These annual awards honor businesses, organizations, and individuals who have made significant contributions to the Nevada City community. At this event the new Chamber board members will be installed. The Nevada City award recipient winners were selected by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The event is being catered by Emily’s Catering.
Artist David Parker is the recipient of the prestigious Elza Kilroy award. He is being honored for nearly six decades of significant contributions to the community including serving on Nevada City Council, as a Trustee of Sierra College and helping to bring the college to Grass Valley, founding The Famous Marching Presidents at the annual Constitution Day Parade and Joe Cain Days which would later become Mardi Gras, among many other fun and serious community focused initiatives. The Kilroy award, established in 1969, is given annually to a citizen or organization whose efforts help make Nevada City a better community.
Long time City Clerk and business owner, Niel Locke will receive the Dave Irons Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the quality of life in Nevada City. He is being recognized for his dedication and support of the community which also includes serving on the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission and with the Nevada City Rancheria and Nisenan. Named for former Chamber board member and community arts leader Dave Irons, this award celebrates the individuals in our community who have dedicated their life to serving the residents of Nevada City.
Other 2023 recipients are:
Amanda Ashley aka Miss Moth being honored with the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Visual Arts Award. Specializing in traditional handmade signage, specifically using traditional 22k gold leaf, Ms. Ashley has left her touch on multiple local establishments including Kitkitdizzi, The Holbrooke Hotel, The National Exchange Hotel, The Nevada Theater, The Sunroom, The Onyx Theater… the list goes on.
Local thespian and arts educator Kimberly Ewing is the recipient of the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Performing Arts Award for her work on numerous local film productions, with theatre companies and productions such as Sierra Stages, Readers Theatre, and Nugget Fringe Festival, along with working with the Nevada County Arts Council and Nevada County Superintendent of Schools as the Arts Coordinator, and as a Humanities Electives teacher.
Local band Farrow and the Peach Leaves are the recipient of the Live Music Award. Based out of Nevada City, Farrow and the Peach Leaves have chiseled out their own unique brand of Americana, Blues, Rock and Country all packaged in a versatile getup composed of thick blues guitars, locomotive rhythm, and seventies country rock overtones.
416 Broad Street is being recognized with the annual Stan Halls Architectural Award. The original structure was destroyed by a fire in early 2021, and rebuilt and completed nearly a year later. Designed by Richard Baker and Siteline Architecture, in collaboration with property owners Ken and Kay Baker and built by main contractor Mark Tintle, 416 Broad Street is an excellent example of how to blend design to seamlessly fit into the downtown fabric while incorporating a number of building material choices that make it more hardened against fire, very energy efficient and sensitive to the changing environment.
The W. Lon Cooper New Construction award goes to Cashin’s Field energy-efficient affordable housing community located at 170 Ridge Road in Nevada City. The 51-unit development was designed to provide a community that is supportive of the families that will live there and assist in creating supportive relationships amongst them; substantially preserve the existing ecological context of the site including maintenance of much of the existing forest and stormwater patterns; and provide an architecture that is consistent with the mining heritage of Nevada City and is reflective of current construction systems and aesthetics. The project was also designed to incorporate many of the City’s design standards and with “walkability” in mind.
Last year the Chamber board add two new awards – Business of the Year and New Business of the Year – to recognize Nevada City’s most dynamic businesses and business leaders who share a commitment to professional excellence, business growth and the community.
Business Person of the Year is Joe M. Griggs is being honored as Business Person of the Year. Mr. Griggs is the director of River Valley Community Bank, and has resided in the area for more than five decades. He is a second-generation logger, who has worked in the Northern California Timber Industries for 35 years. Working through the ranks of the family owned logging and trucking company, he became President of Robinson Enterprises, Inc. in 2011.
Business of the Year award goes to Three Forks Bakery and Brewery. Owners Dave Cowie and Shana Maziarz have created an innovative and community-minded culture. They work to source many of their ingredients from local farms and even host an annual farmer appreciation night. Additionally, they host benefit fundraisers and set a high standard for taking care of their employees.
Communal Cafe will receive the New Business of the Year. Owners Whitney and Anthony Lichtl, Jade Benetatos, and Thalia Pharris opened the cafe at 233 Broad Street in 2022 and it has quickly become of community hub for locals and visitors alike. Communal stives to do exactly what their name implies – create and build community.
The Community Service Award goes to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for their unyielding dedication to community service, and to improving the lives of others in Nevada City. Holy Trinity Episcopal has been serving the hungry and unhoused for over 15 years. It was led first by Deacon Dave Ferrell, and later by several other parishioners with the help of many, many members of the church. The church itself was built almost 150 years ago.
Along with honoring this year’s recipients the Chamber will welcome and install the following new Board of Directors: Megan Hart of the National Exchange Hotel, Melissa Goldman of Nevada City Framing, Milo Caruncho of Tri-Counties Bank, and Moriah Blue of Two Little Birds.