This month, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce will honor its selected Business and Business Person of the Year for 2008. The honorees are chosen and like most years, the names and businesses are names and businesses you know. I always hope that each year I’ll read the names of someone I’ve never heard of before whose business or business activites were the diamond in the rough, the quiet hero of the business community. But it’s never so…
That’s not to say the people the Chamber selects each year aren’t deserving. They definitely are. These business people are well known in the community because of their honorable contributions. However, there are so many more business people and businesses that are members of the Chamber who contribute to the community significantly. Unfortunately, if they’re not the type to be comfortable in a setting where there’s a lot of handshaking and passing of business cards, their contributions can easily go unnoticed.
For more than 25 years, there was a Simi Valley business owner who contributed significantly to the youth of our city. His business taught kids physical, athletic skills regardless of whether or not they were naturally gifted athletes. Many of these student athletes became employees, teaching the next generation what they learned as kids. Simi Valley kids were taught they could achieve what they thought was impossible, in a nurturing, family-oriented environment. This business taught without discrimination, including even kids with disabilities, proving to everyone that even kids with special needs could thrive. This business was a member of the Chamber of Commerce since its opening day, but was never recognized.
This is the story I tell people when they ask me what I’m trying to accomplish with my various websites and online videos. There’s a lot going on in Simi Valley and the more we all know, the tighter a community we will be.