GSN NEws Staff

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 40th anniversary and recognized excelling businesses and individuals on June 20 at the organization’s 12th Annual Business Awards Luncheon.

The Chamber kicked off the event with trivia questions about 1978, the organization’s first year in existence.

Here is a rundown of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 honorees:

Robin Hall –

Volunteer of the Year

As a chamber ambassador, Hall “is visible everywhere,” the Chamber said. Hall is an active and vocal supporter of the Chamber’s mission and frequently talks to local business owners about the organization while also attending events like ribbon cuttings, the Public Policy Speaker Series, GEM Talks and Chamber Connections.

According to the Chamber, “She feels that the more you invest of yourself, your time and your abilities, the more you can help others, and the more benefits you receive in return.”

Hall uses the networking opportunities provided by the Chamber to promote and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Gilbert. A cancer survivor, Hall raises money for the American Cancer Society through the event.

Candy Body –

Gilbert Leadership Award

Body is a graduate of Gilbert Leadership Class 20 and has supported the program ever since, twice serving on the Gilbert Leadership Program board of directors. In that role, she “has provided her expertise in organizational development to the program and the class members each year,” the Chamber said.

In addition to running Resource Leadership Group – a business that provides workshops and retreats for leadership and organizational development – Body also volunteers in the community and serves on boards for LEAD Charter Schools, Leading Edge Academy Queen Creek and Gilbert Talks.

Brett Manning –

Businessman of the Year

Manning was selected as the first employee of Silent-Aire, which has created over 350 jobs in Gilbert since 2013.

As the vice president of U.S. operations, he coaches and mentors senior and middle management staff, leads an internal leadership development program and engages with front-line employees in Gilbert and throughout the world.

Manning also has actively engaged in both the Chamber and larger Gilbert community by chairing the new Gilbert Manufacturers Council, hosting Tours for Teachers and serving on the Mayor’s Economic Forecast and Red Carpet Tour. He also participated in the Higley Unified School District Academic Blitz.

Stacey Coronado –

Businesswoman of the Year

Since opening 20 Volume Salon and Spa in Gilbert in 2012, Coronado has seen the business triple and experience a 20 percent growth rate every year. She “certainly exemplifies the essence of a successful businesswoman,” the Chamber said.

The entrepreneur also has been on the leading edge in her industry, promoting paperless and front-deskless operations and has been recognized for moving her industry toward new business models that focus on employee success.

She recently launched the 20 Volume Salon New Talent Academy.

In addition to her business, Coronado also focuses on philanthropic efforts and has donated over $30,000 to Western Resources Advocates to assist with clean water in Arizona. She also hosted a cut-a-thon to assist with a child’s medical bills and has partnered with numerous other local charities.

San Tan Ford –

Employer of Choice

“The culture at San Tan Ford is based on the theory that the glass is always half-full,” the Chamber said.

Owner Tim Hovik relies on the age-old adage that the customer always comes first and views customers as two types: external customers (consumers) and internal customers (employees).

The company ensures that employees do not have to miss family events to fulfill work obligations. He believes the success of the company should not be judged just on the company’s achievement alone, but also in its ability to achieve great things while promoting the idea that employees should live great lives.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – Large Business of the Year

The Chamber recognized Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for developing as an international aerospace center and commercial airport with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing and pilot training. The airport already supports 2,000 jobs on site with 1,000 acres left to develop.

The Chamber also lauded the airport’s recent development agreement with SkyBridgeAZ that will see the company develop an international e-commerce hub at the airport that is expected to support 17,000 direct and indirect jobs at buildout.

“During all the growth they continue to execute their customer service philosophy,” the Chamber said.

School of Rock –

Mid-Size Business of the Year

School of Rock provides performance-based music training with drums, bass, keys, guitar, and vocals and blends private lessons with group instruction holding the kids accountable to each other.

The business has “seen tremendous growth over the last year due to their involvement in the Chamber and community events,” the Chamber said.

Owner Megan Baskerville said the program not only provides music education but also helps kids become confident young people.

“They have worked hard to show Gilbert that they are one hundred percent a safe environment and the word of mouth has taken over,” the Chamber said.

The Nitro Live Icecreamery – Small Business of the Year

Owners Felicia and Rich Vandermolen have had an eventful two years in which they purchased a company, moved to a new location, left the franchise and rebranded to The Nitro Live Icecreamery.

Over the past year, the business has seen its catering business grow 200 percent, and it is on track to triple in business this year. The couple is planning on opening its second location soon and also will have its first franchise owner opening a location in Queen Creek in October.

The company creates its own ice cream bases, allowing it to accommodate many dietary restrictions. It also partners with community groups to donate ice cream and funds to charities.

The Chamber said, “Felicia stands behind their seven core values: community, customer experience, dietary options, transparency, responsibility, environment and education.

The Chamber also awarded $5,000 in scholarships to five students who graduated from local high schools.  Those students were Mesquite High School’s Bryson Jones, Desert Ridge High’s Samuel Sprague, Highland High’s Mia Gabrielle Buchanan, Gilbert Classical Academy’s Delaney Johns  and Higley High’s Lauren Gill.