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Stockton Chamber Announces 2021 Business Awards Honorees Announced
Caravan News 2915

Stockton Chamber Announces 2021 Business Awards Honorees Announced

The Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 36th Annual Business Awards Honorees.  Every year the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce honors Chamber Members businesses at the Business Awards Luncheon held the first Thursday of June.  But due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year the June event had to be canceled.  While we will not be able to hold a luncheon this year we still wanted to recognize all these businesses for their hard work and accomplishments even in such an challenging year.

During numerous surprises in the last week the 2021 honorees received a plaque from the Stockton Chamber as well as certificates from local elected officials congratulating them on their hard work and achievements.

2021 Business Awards Honorees:

Business of the Year
Van De Pol Enterprises, Inc.

Small Business of the Year
Nothing Bundt Cakes

Nonprofit Organization of the Year
Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin

Business Manager of the Year
Jill Faso Antonini, Animal Protection League

Young Professional of the Year
Corie Stewart, GEM Mortgage

Stockton Chamber Liaison Ambassador of the Year
Victor Randolph, KRVR ''The River''

Stockton Chamber Ambassador of the Year
Steven Jong, Acceptance Insurance

Stockton Chamber Sam & Cindy Ward Overall Volunteer of the Year
Carol Clemons, Angel's Caring Helpers

Honoree Bios:

Van De Pol Enterprises:
Van De Pol Enterprises is a family-owned company started in 1947.  They will be celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2022.  They are a distributor of fuels and lubricants in California, Nevada and Arizona and their headquarters is located right here in Stockton.  They had a great 2021 acquiring Tesei Petroleum and Madera Propane increasing their ability to serve Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties.  They also increased their warehouse storage by adding 62,000 square feet to their storage facility.

Van De Pol is a big supporter of the Chamber’s Green Team San Joaquin Program and believe in being a good environmental steward. Their Stockton headquarters are completely powered by solar energy. They use renewable diesel in their delivery fleet that reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

They are also a huge supporter of nonprofit organizations. They believe that strong communities make for good business.  Here are just a few of the local organizations that they support: Children's Home of Stockton, Directions Medical Clinic, Gospel Center Rescue Mission, Haven of Peace Women's Shelter, Women's Center Youth & Family Services, and Youth for Christ of San Joaquin Valley.

Nothing Bundt Cakes:
On top of making delicious bundt cakes and being one of the most successful Nothing Bundt Cakes stores, Mike goes above and beyond with his dedication to helping the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Child Abuse Prevention Council for years and is always willing to help out when it comes to children and families.

Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin:
The Emergency Food Bank has been serving our community for 53 years.  The Food Bank started as a grassroots organization focused on providing food to those who found themselves in an emergency situation, it is STILL a grassroots organization who has now expanded their mission to include education, targeted outreach and community partnerships. Last year, during the unprecedented year of COVID-19, they served over 130,000 people (average family size of 4 = 520,000 individuals). The Food Bank distributed: 1.4 million pounds of fresh produce, and 4.8 million pounds of packaged foods. This translates to just under 180,000 pounds of food each week (which was an increase of 47.6% from 2019). They have partnered with 18 local area food pantries and their Mobile Farmers Market served 62 sites throughout San Joaquin County. In addition to the programs mentioned above, they also began a successful Food RX program in partnership with Abbott Laboratories and Community Medical Centers serving an average of 445 individuals twice a month. They have also partnered with the USDA, serving approximately 1,800 people on the last Wednesday of each month. They formed a partnership with San Joaquin 211 - where DoorDash distributes approximately 440 food boxes to the those who are homebound within the community.

Jill Faso Antonini:
While Jill's title at the Animal Protection League is Director of Development and Community Outreach, she goes way above and beyond that role.  Anyone who knows Jill knows she has a huge heart for animals, especially dogs.  When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in 2020 Jill teamed up with DA Tori Verber-Salazar and a team of people to go out and visit the homeless camps.  She was out there on the front lines, rescuing pets, getting pets medical treatment, helping the homeless get connected to services, and helping get unsheltered families housed.  She started the Pets of the Homeless Program and was instrumental in helping get animals at the shelter housed or fostered during the pandemic when they couldn't welcome visitors in the Shelter to adopt pets.  On top of that Jill has time to help all over the community.  She was a Leadership Stockton Class of 2020 graduate and was a member of the recent American Leadership Forum (ALF) cohort.  When not rescuing animals you can also see her volunteering her time, resources, and venues, to many local nonprofit organizations in the community.

Corie Stewart:
On top of her day job at GEM Mortgage Corie is everywhere in the community!  She has such a giving and generous heart.  You may recognize her face from Stockton Rotary.  She is an amazing Rotarian and is always there to lend a hand with any of the projects they have going, she is very helpful when it comes to setting up the technology to run the meetings.  Corie is also on the Bord of Directors for the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin.  She was instrumental in helping everyone stay connected during the pandemic when things shifted and people couldn’t meet in person.  Corie was a Leadership Stockton class of 2019 graduate and was a driving force behind the class project at the Women’s Center Greenhouse.

She also volunteers her time to help different nonprofits put on amazing events.  She was on the Stocktonian of the Year committee for many years making sure that event was a huge success and special for the recipient.  She has also worked with the Community Foundation of San Joaquin and Lodi Community Foundation, Grace & Mercy Charitable Foundation, Child Abuse Prevention Council, Victims of Violent Crimes of San Joaquin, just to name a few.

Victor Randolph:
We could not do what we do without our amazing Liaison Ambassadors, they go out an conduct surveys with our members to make sure they are getting the most out of their Chamber membership, help educate them on what the Chamber does and learn how we can help them and improve as a Chamber.  This year Victor completed 40 Liaison surveys and had 90% attendance at all Chamber Events.  Thank you Victor for your continued support and dedication.

Steven Jong:
Steve goes above and beyond by attending all the ribbon cuttings, new member meetings, Chamber Educational Series, Ambassador Meeting, pretty much any time Roxy asks him to be somewhere he shows up.  Over this past year Steve had 90% attendance at all Chamber events, and referred 3 new members that joined the Chamber.

Carol Clemons:
The award is named after our long time ambassadors Sam and Cindy Ward who left us way too soon.  This year we present this honor to a woman who bleeds Chamber blue.  Carol has been an Ambassador for the Chamber for over 50 years!!  You can always count on Carol to be at every Chamber event big or small, be the first one to volunteer if you need something done, just be there with a smile on her face and a hug for you.  This year she completed an amazing 156 Liaison surveys and had 95% attendance at all Chamber events.

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