Pleasant Hill Community Awards Night

The 47th Annual Community Awards Night was held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center on Civic Drive. The event included awards for Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Teen of the Year, Educator of the Year, Education Supporter of the Year, Mayor’s Award, several Green Awards and others. Listed below are all of this year's award recipients. The Awards Night video of the event may be viewed here

2017 Award Winners (Photo by Susan Wood Photography)

2017 Awards Winners Group Shot webversioncropped

(Front row) – Liberty Dimick (Rec & Park Board Appreciation Award), Ethan Tuey (Teen of the Year), Allen & Sandy Vinson (Citizen of the Year), Connie Anderson (Chamber Ambassador of the Year), Sharrie Bettencourt (Green Community Award, representing DVC), Tom Guarino (Chamber President’s Legacy Award), Sara Cuff (Rec & Park Board Appreciation Award)

(Back row) – Jeff Eide (Education Supporter of the Year), Wade Cantrell (Chamber Business Hall of Fame Award), Laima Haider (Educator of the Year, CPHS), Kevin Suto (Business of the Year, Zachary’s Pizza), Michelle Diaz-Ramirez (Chamber Board Appreciation Award), Terrie Nixon & Tamara Helfer (Green Community Award, MDUSD Garden Education Program), Marian Woodard & John Matthesen (Mayor’s Award), and Sheila Hill (Green Community Award).

2017 Award Winners



Citizen of the Year - Allen & Sandy Vinson
Allen and Sandy Vinson have lived in Pleasant Hill since 1976. Both have been active in numerous school, sporting and charitable organizations and events for many years. In particular, Allen & Sandy have been key members of the Pleasant Hill Fourth of July Commission for the past 12 years and the Rotary Club for 15 years.

Mayor's Award - Marian Woodard & John Matthesen
Marian Woodard and John Matthesen of Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center received the Mayor's Award. Marian and John started the Urban Farm about six years ago and it has grown into a major teaching center and biodynamic garden, where sustainable living classes are held frequently.

Business of the Year - Zachary's Pizza (Kevin Suto)

Employee owned and operated, Zachary’s not only makes great pizza, they support many local causes and organizations. 

Educator of the Year - Laima Haider (College Park High School)
An AP History teacher at College Park, Ms. Haider is known for her dedication and love of teaching. She inspires her students to think critically and learn about issues on a global level. She is the perfect example of a teacher who is changing the world, one student at a time.

Teen of the Year - Ethan Tuey
A 12th grade student at College Park. Ethan serves as the President of the CPHS Interact Club and captain of the College Park Swim Team. He is a 7th year Pleasant Hill Teen Council member, current chair, and has contributed more than 600 hours volunteering for community events and fundraisers.

Green Business Award - Diablo Valley College 
(Sustainability Committee)

The DVC Sustainability Committee, led by Frank Ichigaya and Sharrie Bettencourt, has expanded recycling and composting programs on campus, and implemented other sustainable practices. 

Green Community Award- MDUSD Garden Education Program
The MDUSD (Farm 2 School) Garden Education project continues to expand a district-wide program that supports science and garden education while cultivating environmental stewardship.  This collaborative project is currently in two Pleasant Hill elementary schools - Fair Oaks and Sequoia, with successful and replicable education programs in place that teach children about gardening and nutrition, emphasizing Next Generation Science Standards.  

Education Supporter of the Year - Jeff Eide
This new award was given to Jeff Eide by  the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education (FPHE). Jeff is a longtime parent volunteer in Pleasant Hill Schools and current president of the College Park Athletic Boosters.

Community Plus Award - Eric Hu (City of Pleasant Hill)
The Community Plus Award, which goes to an employee of either the City or the Rec & Park District, was given to Eric Hu, the City's Senior Civil Engineer. Eric oversees many of the City’s capital improvement projects and has brought in over $30 million in grant funding for these projects over the past 11 years.


Other awards:

  • PH Rec & Park District Board Appreciation Award – Liberty Dimick & Sara Cuff
  • PH Rec & Park District Community Service Award – Pleasant Hill Dog Owners Group (PHDog)
  • Pleasant Hill Chamber Board Appreciation Award – Michele Diaz-Ramirez
  • Chamber Ambassador of the Year – Connie Anderson
  • Chamber Hall of Fame Award – Wade Cantrell
  • Chamber President's Legacy Award - Tom Guarino
  • PH Community Foundation Cornerstone Award – David Durant



1allen and sandy vinson
john and marian
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MDUSD Garden Education Project
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