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Chamber seeks Turlock's best
Public invited to nominate business, ag, education, nonprofit leaders for annual awards program
Best of preview pic
Turlock Unified's director of student services, Gil Ogden, accepts the Educator the Year award at the Best of Turlock ceremony in January 2015. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce is currently seeking nominations for the 2016 Best of Turlock awards. - photo by Journal file photo

Turlock is known for having some of the most innovative and inspiring business, agricultural and philanthropic leaders in the region and each year the Chamber of Commerce takes time to recognize these noteworthy citizens through the Best of Turlock awards. This year will mark the 48th anniversary of the awards and Chamber President and CEO Karin Moss is seeking to involve the entire community in helping to find these outstanding leaders.

The public is invited to nominate candidates for each of the eight award categories: Agricultural Leader, Business Leader, Humanitarian, Educator, Small Business Leader, Youth Citizen of the Year, Citizen of the Year and the Enoch Christoffersen Award, which is given to a former Turlock resident who has distinguished him/herself in business, education, agriculture or humanitarian areas and deserves recognition from his/her hometown community.

"It's a Turlock tradition," Moss said about the annual awards program. "It's exciting for me to be new and get to meet and honor those who've made such a difference in the community."

While the tradition of honoring outstanding leaders remains the same, there are a few changes in store for this year's awards program. The first change is one in the timing of the event, which moved from January/February to September this year. There is also a new selection process for the winners.

Following nominations from the entire community, which are due Aug. 1, a panel of five judges representing the Chamber, business, government and nonprofit organizations in town will consider the qualifications of each candidate and select the top three for each category. Those finalists will then be recognized in a special section to be published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Turlock Journal. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony, set for Sept. 23 at the Assyrian American Civic Club.

"We want to have as much broad-based community involvement as we can," said Moss about the changes.

Nomination forms and criteria for each category can be found at or by calling the Chamber at 209-632-2221. Moss said the Chamber can email nomination forms to individuals or organizations or print out hard copies and send them through the mail. Nomination forms need to be returned to the Chamber office, located at 115 S. Golden State Blvd., by Aug. 1.