Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Our 26th Annual Installation & Awards Dinner is almost here and we are brimming with excitement over our theme and our awardees. This year - it's going to be crazy...rich. Join us on 2/28/19 for our Crazy Rich Asian themed Installation & Awards Dinner! But first, let's take a closer look at this year's winners and some lessons every entrepreneur can learn from these leaders.
1. AUTHENTICITY IS THE BEST MARKETING STRATEGY
TARO ARAI, MIKUNI'S RESTAURANT GROUP
2019 SACC Honoree
Taro is more than a business owner in Sacramento. He is a public figure, a pillar of the community, and a role model to young entrepreneurs throughout our region. A large part of Taro's success as an individual comes from authenticity and openness about his upbringing, heritage, business, and personality. For instance, in his book, Abundance, he shares the highs and lows of running his restaurants. He is an avid social media user, and he's consistently invited to speak in our community. Taro's businesses thrive off the charisma and honesty of their leader. Whether its negotiating contracts, developing partnerships, or simply making customers feel at home, authenticity and honesty are the foundation for the success of his business ventures. Taro is a fantastic example of how leaning into your own experiences and being genuine can transform your business into a brand.
2. NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM
PUTU BLANCO, PAUL BLANCO'S GOOD CAR COMPANY
2019 SACC Community Service Honoree
Putu Blanco is a well-known member of the API-Community through her business ventures and philanthropic work. She is an avid supporter of My Sister's House, a non-profit focused on ending domestic violence in the API-community, serves on the board of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce as well as other community focused organizations, and regularly engages AAPI small business owners in the Sacramento Region through her support of the SACC as a member for the past 19 years.
In her role in Paul Blanco's Good Car Company as CFO, she aims to empower the women within her workforce and continue to support minority women across the state. She proudly wears her heritage on her sleeve and encourages others to do so. We are proud to be awarding the Community Service Award to Putu for all her efforts to enable the API community!
3. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
KATIE MCGHEE, ARGENT INSURANCE AGENCY
Ambassador of the Year
Katie McGhee has been an active ambassador of the SACC for three years. In both her work for Argent Insurance Agency as CEO and as an Ambassador of the chamber she has always excelled in consistent, personalized service. Whether it be consistently coming to events, making it to meetings, checking in with a phone call - both the SACC and the clients of Argent Insurance Agency are lucky to have such dependable and dedicated support from Katie.
4. STAY AT THE FOREFRONT
Small Business of the Year
Under the leadership of Tyler Kearns, President of SEVENLEAVES and board member of the SACC, SEVENLEAVES has become an active member of the Sacramento small business community in every possible way. Not only does SEVENLEAVES participate in our events like the Kickball Tournament, but they also served as the poster child of SMUDs Cannabis Green Initiative, sponsored and participated in Cannabis Industry conferences like our own Cannabis Talks and the High Time Cannabis Cup, and travelled to Denver, Colorado to learn more about industry operation and policy. SEVENLEAVES' approach in the "budding" California cannabis industry is one of transparency and activity. They are a testament to the possibilities of the industry and how leveraging the power of your community network can open doors for your business.
5. EVERY COMMUNICATION MATTERS
KELLY FONG RIVAS, OFFICE OF MAYOR STEINBERG
As Chief of Staff to Mayor Darrell Sternberg, Kelly is tasked with an insurmountable amount of coordination and decision making but handles it with a sense of ease that is near terrifying. In our work with her on projects like Transforming Our Commercial Corridors, the 2nd Annual Capital Region Executive Leadership Mission, and the Sacramento Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative, one thing became clear about Kelly - she is very deliberate and thoughtful in her communication.
“Kelly’s unshakable integrity, collaborative nature and proven leadership has been integral for my staff and for the entire city team. I have no doubt she will continue to be the kind of hardworking public servant and consensus builder the City needs to meet the challenges ahead... She heads up a world-class senior staff worthy of a world-class city and I look forward to the brighter future we are building for Sacramento together.” - Mayor Darrell Steinberg
It is this thoughtfulness that brought our Dinner Committee to award Kelly Fong Rivas our Emerging Leader Award this year. It is well deserved.
6. Contribute to Your Community and Your Community Contributes to You
SIEMENS MOBILITY, INC.
Corporate Steward Award
On a global scale, Siemens has engaged in community - focused practices from sustainability to supplier diversity. For instance, pledging to become carbon-neutral by 2030, Siemens has launched numerous energy efficiency programs, leveraging distributed-energy systems, reducing fleet emissions and purchasing green energy—all to reduce their carbon footprint. They have also granted more than $3 billion worth of industrial software to community colleges and universities in an effort to make education more accessible across the globe. Here in Sacramento, Siemens Mobility, Inc. is an active supporter of infrastructure, supplier diversity, and education initiatives, both through the work with our chamber and through several other non-profits. They are an excellent example of how by investing in your community, your community is enabled to invest back into you.