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Maderans to be honored at Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Madera Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winners.

They are Mohammad A. Arain, M.D., a longtime Madera surgeon; the Rev. Roger Leach, senior pastor of Valley West Christian Center; Jim Taubert, executive director of the former Madera Redevelopment Agency; and Mike Westley, a former Madera Unified School District trustee and education activist.

Also to be honored, in memoriam, is Virginia Lee Rose, a community activist who died in 2015, and after whom a new elementary school has been named.

The Chamber will provide a one-time scholarship to a local high school graduate in honor of Rose. A banquet honoring the Lifetime Achievement Award recipients is scheduled for Aug. 18, beginning at 6 p.m., at Hatfield Hall on the Madera District Fairgrounds.

Cost for the event is $50 per person. Sponsorships are available, according to chamber president and chief executive officer Debi Bray.

For reservations, contact the chamber at 673-3563.

“Our community has benefited greatly from the generosity and goodwill of these outstanding individuals who have served Madera and beyond,” Bray said. “They have helped build a stronger community and exemplify the spirit of service.”

Melisa DaSilva, who initiated the Lifetime Achievement Awards program in 2005, said, “I feel it is one of the greatest tributes we can provide to such deserving people who have done so much for our community.”

The banquet also will include the swearing in of the chamber’s officers and board of directors for 2016-17, Bray said.

These include Dr. Jim Chin, retired Madera Community College Center educator, chairman of the board; Dennis Smith, owner of General Builders Supply (GBS), vice chair; Jason Keledjian, DDS, treasurer and second vice chair; and Liz Salas of Central Valley Community Bank, past chair.

Directors include Nadeem Ahmad of Sixstar, Belva Bare of Madera Cemetery District, Chuck Doud of The Madera Tribune, Tom Greci of Madera Irrigation District, Annette Kwock of Mid Valley Disposal, Emlen Miles-Mattingly of Principal Financial, Tom Mitchell of the Madera District Fair and Martin Vale of Cedar Creek Senior Living.

Leaving the board after two terms are Eugene Bell of Kingsview Skills4Success, Julie Herd of the Madera County Economic Development Commission, and Bret Mercer of Quality Machinery. Illustrated profiles of the award winners, along with a list of past winners, will be included in a special section of The Madera Tribune that will be published Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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