Johnson
2015: Derek Miller
2014: Sarah Lefebvre
2013: Heather Lambert
2012: Mary Jane Fate
2011: Cindy Cevasco
2010: Lorna Shaw
2009: Joe Usibelli Jr.
2008: Billie Blanchard
2007: Val Cofield
Past Annual Award Winners dating back to 1963
BERNICE M. JOSEPH EDUCATION ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
The Bernice M. Joseph Advocate of the Year award recognizes a business or individual in the business community that has consistently shown a commitment to education through sustained partnership, outreach, or career development opportunities that improve the educational experience of students and demonstrate partnership, innovation, and creativity. All employees of Chamber member businesses are eligible to receive this award.
Past recipients include:
2018: Denise Wartes
2017: The Associated General Contractors of Alaska
2016: Dr. Cary Keller
2015: Sue Hull
ABOUT THE 2018 AWARD RECIPIENTS
Clark Milne of DOWL is the 2018 George Nehrbas Volunteer of the Year. Clark literally has his fingerprints all over the infrastructure of Fairbanks and outlying regions after his 40 years as a civil and environmental engineer. Clark has been semi-retired for a few years now, but the only thing that’s changed is the ratio of what he’s paid to do vs what he’s not paid to do. When asked to lend his calm, thoughtful and powerful voice to a topic related to Fairbanks needs, he rarely says NO, but rather “let me look at my calendar and see how I can fit that in.” He not only joins organizations, but he often actively leads them. Clark seldom calls attention to his efforts, rather working diligently, thoroughly and quietly to effect positive change for each organization, for Fairbanks, and frequently for Alaska. Each of these organizations has benefited from his interest and time, and most of them from having his strong hand on the helm. He brings organization, vision, clarity and direction to every group he is involved in.
The 2018 Bill Stroecker Business of the Year Award recipient is Design Alaska. Their motto is “Built to Last” and they do that by adhering to their core values which are Serve the Client, Support the Employee, and Strengthen the Community. They support their clients by understanding their needs so they can serve them better. They support their employees by providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth understanding the company will succeed when their employees are succeeding. And they strengthen the community by partnering in ways that enhance our assets and make the Greater Fairbanks Area a wonderful place to live and work.
Design Alaska is a strong supporter of the Arts such as the Fairbanks Symphony, Opera Fairbanks, and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. They support environmental stewardship programs such as Interior Alaska Green Star and Friends of Creamer’s Field, and they support community and economic development associations such as FEDC, Downtown Association, and, of course, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. Their staff can be found volunteering at service projects on Boards of Directors, and everything in between.
Denise Wartes of UAF Rural Alaska Honors Institute is the recipient of the 2018 Bernice Joseph Education Advocate of the Year Award. Denise Wartes, through the Rural Alaska Honors Institute (commonly referred to as RAHI) has built relationships between the borough and rural communities, exposing rural students to life in the 'big city', and endless opportunities for students to explore their future. Denise is a stalwart member and supporter of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, attending as many luncheons and events as possible in her busy schedule. She has also volunteered her time and talents assiting the Chamber to host the Tanana Chiefs Conference Welcome Reception each spring during Convention week. Over her career, she has mentored and inspired over 1,900 students. Almost every single graduate of the RAHI program have gone on to obtain college degrees and are now contributing to life in their own communities and beyond.