Thursday, December 06, 2007

Businesses Honored for Showing Spirit of Solano

Businesses Honored for Showing Spirit of Solano
By Ines Bebea | Daily Republic | December 06, 2007 11:36

FAIRFIELD - The annual Spirit of Solano Awards luncheon was buzzing with the selfless community contributions made by each of the honorees.

More than 400 guests, including representatives from all levels of government in Solano County along with business advocates and business owners in the seven cities, filled the Delta Breeze Club at Travis Air Force Base. The 12th annual awards celebration was sponsored by Westamerica Bank and hosted by David Payne, chairman, president and CEO of Westamerica Bancorp.

The Daily Republic newspaper, a McNaughton family-owned daily publication since 1960, was chosen to receive the award by the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. The nine honorees were selected by their respective chambers of commerce as businesses that best exemplified the Spirit of Solano through community involvement.

The Daily Republic was recognized for a long list of community participation such as its support of the Solano Community Symphony, the NorthBay Hospice, the Artys awards and the Heather House shelter, and its sponsorship of the Solano Library's Foundation Authors Luncheon.

'Our community involvement is part of what private, independently owned newspapers do,' said Bill James, publisher of the Daily Republic. 'We don't answer to stockholders or a corporate board. Our responsibility is to the people that own the local businesses and to the people that run them. We have a stake in what happens here.'

This is the second time the Daily Republic has received the Spirit of Solano Award. It is the first time in the history of the awards that a past honoree was honored again.

'The culture of community involvement is something that comes from the top of our leadership lead by our CEO, Foy McNaughton, and it is passed down to our employees,' James said. 'We encourage our employees to improve the overall quality of life and health of the community.'

Earlier in the year, the Daily Republic received the Business of the Year award from the Fairfield Suisun-Chamber of Commerce during the chamber's annual luncheon. Local business advocates praised the Daily Republic for its continued involvement in the community, news coverage and its long-term investment.

Michael Ammann, president and CEO of the Solano Economic Development Corp., remarked on the newspaper's history and its contributions.

'We recognize their contributions because it comes from the heart, ' Ammann said. 'Besides their everyday responsibilities as a business, they take time out to truly be involved in the community, and that's something to commend all of the honorees for.'

Payne summed up the honorees as businesses that quietly perform work that benefits the entire community.

'What all these businesses represent is the best of the community and that they do it while they run their business,' Payne said. 'The Daily Republic has been a paper of great tradition, an active member of the Fairfield community and a quality publication in our county.'

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or

2007 Spirit of Solano honorees:
Benicia Chamber of Commerce: John and Maria Teresa Matthews, owners of Baskin-Robbins
Dixon Chamber of Commerce: Bill Birdsong of the Embroidery Shop of Dixon, Inc.
Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce: the Daily Republic
Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce: Jeff Holder of Old Republic Title
Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce: Jim McPherson and Ira Witcraft of McPherson Crane & Rigging
Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce: Lennis, P. Francis of LPL Financial Services
Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Carlos Trevino of MLS Mortgage Co.
Vacaville Chamber of Commerce: Kevin English, Ron Waslohn, Steve Spencer and Scott Sheldon, founders of Premier Commercial Real Estate
Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, Verna Mustico of Mustico Realty

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