Pemberton community awards handed out 

New Chamber of Commerce executive and directors announced

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Karen Tomlinson is Pemberton's Citizen of the Year.

The news was announced at the Pemberton Chamber of Commerce's annual general meeting last week.

In offering up this recognition the community is recognizing all she does including the time and effort she has put into the Laoyam Eagles Dragonboat team.

The other nominees were John Burleson, Alan LeBlanc and Rosalind Young.

Tomlinson said she was honoured by the recognition and surprised one of the other nominees wasn't given the award.

"It is really quite nice to be acknowledged by the people I work with," said the Pemberton Secondary School teacher.

Tomlinson said that in addition to managing the dragonboat team she does administrative work for the Pemberton Canoe Club. Her work with the paddling community has also included working with young athletes in advance of and during big competitions like the B.C. Summer Games. She noted that she is just one of the paddling community volunteers working with a strong team of dedicated Pemberton athletes.

Shayne May of Mountain Glass and Mirror accepted the Business of the Year award. Pemberton Distillery and Mile One Eating House were also considered for the award.

The recently expanded Ivy Esthetics was named the Best New Business of the Year. Angela Blevings was presented with the award.

The members of the Chamber of Commerce also acknowledged Pemberton Youth Soccer for its contribution to Pemberton with the Community Service Award. James Linklater accepted the award on behalf of all the coaches within the organization. The Pemberton Lions Club Activity Society was also nominated.

George Henry was given the Customer Service Award for his volunteer work with the Pemberton Visitor Information Centre.

The awards are important to the community, said Chamber of Commerce president Karen Ross.

"We want to build our community to make it healthier and a better place," Ross said of the program that identifies people who make a difference.

In addition to giving out the annual community awards, the Chamber of Commerce announced the new executive. Ross will continue on as president following her first year in the role through 2012.

She said her goals for the year ahead include building up the Chamber of Commerce membership and creating more networking opportunities for members of the business organization.

A networking committee was created and Ross said a luncheon is set for Feb. 28 with Daniel Sailland, the Village of Pemberton Chief Administrative Officer, set as the guest speaker at the event.

David MacKenzie is the new vice-president while Shirley Henry will continue in her role as secretary-treasurer.

The annual general meeting and awards night was held on Thursday, Jan. 31.

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