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Companies value neighborliness among their employees

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More than two dozen San Diego companies and businesses participated in the inaugural recognition of employees who go beyond their job descriptions and reach out to neighbors in need. Here is the 2005 participant list with the nominees for Outstanding Neighbor of the Year.

Ace Parking Management, Inc.

Angel Baker

Maureen Bell

Emma Manalo

Jessica Pekarcik

Bertha Prado

Lawana Richmond

Ignacio Ventura

Ken Wilkins

These Ace employees volunteer their time and talents to nonprofit organizations such as March of Dimes - Angel; La Casa de Los Ninos in Tijuana - Bertha; St. Vincent de Paul Village - Ignacio; and the Autistic Society - Maureen.

In addition Ace employees contribute to others in many ways: Emma aids employees and clients in need of extra help; Ken hosts teens and parents at meals to promote healthy family dynamics; Jessica teaches managerial skills at a nonprofit organization; and Lawana assists San Diego City College honor society.

AME Financial

Judy Dunham

Beyond the impact Judy has on many lives through her profession, she reaches out to make a difference in the community. She has used her expertise to raise money for the victims of the San Diego wildfires, organized charity golf tournaments benefiting Coronado SAFE Foundation, and organized an event that raised $4,000 for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia.

Austin Veum Robbins Partners

Doug and Doreen Austin

Through their sense of community, Doug and Doreen have donated a portion of their time or a percentage of their fee back to client organizations such as Camp Hope (San Diego Family Justice Center), Father Joe's Villages "A Children's Village," Harbor Side School of San Diego, Lord's Gym Day Care Center, Monarch School, and The Salvation Army (Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center).

Burkett & Wong Engineers

Timothy Yeun

A hard-working business professional, Tim is also active for the good of the community. As a leader in the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association, he has donated much time to the Grape Street senior housing residence in downtown San Diego. He is a long-time volunteer of the Chinese Evangelical Church of San Diego, serving it in numerous capacities including membership on the executive board.

Cavignac & Associates

Jeffrey W. Cavignac

Recently establishing the company's charitable fund, Jeffrey has encouraged employees to support community organizations by making voluntary donations through payroll deductions. Through high participation, the fund distributed more than $6,000 last year to the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, Downtown San Diego Senior Center, Monarch School for the Homeless and San Pasqual Academy.

Dress for Success San Diego

Sylvia Evans-McKinney

Overcoming her own misfortune, Sylvia built an organization that helps others gain a second chance. She has pioneered a community forum for local agencies serving low-income women in San Diego; it provides lunch, guest speakers on topics of mutual interest, and a valuable forum for sharing ideas and strategies for collaborating on client services.

Fish & Richardson P.C.

Cindy Bright

Isabel Fonseca

Fred Hernandez

Emma Hoskins

Roxanne Ippolito

Rita Jennings

Kris Panikowski

Odetta Serratt

The Fish team has organized toy and backpack drives for the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, participated in the ProKids Golf event, volunteered for the KPBS telethon, and walked for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. They have also collected toiletries for the Senior Community Center, and have organized a drive to benefit the Humane Society and Pets with Disabilities.

KSWB Cares for Kids Fund

Sofia Salgado

"A tireless worker who takes leadership roles" in her volunteer work for nonprofit organizations, Sofia helped triple membership involvement in San Diego MANA (a national Latina organization), helped double the funds raised for Jackie Robinson YMCA scholarships in 2003, and lead a drive that added more than 1,200 potential volunteers to the Latino/Hispanic Bone Marrow registry.

Mighty 1090

Bill Bingham

Christina Howard

Ted Leitner

John Lynch

Doug Manchester

Kaylin McClain

The Mighty 1090 Iraq team traveled to Iraq in December 2004 to broadcast live from the Al Asad Marine Base. They conducted interviews and generated a great amount of support for the troops. This team has also participated in fundraising for service families who lost loved ones in Falluja, and many of them are involved with other charity events.

Mission Valley YMCA

Dick Webster

Dick organizes Y-camps for kids who live at St. Vincent de Paul Village and also for the children of Village employees. He makes scholarships available for Village youth to attend Y-camps, and ensures Toussaint Academy has access to the YMCA's physical education facilities.

Naval School of Health Sciences, San Diego

Brian O'Keefe

Top Anchor – Father Joe Carroll shares the spotlight with Petty Officer Brian O’Keefe, the Naval School of Health Services’ Outstanding Neighbor of the Year.

Brian is "a remarkable petty officer whose consistent superior performance is exemplified in the Navy and civilian communities." Among his many good neighbor activities, he has devoted over 200 hours of his own time to helping a Tuskegee Airman receive an Eagle Scout award (75 years delayed) and over 100 hours to coaching youth softball and soccer teams; and he volunteers in the Meals on Wheels program.

Premier, Inc.

Claudine Hagerstrom — Winner

A woman whose coworkers find her enthusiasm for volunteering contagious, Claudine is involved in organizing teams to join her in the annual MS walk, collecting VHS movies for her mother-in-law's nursing home, and coordinating annual caroling by a Girl Scout troop. Among her many other neighborly efforts, she drives a coworker's son to sports practice, organized a Neighborhood Watch program, has helped get a job for someone's spouse and found a home for a lost dog.

Rachel's Women's Center

Mary Ojok

Monika Perez

Tara Ryan

Sandra Swalley

Kate Webber

A caring and safe day center for homeless and low-income woman run by Catholic Charities, Rachel's Women's Center began its presence in East Village in 1984. Staff and participants alike strive to build a friendly community through the neighborhood watch program it initiated in the 90s, by keeping the area clear of trash and cigarette butts and by discouraging loitering at neighborhood businesses.

RCP Block & Brick, Inc.

Judy Koons

For more than 15 years, Judy has organized the company's annual holiday food and toy drive. She coordinates, collects and distributes the donations. Judy's kind and caring attitude has positively influenced many people over the years. She is a living example of the holiday spirit.

Ron Stuart

Ron Ford

As a member of the Lions Club, Ron is a proactively positive citizen, caring for the elderly and providing for the needy. He regularly donates clothing gift certificates for charitable events and to those in need, and he gives freely without expecting recognition.

San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association

BOMA San Diego Community Service Committee

BOMA has dedicated countless volunteer hours and thousands of dollars to charitable organizations. The association raises money for deaf children in Mexico, supports a school for homeless and at-risk children in downtown San Diego and holds an annual holiday gift drive. BOMA also organizes a yearly Work Party, for which they select one worthwhile charity and completely renovate its facility.

Schubach Aviation

Henry Schubach

Henry has donated thousands of dollars and Schubach Aviation's charter services to a number of local nonprofit organizations and causes that have a positive impact on the community. He has made significant contributions to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, the Humane Society and SPCA, to name a few.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital

Electa Stern

Electa recently journeyed to Swaziland, Africa, where she worked with the Dream for Africa Mission's network. She was one of 300 people who planted over 25,000 gardens, which will provide food for thousands of families. Electa raised the funds she needed for airfare. She also volunteers her time to various teams within Sharp Healthcare, including volunteering for Ask-the-Pharmacist sessions.


Tanya Bronstein

Mike Corrales

Will Henning

Steve Iverson

Dave Lee

Kyle Tyacke

The Streamload team's "Operation Video Care Package" allowed San Diego military families to send free holiday video cards to their deployed loved ones in 2004. Streamload paid to rent the equipment and arranged for the video tapings, and employees donated their time to facilitate the project. Streamload also supports World Vision, which used their services during the recent tsunami disaster.

TelePacific Communication

Mark S. Turgeon

Mark volunteers his time to work with the Boy Scouts, securing funding and facilities and leading a local troop. His enthusiasm encourages others and inspires the boys to be fair, open-minded and respectful. Mark is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and helps provide funding to programs for the less fortunate in the community.

Union Bank of California

Sonya Aldama

One of Sonya's favorite charity activities is the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She has participated in the Seuss-abration children's event at the Old Globe Theatre, has helped wrap Christmas gifts for low-income kids, and has tutored elementary students. Sonya also serves lunch about once a month at the Senior Community Center in downtown San Diego.

Vista Community Clinic

Vista Community Clinic Staff

Staff members make services to clients a priority based on the belief that health care is a right. They strive to provide high quality comprehensive primary health care and education to meet the needs of the community, regardless of economic, social or cultural status.

Waterfront Weddings

Geneene Thornton

A caring and reliable woman, Geneene has volunteered for many civic organizations including Prom Dresses for the Underprivileged, Bunnies for Babies, and Habitat for Humanity in addition to her involvement with food drives for the National Association of Catering Executives.

Wells Fargo

Jennifer Drobac

On an ongoing basis Jennifer has been involved with the Kennedy Elementary School, a low-income Title 1 school in San Diego. She helps organize quarterly "Read to a Class" day, organizes bake sales to raise money and plans holiday events for the students. Her care and perseverance have inspired the children, teachers and volunteers alike.

Women's Business Center of California

Women's Business Center Staff

Since opening its doors in 2003, the Center has helped more than 3,400 women entrepreneurs and professionals develop their dreams of long-term success as business owners in their chosen fields. An affiliate of National University's School of Business and Management, the Center provides short-term, inexpensive but high-quality entrepreneurial education programs as well excellent networking opportunities.

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