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2024 OACC Board of Directors Takes Oath of Office

Oakhurst Chamber Dinner and Awards

OAKHURST—Each year the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce holds a Member Appreciation and Installation Dinner, at which the chamber recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the mountain community during the year. Further, the occasion marks the start of the new chamber year and installation of the 2024 officers and directors.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet

Oakhurst Community CenterDressed “to the Nines” for Chamber Dinner

The Oakhurst Community Center rolled out the red carpet to welcome the approximately 100 attendees. Jessica Trettin of The Wandering Bride once again demonstrated her decorating skills to transform the center into a glittering spectacle of red, black and white. The dinner featured cuisine catered by Willow Creek Catering, a hosted bar and music by Terry Robinson.

Chamber Changes

Adam Olivares, OACC Executive Director

OACC  introduced some major internal changes, as well, when president Wade Wheeler announced that chamber offices have moved to the community center. In yet another change, he introduced attendees to Adam Olivares, the new Executive Director, who launched his chamber employment that Monday.

Award Winners

Although named as Man, Woman and Business of the Year for 2023, those honored have each exhibited many years of service to their community as well as to the Oakhurst Chamber. (Photos below.)

Man of the Year – Nick Schneider, Yosemite Mortgage. Nick grew up in Oakhurst, graduated from Yosemite High School and joined his father, Roger Schneider, in the mortgage business. Nick has been on the OACC board for about seven years and has served as its treasurer for several of those. He has been a mainstay of the chamber, always offering a hand with events whenever he’s asked. Last year’s Man of the Year, Travis Trettin, presented the award.

Woman of the Year – Belinda (Billie) Ditton, Century 21 Ditton Realty. She’s the driving force behind the Oakhurst Christmas Tree Lighting, one of the major events of Oakhurst’s yea, as well as the woman behind Brad Ditton and Century 21 Ditton Realty. Realtor Donna Pride presented the award to Billie.

Business of the Year – Oakhurst Business Center. Owner Christel Hays accepted the award on behalf of Oakhurst Business Center. Christel and Oakhurst Business Center have been major chamber supporters for years. Whenever something is needed that’s in her bailiwick, she provides it to the chamber either free or at cost. She volunteers for every event and spent all of 2023’s Oakhurst Fall Festival camped on park grounds to interface with security and provide help whenever needed.

Added Awards

Two well-deserved awards have been added to this year’s list (photos below):

Volunteer of the Year – Chris Edwards.  Chamber president Wade Wheeler announced a new award for Volunteer of the Year, stating that it is long overdue. The chamber cannot operate without volunteers. It’s fitting, however, that the first award goes to Chris Edwards. Oakhurst Fall Festival is OACC’s biggest event of the year, and Chris was present from before the beginning to after its end. He took on anything he was asked, and much more, always with a smile.

Non-Profit of the Year – Golden Chain Theatre. A community staple, the Golden Chain Theatre boasts more talent than would ever be expected in a town Oakhurst’s size. Their products, whether drama, comedy or melodrama, are so professionally executed you’d think you’re in the big city. James Mierky, Jennifer Janine and Michael Van Buren accepted the award on behalf of Golden Chain Theatre.

2024 Oakhurst Chamber Board Announced

At the end of the evening, District 5 Supervisor Bobby Macaulay swore in the 2024 Oakhurst Chamber Board of Directors, which consists of:

  • PresidentWade Wheeler, Sierra News Online
  • Past President*- Donna Smith, Foster & Parker (retired)*
  • President-ElectChristian Mueller, The Redwoods in Yosemite
  • SecretaryCandace Lavoie, Claiborne, Lavoie and Associates
  • TreasurerBrian Gearhart, Century 21 Ditton Realty
  • DirectorMichelle Bradford, Custom Plus Construction
  • DirectorRachael Sims Snedecor, Roots Up Collective
  • DirectorLanie Suderman, Visit Yosemite|Madera County
  • Director – Jessica Trettin, The Wandering Bride

*2023 President Deb Sprinkel of Century 21 Ditton Realty regretfully resigned from the chamber board when urgent family health issues demanded her attention. Stepping up to take her place is long-time chamber member and past president Donna Smith.

Photos courtesy of Carrie Jenkins Photography and Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce.

Nick Schneider of Yosemite Mortgage accepts award for Man of the Year.

Realtor Donna Pride presents Woman of the Year award to Billie Ditton

Christel Hays accepts Business of the Year Award from OACC Executive Director Adam Olivares+

Chris Edwards receives newly-minted Volunteer of the Year Award

Golden Chain Theatre receives award for Non-Profit of the Year, accepted by James Mierky, Jennifer Janine and Michael Van Buren

Assorted Dinner Photos

Terry Robinson provided the evening’s musical entertainment.

The moment Nick realizes he’s Man of the Year.

Adam Olivares looks on as Belinda Ditton receives Woman of the Year award from Donna Pride.

Youngest Attendee: Ferrin, daughter of Dani and Dylan Melella

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