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    Prescott Valley News-2021 Community Excellence Award winners

    2021 Community Excellence Award winners 

    The Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 16 honored local residents with its annual  Community Excellence Awards. The event took place at Findlay Toyota Center with a catered dinner by  Gabby’s Family of Restaurants. 

    2021 Honorees include: 

    Citizen of the Year: Alexes Niekamp 

    Alexes Niekamp is the current Miss Yavapai County and made keeping the arts alive her platform and her mission in life. During the pandemic, she collected and distributed 1,000 art items to local schools Franklin Phonetic and Acorn Montessori, and has also donated to the local Girl Scout troop. She participated in reading during Reading across America as well as helped the PV Chamber with delivering supplies to new teachers. 

    Alexes welcomed Prescott Valley’s new Wrangler Football team and encouraged them to have a  dance team, which she coordinated and continues to support as the dance coach. She has participated in Prescott Valley Days, EGGstravaganza, Halloween events, Team Up to Clean Up, and Patriot Day. 

    She is a member of the Prescott Valley Early Bird Lions Club and has helped with the Christmas tree lot and the Yavapai Food Bank/Chamber’s Flying High Turkey Drive. 

    Student of the Year: Sierra Woolley 

    Sierra Woolley is a Bradshaw Mountain High School graduate who has served as Public Relations  Officer for the Student Council, co-president of the National Honor Society, captain for the BMHS Girls’  varsity basketball team. She has been on the Principal’s List /High Honor Roll for all four years. During her athletic career, she was the Grand Canyon Region Defensive Player of the Year for two years; made  Grand Canyon Region 1st Team All-Region two years in a row, was honored among KYCA’S Top 10  Female Athletes, and was Team Defensive Player of the Year for two years in a row. 

    Sierra has volunteered as a math tutor, Sunday school teacher, communion and vacation Bible school assistant, meal deliverer, clothing exchange daycare provider, Boys & Girls Club game leader,  and more. She has served as a bell ringer for Salvation Army, participated in Read Across America,  provided gifts for Angel Tree, and wrapped gifts for Arizona Children’s Association. 

    She also has worked as a lifeguard and taught swim lessons at the Mountain Valley Splash pool.  She plans to attend Western Washington University to study Environmental Science or Marine  Biology with an aim to make an impact on environmental and climate issues. 

    Teacher of the Year: Sarah Herschelman 

    Sarah Herschelman has taught Physical Education at Bradshaw Mountain Middle School for more than 15 years, and she makes a lasting impact on each student she works with. Many students are petrified of middle school PE, the dreaded locker room, and changing out into uniforms. With “Hersh” as the students call her, students are all surprised with how safe they feel with PE and how they all know that they are all working to become the best person they can be. 

    Staff and students all love working with Hersch as her positive attitude, sense of humor, dedication to kids, and Her heart of gold are evident to anyone who is around her. 

    “Ms. Herschelman loves her students, and they love her,” her nominator wrote. “She models and teaches respect for all. She serves many students with emotional and cognitive needs. I cry each time I  see students who struggle to finish the mile for the first time without stopping, and their peers are running and cheering them to the finish line. Ms. Herschelman is a unique and exemplary educator who  is a true gift to the town of Prescott Valley.” 

    Business Leader of the Year: Tim Swenor 

    At a time when business people needed to step up to keep the economy going Tim was the right person to lead the way. When Covid-19 hit more than a year ago, the owner of A&B Prospecting  Supplies, Ryan DeShon, asked Tim if he would like to close the store that he managed, stay home and draw unemployment. Tim said no because there are a lot of miners that come in for their mining equipment. For some, it is their only source of income. Tim didn’t know if his store would survive, but he was determined to give it all he had. 

    Within six months he outgrew his store because so many new prospectors came in. Some were unemployed and were looking for something they could do for extra income or, were people who wanted to do something outdoors with their families to avoid crowds of people. 

    Tim found a bigger store and moved the business into it over Thanksgiving weekend 2020. The new store at 8101 E Highway 69 Suite C is filled to the brim with metal detectors and mining supplies. Tim has put in countless hours without extra pay so he can better serve his community. Innovative,  customer service, and integrity make Tim one of Prescott Valley’s valuable business leaders. 

    Organization of the Year: Real Hope 

    Serving the underserved during the pandemic brought this non-profit to the forefront in 2020. Real Hope was started to help provide food to those in need. They have been organizing and distributing food boxes since March of 2020 and have continued until today. They have distributed 2.8  million pounds of food not only in our area but also to the Navajo Nation. 

    Real Hope is a nonprofit organization in Prescott Valley servicing local, state, and nationwide. Their focus is on providing food to those in need. They work with local churches, the government, and the private sector to accomplish their mission. They are volunteer-based and donation-driven. 

    When the community of Bagdad had the recent devastating fires, Real Hope was there with food and supplies. The nominator stated, “It is always a joy to volunteer to help this organization because of  the joy they have in giving to the community all without judgment of individual circumstances and the  driving need to help others.” 

    Norm Pariseau Volunteers of the Year: Milan and Kathy Norum 

    Milan Norum thought it was a good thing when his wife Kathy began volunteering in 2018 to walk  dogs at the Yavapai Humane Society. “Most of the dogs just want attention and love. It really makes me feel good when I come across a dog that is really scared and unsure, and I can turn that around where the dog can be trusted and loving,” she said. “The best part is seeing the dog be adopted.” 

    Soon, Milan thought, “Heck, it’s time to do something. I had always liked dogs.” Little did he know  that he and Kathy’s “a couple of times a week” volunteer service would expand to nearly every day as 

    Covid-19 stopped many volunteers from being able to come in. Now, Kathy works at the shelter, and  Milan has virtually adopted all the dogs at YHS. 

    Milan finds himself spending more and more time at YHS, working with the dogs and doing needed odd jobs such as making signs, fixing doors, and putting beds together. He especially loves the pit bulls,  because they get a bad rap. He says he’s never had a problem with them! 

    Community Improvement Award I: Sunset Lane Corridor Project 

    The Sunset Lane Corridor Project was a partnership between the Town of Prescott Valley and  Yavapai County to provide roadway improvements to the Sunset Lane corridor between Prescott East  Highway and Pine View Drive. Improvements included widening the roadway to three lanes, new curb,  gutter, and sidewalk, and installing underground drainage infrastructure. The project will help mitigate past stormwater drainage problems and improve pedestrian mobility through the neighborhood. Street lighting at each roadway intersection along Sunset Lane has improved nighttime visibility. Water and sewer upgrades were also part of the project. 

    The project contract cost of $5.9 million dollars was jointly funded with Town development impact fees, Yavapai County Public Works regional roadway funds, and Yavapai County Flood Control District monies. Both governments contributed to the design and construction oversight. 

    Community Improvement Award II: The Landings of Prescott Valley 

    The Landings at Prescott Valley is an Assisted Living and Secured Assisted Living (Memory Care)  facility located on Windsong Drive between Florentine and Lakeshore. 

    The construction of this beautiful Senior Living community not only improved the aesthetics of the area but provided a much-needed opportunity for additional residential living in Prescott Valley. The  Secured Assisted Living (Memory Care) reaches an underserved population in the Town which enables these residents to remain in Prescott Valley. 

    Construction of the 60,000 square foot facility with 106 units was completed in 2020. Residents’  costs are all-inclusive with no restrictions for the level of care and include rent, all utilities, cable, wifi,  housekeeping, and laundry, three meals and snacks, help with bathing, toileting and dressing,  medication management, and scheduled transportation to medical appointments. 

    Future plans include an Independent Living facility to the north of the current location in approximately 1-2 years. 

    The Landings at Prescott Valley is the perfect example of private investment in Prescott Valley creating the finest in Community Improvement both in a physical and quality of life sense. 

    Chamber Member of the Year: Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group 

    Sanford and Terry Cohen went on the air with Prescott Valley’s first licensed radio station on Sept.  1, 1985, from a Robert Road studio using a telephone pole-mounted antenna. The call letters, KPPV  represent Prescott, Prescott Valley. In 1987, the Cohens moved the antenna to Glassford Hill and developed the first solar-powered FM radio station in the United States. In the following 36 years, the business has become Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group, encompassing nine stations throughout  Arizona. 

    Sanford and Terry have made a long-term investment in the Town of Prescott Valley and the  Chamber of Commerce. Sanford served on the Board of Directors and was President in 2001-2002,  exactly 20 years ago. 

    Today Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group continues to be a valuable Chamber member. Prescott  Valley representatives serve as Chamber Ambassadors, and the Cohens have given the Chamber a  valuable voice to the community, sharing members and events on the Talk of the Town Prescott Valley  Show.

    Prescott Valley Heritage Award 2021: Joe Contadino 

    In partnership with Bill Fain and the Fain Signature Group, Joe Contadino truly has helped to grow the Prescott Valley community in a positive way. Joe and Bill joined forces in 1997 to begin the development of the Granville subdivision, named in honor of cowboy, rancher, and businessman  Granville Dan Fain, who was part of the first generation of Arizona Fains. 

    Throughout the 20-year buildout of Granville, Joe contributed literally hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy of Prescott Valley. Through his charitable contributions, both personally and through his company, Universal Homes, he greatly benefitted the Yavapai Regional Medical Center East  Campus, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona in Prescott Valley, and countless other non-profit organizations throughout the Town. 

    Humboldt Unified School District Board Member Rich Adler said, “Mr. Contadino approached us several years ago to initiate a land swap deal, and in the process, he immediately offered to build us a much-needed road, to our specifications, to assist with bus transportation in and out of Granville  Elementary School. Several times recently, he has agreed to changes and additions to the scope of work,  without any objection, for our benefit, and solely at his expense. He has been a pleasure to work with as  the project nears completion.” 

    While building Granville, Joe brought quality infrastructure, parks, clubhouse facilities, and beautiful landscaping. He has contributed significantly to the quality growth of Prescott Valley.

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