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February 27, 2021

King City Chamber announces top award honorees

Adams, Owens and Aera selected for community contributions

KING CITY — The annual top awards chosen by the King City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture have been made, and earlier this month members shared the announcement that Steve Adams is Citizen of the Year, Aera Energy is Business of the Year and Dawn Owens is Friend of the Community for 2020.

Citizen of the Year

City Manager Steve Adams

Adams, city manager for King City, was notified when Rob Cullen announced the decision at a chamber and city ambassador meeting.

“I was very surprised,” Adams said. “It makes me a little uncomfortable because I think there are many caring and dedicated citizens in the community that are more deserving, and I think I am being recognized for things that involve team efforts with other individuals that deserve a lot of the credit.”

“However, I love King City and am passionate about doing what I can to make it the best place possible, so I am very honored,” Adams continued.

Being an active part of a community makes it like “being part of a big family,” he said.

“It is kind of my hobby as well as my profession, so I am fortunate to have a career and hobby that intersect so closely,” Adams added.

He said the united and supportive network of people wanting to help others and improve the community is a unique feature of King City.

“It makes community service fun when people have a common purpose and are generally working together to do good things,” Adams said. “There is so much negativity in the world these days, so I enjoy being around positive people that want to do good things.”

Business of the Year

Employees of Aera Energy, chosen as this year’s Business of the Year, volunteer in King City to help with food distributions pre-Covid. (Contributed Photo)

Aera Energy is also being recognized for its company and employee efforts in King City. While its local branch is located in San Ardo, Aera has supported projects in King City, such as the revamping of the soccer field, which now bears the name, Aera Soccer Park.

“We are humbled and proud to have been selected as the chamber’s Business of the Year,” said Kathy Miller, public affairs coordinator for Aera’s San Ardo office. “Aera and its employees do more than just work here. We are active members of our community. Aera and the King City Chamber are working toward the same goal: ensuring a vibrant local business economy that helps families and the community thrive. We make such an incredible impact when we work together.”

Miller noted it was exciting to learn of Aera’s selection for the award.

“We believe there is a bright future for Southern Monterey County, as well as the region as a whole, and we are committed to doing our part in building that,” she said.

Friend of the Community

Dawn Owens

Dawn Owens has been involved in numerous volunteer projects, from the recent Adopt a Senior program that recognized graduating Mustang seniors, to the graduation caravan for King City High School, to rock painting efforts to spread positivity.

Most recently, she has made signs to boost morale and placed them at the city’s Broadway Street entrance.

“I was very surprised because they came to my door in the middle of the day,” Owens said. “They gave me flowers. Of course I started crying because it made me feel good.”

Owens said she finds King City supportive for community endeavors because getting the word out is as quick as telling one person, who then tells others, and suddenly a team of 10 volunteers can work together.

“Being a small town, you know more people and get the word out,” she said. “Word of mouth is better than anything.”

King City Chamber typically hosts a dinner and celebration to recognize the award recipients early in the year following their announcements. Event plans for this year’s honorees have not yet been confirmed, nor how current health guidelines could impact that ceremony.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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