gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 34

GILROY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SPICE OF LIFE AWARDS On February 3, over 350 people joined this year’s Spice of Life Award recipients at San Juan Oaks in Hollister for the 65th Annual Citizen and Business Awards Dinner and Board Installation Ceremony. Since 1966 the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce has been honoring individuals who go above and beyond to help make Gilroy a great place to live and work. David Boll This year, Dave Boll was honored posthumously for his many years of dedication and commitment to the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. Dave served two terms as a Board member and was also a past Chair of the Board. He continued to assist and serve in many ways but most notably each year with the Chamber’s Beer Gardens at the Garlic Festival. Dave believed in the cause of the Chamber and always did what he could to ensure its success. His wife Eileen accepted the award on his behalf. Noah Construction Corporation, Large Business of the Year Noah Concrete Corporation is a family owned business, founded in 1996 and established in San Jose, Noah Concrete became the recognized leader in concrete services. The company’s success allowed Noah Concrete rapid expansion and they moved their operations to Gilroy in 2000. Since then, Noah Concrete has been providing concrete services to their clients all throughout the Bay Area. In 2007 they opened their recycling operation and have been able to divert hundreds of thousands of tons of material from landfills back to new building projects. This allows new construction projects to earn LEED credits for “green” building. Don Alvarez, Sr. sees Gilroy as extended family. Don is involved at his church, St. Mary’s Church and helped with various improvements. They have donated labor and materials for other projects as well such as, the FFA barn slab at Gilroy High School; K-9 kennel slabs at the old Gilroy PD station; the helicopter pad at St. Louise Regional Hospital and multiple projects at the Hispanic Learning Center in San Jose. Most recently, Noah Concrete’s efforts helped raise over $3,000 for the Gilroy Police Foundation. Don is a member of the Gilroy Elks and a member of the American Society of Concrete Contractors. 34 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Lupe Lopez, Woman of the Year Lupe Lopez, owner of Arteaga’s Food Center, has received numerous awards and recognitions for the work she does to create heathy habits and better educational opportunities. Lupe first opened Arteaga’s Food Center in 2001. After getting acclimated, she organized the food center’s first Community Health Fair. Year after year, she continues to promote awareness and healthier eating habits through the availability of high quality produce and sponsoring community events that focus on education of those habits. Lupe has been the driving force of bringing together health advocates, community based organizations, government agencies and private parties to provide much needed services to the Gilroy community. Gary Walton has been an active member of the community for 30 years. As the current President of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association (GDBA), Gary works closely with downtown mer- chants to improve the “downtown experience.” It only takes a few minutes of conversation with Gary to get a feel for all the ideas swirling around in his head. Gary is an avid reader of downtown revitalization efforts and believes our downtown’s best days are still ahead. Gary serves on the Gilroy Unreinforced Masonry Committee, Gilroy Dispatch Editorial Board, President of the Miller Red Barn Association and has served on the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation’s Board. Gary gives to many charitable causes and is helpful to many individuals in this town. Maria Walker, Educator of the Year APRIL/MAY 2018 Gary Walton, Man of the Year Maria Walker, Principal of Solorsano Middle School saw her pursuit of being an educator a true calling. Maria found the idea of helping a child learn and grow educationally satisfied her need to help others. She began her career in the Gilroy Unified School District in 1990 as a substitute teacher. In 2008 she became the Assistant Principal at ASMS, and continued in that position, until taking on the role of Principal in 2011. For Maria, education is a vital component to future success. Her goal is to instill the love of learning in all children. She wants children to come to school excited about learning. Maria is knowledgeable about current trends and issues related to educational equity, at-risk youth issues, with a continued focus on closing the achievement gap.