Greater Conejo Valley Chamber Prepares to Honor Award Winners at their Recognition Gala

Westlake Village, CA The Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce will host their “Evening with The Beatles” Recognition Gala, on Friday, March 1, 2019 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Westlake honoring outgoing Chairman of the Board, Chris Shaver, V.P. of Shaver Automotive Group and winners in seven different award categories.  Patrick Cassidy, award winning actor and Creative Director for 5-Star Theatricals, will serve as the Masters of Ceremonies for the evening where guests will enjoy Beatles themed entertainment.

  • Business of the Year

 Los Angeles Rams 

Choosing two Conejo Valley cities as their home, the Los Angeles Rams currently train at California Lutheran University with their headquarters in Agoura Hills. The team’s local economic impact is in the millions and they’ve dived in wherever asked to support the community including: Make-A-Wish, the Chamber, CLU and countless others.  When the back-to-back tragedies struck the Conejo Valley, the Rams coordinated a fundraiser that raised over $2 million dollars and hosted a tribute during ‘Monday Night Football.’ They went on to compete in Super Bowl LIII for the first time in 17 years.

Mustang Marketing

Mustang Marketing is the largest full-service marketing firm in Ventura County with clients ranging from nationwide consumer companies to some of the smallest businesses in our community. The firm has provided pro bono services for the Conejo Schools Foundation, Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation, Borderline fundraisers and Family Justice Center, to name a few. They offer everything from full-scale macro-view strategic plans, to all relations (public, community & government), to every creative avenue possible, from the most complex website to the tiniest giveaway. 

  • Man of the Year  – Tim Hagel

Commander Tim Hagel is the current Chief of Police for the City of Thousand Oaks and has been with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office since 1987. He is a native of Thousand Oaks and founder of Safe Passage, offering programs for youth being raised in a gang atmosphere that provide a pathway and hope for them to make better choices. November, 2018 showed the true measure of the man as Tim, following the Borderline shooting, attended to the victim’s families, attended funerals, delivered funds and continues to assist in the recovery.  Chief Hagel is the finest in transparent, caring, involved leadership. 

  • Woman of the Year

Darlene Geekie

As the owner of Veterinary Angels Medical Center and The Little Angels Project, Darlene’s love for animals and their people shows itself in the extraordinary veterinary care she provides every day; but also in the free veterinary care she provides for those in need through her nonprofit. During and following the Hill and Woolsey fires, she staffed a free clinic at Pierce College, picked up animals in Malibu and provided free veterinary care to any domestic and wild animals impacted by the fires. Some residents also had animals impacted by the fire who couldn’t afford their own vets, so she paid those vets bills for them. 

Tracy Noonan

As the City Attorney for the City of Thousand Oaks, Tracy is a brilliant attorney, cancer survivor and as retired Mayor Andy Fox would say, “Tracy is always the smartest person in the room.” She navigates the complex legal matters of the city, protecting the tax payers from uninformed decisions and expensive law suits. Tracy is also a small business owner, as a partner in a Ventura winery, and President of the California Lutheran University Community Leaders Association. Unassuming, generous and solution-oriented, Tracy is a model of courage and anything that she’s a part of will be better for it. 

  • Nonprofit of the Year – Westminster Free Clinic

Westminster Free Clinic provides outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing access to healthcare and health supporting programs for the uninsured, low income and working poor in our community. In addition, they serve as a training site for over 100 high school interns each year who are considering careers in healthcare. Half of these interns are low-income themselves, providing opportunities and guidance that they likely wouldn’t have otherwise and ninety-eight percent go on to attend college.  Volunteer doctors provide medical, dental and vision care. The organization fills huge gaps in the healthcare workforce in the most compassionate and proactive of ways. 

  • Ambassador of the Year – Catarina Haydt

Catarina Haydt, owner of Bright Star Insurance, has been a vibrant team leader for the Chamber Ambassadors for the past five years. Her positive energy and humor radiates throughout the ambassador group and our Chamber membership. She represents the Chamber with a perfect balance of friendly professionalism and is an excellent resource for new and existing members alike. Professionally, Catarina is best known for guiding people through the complex healthcare environment where she specializes in Medicare.

  • Volunteer of the Year – Mike Dutra

Mike is the owner Candu Graphics, a family-run print and graphic design shop, in Westlake Village that works equally well with businesses of all sizes and nonprofits for whom they often donate their services.  Mike is an active member of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village, provided free services for victims of the Hill & Woolsey fires, supports Hospice of the Conejo programs and is the co-leader of SPARK networking group. He is beloved for his quiet humorous can-do approach to everything he volunteers to do. 

  • Corporate Sponsor of the Year – Express Employment Professionals

Owned by Neil & Janet McMillan, Express Employment Professionals, have been a member of the Chairman’s Club for five years. Currently participating at the Platinum level, Express sponsors numerous Chamber programs throughout the year that help support the Chamber’s mission. Express was also the first business to immediately agree to transfer their Taste of Conejo sponsorship dollars to State of the City Thousand Oaks for contribution to the victims of the November tragedies.

Tickets for the Recognition Gala are $130 per person or $950 for a table of 8 guests available online at through Monday, February 25, 2019. 

Award Sponsors: Los Robles Health System, SoCalGas, Caruso, Montecito Bank & Trust, California Lutheran University, Pepperdine University, Palm Garden Hotel Specialty Sponsors: TOLD Corporations, Home Helpers Caregivers, Chatsworth Products, Inc. Supporting Sponsors: The Acorn Newspapers, Cohen Begun & Deck, LLP, The Oaks Shopping Center, Thousand Oaks Boulevard Association Event Sponsors: Advanced Business Innovations, America’s Best Value Inn, Amgen, CBC Federal Credit Union, CMIT Solutions of North L.A., Corwin Press, A SAGE Publishing Company, HUB International Insurance Services, Logix, Motel 6, Pacific Western Bank, Salem Media Group Los Angeles, TechAHead, U.S. Bank, Veterinary Angels Medical Center & The Little Angels Project , Waste Management  


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