Member's Choice and Azalea Awards

Honoring Business Excellence & Community Service
At our Annual Dinner, we recognize businesses that continue to grow, contribute to the community and have good employee relations and customer service standards.  It is a way to honor those businesses that go above and beyond.  These businesses are nominated voted on by the chamber members. The 2018 Member's Choice Awards were held in March. 

And the 2018 Member's Choice Award Winners are................
New Business of the Year: GROCERY OUTLET
Large Business of the Year: EUREKA NATURAL FOODS

Small Business of the Year: 

Small Business of the Year: THE PARLOUR (Tie) 


Home-Based Business of the Year: DIANE'S SWEET HEAT

Non-Profit of the Year: McKINLEYVILLE LIONS CLUB

Ambassador of the Year: CAROL PALMER
Azalea Award Recipients
The Azalea Award is an annual tradition started in 2001. It is given by the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce and chosen by the past Azalea Award recipients. The award is traditionally given to McKinleyville community members who have a history of service and continue to serve today.

We are extremely honored to present the 2018 Azalea Award to a very deserving couple.

Kenny and Cathy Richards have lived in McKinleyville for almost 60 years. They both attended Morris, Dow’s Prairie and McKinleyville Middle School and graduated from McK High in 1971. They said that they had great teachers who inspired them and they could not wait to go to school every day. They met in church and were married at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in 1973 and just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.

They both attended College of the Redwoods. Kenny continued on to HSU where he majored in Business and played football. Kenny was employed as a teacher, coach, Department Chair, Assistant Principal and then Principal at McKinleyville High School, his alma mater.  He was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent of Business for seven years and then chosen as the Superintendent of Northern Humboldt U.H.S.D for his last fifteen years.  He retired in 2012, after 36.5 years of employment.  He wasn’t very good at sitting and twiddling his thumbs, so he went back to work four years ago at Humboldt State University and is administering the Educational Leadership Administrative Credential program. Cathy was employed as a bookkeeper by a local business and finished her career working for the Northern Humboldt U.H.S.D. for twenty-five years. She always dealt with the family affairs such as kids, school and athletic events. She never missed a game and often times transported other team members.

They have three boys, their spouses and six grandchildren, whom they are extremely proud of: Bill has completed 20 years in the Army with four tours in the Middle East, three in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Bill and his wife, Amy have four children. John has been in the Coast Guard for eight years and is busy saving lives. He and his wife, Maddie have two children. Thomas graduated from the University of Oregon, Lundquist Business School. He has been an insurance agent in Arcata for 5 years. He married his wife, Kellie in September 2017.

When asked for their thoughts on living in McKinleyville for so long, here is what they had to say: “McKinleyville was and continues to be a wonderful, safe community to grow up in. Where we had great families, friends and coworkers that shaped our lives.  As kids, we rode our bikes and horses from Clam Beach to Mad River to Baldy Mountain.  Most of the time, you could find us somewhere in the neighborhood (boys and girls, brothers and sisters) in a field playing baseball, football, Hide and Seek, or even golf.  We all had part-time jobs picking daffodil bulbs in the fields or picking up golf balls at Beau Pre Golf Course. As adults, we were one of the lucky families that worked locally which allowed us to stay home in McKinleyville.”

Kenny was fortunate to get a teaching job in McKinleyville. They raised their boys in the same community they called home, around family (Grandmas and Grandpas) and friends. A place with good schools, good people, and good family and friends. People who watch out for kids. Even though horses have the right-of-way, kids are the main focus of McKinleyville….They both say that Kids Rock!

It is a true honor to recognize Kenny and Cathy Richards as the 2018 Azalea Award recipients.

Past Recipients:
2001 - Opie Hendricks
2002 - Eleanor Sullivan
2003 - Mark & Linda Rynearson
2004 - Art & Karen Hooven
2005 - Jim & Kerry Furtado
2006 - Greg & Christina Cain
2007 - Ben Shephard & Wendy Wahlund
2008 - Tom & Mary Marking
2009 - Anne Hartline
2010 - Don & Marleen Miller / Dick & Joan Miller
2011 - Al &  Sarie Toste
2012 - Don & Linda Harling
2013 - Garth & Linda Sundberg
2014 - Tim Hooven and Becky Roberts
2015 - Ross & Kelly Miller
2016 - Bob Wainwright & Cyndi Bainbridge
2017 - Weston Kime & Courtney Kime