The Albany Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the
Citizen and Youth of the Year honorees for 2013. The Chamber annually honors Albany citizens
and students for their volunteer work that makes Albany such a special place to
live and work. The Citizen and Youth
honorees will march with the Chamber in the Solano Stroll, and honored at a dinner in October. The Youth of the Year will receive a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of Chamber President Ellen Grave's business, K2TOG.
In addition to their seemingly boundless energy and optimism, a common thread runs through both our honorees’ service this year. They take on roles that don’t necessarily garner them public praise, but the ones that make our City committees responsive, school governance accountable, events successful and organizations run smoothly.
Citizen of the Year
If you have been involved in any number of community
activities, such as the YMCA, Albany Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce,
Rotary or Friends of the Library, you will be well acquainted with our Citizen
of the Year Caryl O’Keefe. She has served on the Board of all of the
above. She has also served as past
president of Rotary and Friends of the Library.
Caryl also takes on such exciting and glamorous duties as serving on the
City’s Charter Review Committee, Sustainability Committee, and the Measure E
Bond Oversight Committee for AUSD. Her
years as a Bureau of Labor Statistics Economist prepared her well for those somewhat
esoteric roles. Caryl and spouse Alan
Riffer are long-time Albany residents, their children went through Albany
schools, and they have just become the proud grandparents of ‘perfect’ Ryka. With corrections and apologies to Caryl for mis-stating her professional background, and misspelling her grandaughter's name.
Youth of the Year
The secret is out, our Youth of the Year, Albany High senior Thalia Tom manages to take honors courses and be a student leader the old fashioned way: she works hard. Counselors have seen her putting in long hours--evenings, weekends, during the summer. She helps plan, organize, prep, clean, and do all the necessary tasks to make school events successful, without needing to take center stage. Thalia was recently elected Associated Student Body President for this school year, and is the voice of the Daily Bulletin. She is the student rep to the Instructional Improvement Committee, write for the student newspaper The Cougar, and holds records on the Cross Country team. Thalia is, in the words of her nominating counselor, “a fantastic ambassador to the broader Albany community…(with the)…leadership skills to make a real difference.”
Congratulations to both Caryl and Thalia.
The awards dinner will be on Wednesday, October 16, from 6 to 8 pm at the Solano Grill & Bar, 1133 Solano Avenue. Contact the Chamber @ 510/525-1771, or email@example.com for more information, reservations.