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February 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce swore in its 35-member board of directors and presented awards at its 102nd Annual Dinner, held Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.

Renae Arabo, chief marketing officer with RJS Law, was installed to serve as the Chamber’s 2014 chairwoman of the board. “I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve the community and businesses in San Diego East County,” Arabo said.

“It was an outstanding evening to celebrate and honor business leaders who support our industries in the East County region,” said Eric Lund, Chamber general manager. About 250 people attended the aviation-theme event.

Business of the year awards were presented at the dinner. Winners were selected by chamber members who voted online over a four-week period. The Chamber said 193 members cast votes.

RJS Law, a San Diego-based full service law firm that helps resolve personal, small business, and corporate tax problems with the IRS and California state tax authorities, was named the Chamber’s 2013 East County Business of the Year.

Other business awards presented (categories appear in parenthesis) included: Hacienda Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (hospitality-restaurant): Jasmine Creek Florist (retail-consumer goods); Steve Hamann, professional auctioneer (professional services); Taylor Guitars (manufacturing-construction); and, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (non-profit).

The Chamber also presented community service awards. A Chamber committee selected winners of community service awards. Recipients of community service awards (categories appear in parenthesis), included: Dave Steele, Pure Solar Power (ambassador of the year); Debra Emerson, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, and Cliff Diamond, Police Best Practices (Leadership East County award); Marcel Becker, US Joiner (business advocate award); Steve Devan, Grossmont Schools Federal Credit Union (business-education award); Roger Roberts, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties (business ethics); Peggy Buffo, Aztec Insurance and ACES Foundation (community service); Drummond Macomber, retired (volunteer of the year).

The 500-member San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest business membership and advocacy groups in the region.


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