Annual Banquet A Tribute To Yuma Commerce

The longtime accounting firm of Shippen and Associates was honored as the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year during the organization’s annual banquet Friday evening.

Dr. Jeanne Elnadry was selected as the recipient of the Athena International Award, and Elyse Tera, owner and operator of Acupuncture of Yuma, was named the Small Business Person of the Year.

In addition, Deputy Tom Linville was honored as the patrol officer of the year for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, and Detention Officer S. Salazar was selected as the detention officer of the year.

In other business, the gavel was passed to Dr. Larry Gould, the 2014 chairman of the chamber’s board of directors.

In turn, he installed the 2014 board members, including Ed Shippen, Shirley Epke, Debbie Mansheim, Shelly Mellon, Tom Tolman, Tom Pancrazi, Matt Molenar, Craig Barrows, Derek Egeberg and Rob Filbey and outgoing chairman Dan Fauth. Outgoing board member Pat Walz was recognized for his service.

In his remarks, Gould said that Yuma is “a community of partners. We find ways to put aside our differences and put the community first.”

He continued: “Chambers are democracy in action. They’re dedicated to the free enterprise system and are keeping our country strong and productive. They make a community a better place to live and to make a living.”

Chamber Executive Director Ken Rosevear noted that the Yuma chamber is among the top 10 in the state for membership, with approximately 850 members.

Rosevear said the chamber’s biggest accomplishment of the year was its role in the community’s fight against HB 2338 that would have established authorities that could buy and sell water across the state. The bill was seen by many in the community and the agriculture industry as a grab on Yuma County’s rights to Colorado River water. After hearing testimony by several people from Yuma and others in the agriculture industry, the bill was held in committee and never made it to the floor of the House of Representatives.

He also commended the Shop Locally campaign that encourages people to support local businesses and keep their dollars in the community.

Rosevear, who had announced his retirement plans last year, said he will be stepping down in December. He has been the chamber’s executive director for 16 years.

Shippen and Associates was selected for the Member of the Year honor from the 12 monthly winners in 2013.

The firm was founded 35 years ago by Ed Shippen. His partner, Vicki Templeton, joined the firm 22 years ago. Both are active in the chamber: Shippen is in his second term on the board and served for awhile as its treasurer while Templeton was named the 2013 Ambassador of the Year.

Shippen said he values chamber involvement because “it’s important to know what is going on and know people who can help make positive change. We all need to partner to make Yuma a better place.”

In other community involvement, he was a founder of Yuma Youth Soccer Association and over the years has served on various city boards.

Templeton, a graduate of Northern Arizona University-Yuma, also belongs to Yuma Business Network chapter of BNI “because “I feel it is important to know other business people.”

Dr. Elnadry, who was unable to attend the chamber banquet, was selected for the Athena award because of her work as medical director of Hospice of Yuma, founder of the Yuma Regional Medical Center Palliative Care Team and her efforts to educate caregivers in the elements of palliative care.

“Dr. Jeanne Elnadry is the consummate educator when it comes to hospice and palliative care,” states her nomination. “She educates patients, families and colleagues in such a gentle manner that is so effective – they don’t even know they are being educated. She exemplifies the qualities of strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment in all that she does and her colleagues believe that her steadfast commitment to enlightening others through professional collaboration has enhanced the quality of community caregivers.”

The nomination continued: “Fellow physicians have witnessed her steadfast advocacy of understanding a patient’s needs, and she is seen by her fellow physicians as a natural candidate for the Athena Award because she is a role model who has profoundly touched and encouraged others to think creatively and care deeply for their patients. Her wisdom provides all who come in contact with her with a profound sense of inspirational clarity, and her willingness to consistently share that wisdom is the essence of her gift.”

Small Business of the Year recipient Tera moved to Yuma seven years ago this month from Canada and opened her business that provides traditional Chinese medicine and classical acupuncture. Today, she has grown her practice into the leading acupuncturist in the city and ventured into other therapies. From a staff of herself, she now has a full-time employee, two massage therapists and two support staff.

Yuma County Sheriff Lean Wilmot observed that it’s nice to have the opportunity during the chamber banquet to recognize outstanding officers – “the best unsung heroes in my eyes.”

Linville, patrol officer of the year, has been with YCSO since January 2011 and in that short time “has proven himself to be a dedicated law enforcement professional.” Over the last year, he has excelled in DUI enforcement and was recognized for his efforts by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He also has been hard at work to develop a patrol K-9 program for YCSO.

Detention Officer Salazar began his career with YCSO in December 2006 and has worked the multiple custody levels at the jail. Currenty, he works as a jail investigator and recently identified a potentially suicidal prisoner and sought appropriate assistance. While continuing his work at the Detention Center, he also is attending the Arizona Western College Law Enforcement Academy.