Chamber Awards Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year and Non-Profit of the Year Winners

Over the last 50 years, the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce has given the Citizen of the Year award to a person in the community who has contributed his or her time to the mountain area and various organizations. 

“The Citizen of the Year Award goes to Barbara and Ron Doutt of Lake Arrowhead,” said Robin Bull, executive director of the Lake Arrowhead Chamber.

“This news is, to put it mildly, a shock,” Ron Doutt said. “There are so many others on the mountain who  give generously of their time, talents and resources to make our mountain communities better that simply to be nominated from amongst that field is a high honor. To think that our names will go alongside the many honorees who preceded us is mind-boggling. We are humbled and honored.”

Barbara Doutt said she has watched on for 12 years has many wonderful and deserving people were honored by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce.

“To think that Ron and I now will be joining that select group is beyond belief. Volunteering has been a way to get involved in the community, make friends and, hopefully, help out in a small way for various causes. That it has lead to this is simply amazing,” Barbara Doutt said.

“The Citizen of the Year award could not have gone to a more deserving couple. Ron and Barbara’s approach to their personal challenges and dedication to our mountain communities is an inspiration to us all. It was a pleasure and an honor to collaborate with the Mountain Community Hospital, Mountain Historical Society and the Rotary Clubs in nominating the Doutt’s for this outstanding award,” said Jo Bonita and Dr. Pat Rains.

The Business of the Year Award was given to Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with Business of the Year award,” said Steve Keefe, owner and broker of Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty.

“Our core principles is to participate in our community and to touch as many groups and organizations as possible,” Keefe added. “It is not all about business, it is about serving our community.”

Steve Keefe purchased the realty business in 2004 from Mark Sanderson who took over the business in 1993. The company was originally founded in by Dick Farrell in 1982.

Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge has been the largest real estate agency on the mountain for the last 37 years.

Keefe stays on top of the real estate business on the community and uses all of the skills and knowledge he has gained in his 30 years of experience. He and his wife Jamie are the owners of Coldwell Banker, and the most important to him is that of being a coach. Agents are encouraged to participate in leadership opportunities on the mountain and are active members of the community.

The Non-Profit of the Year award was awarded to Rebuilding Together.

“Wow, that’s exciting,” said Sue Parks, secretary for Rebuilding Together, excitedly when she was informed Rebuilding Together had won the award. “In fact, this is our 25th anniversary of serving the mountain communities.” 

Carol Banner, a long-time supporter and participant of Rebuilding Together, was delighted to be recognized by the award.

“Duane and I have been involved in Rebuilding Together since the beginning 25 years ago. We have so much participation from individuals, businesses and service clubs that sponsor the houses. The mission of Rebuilding Together is to rebuild homes of homeowners in need: the elderly, disabled and families with children,” Banner said.

“We added the Business of the Year Award and Non-Profit of the Year Award five years ago because we want to recognize not just individuals but also businesses and entities that make an impact in our community,” added Bull.

Bull said the Selection Committee had a tough job this year with so many nominations.

“The competition was great, so much for all of us to aspire to. I can’t wait to share the lessons we learn from the winners and put them into practice for my own life and businesses,” Bull said. “For a small community the contributions are so big. We are so lucky to have more people and organizations who contribute so much of themselves to make it a great place to live and do business.”