LL Chamber honors LLPD, Tuttle and Van Gilst

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It's all about working together, said Mike Ogas, the newly elected president of the Los Lunas Chamber of Commerce.

Among his initiatives and goals for the coming year is providing the opportunity for chamber members to network in the community.

"That's why we come to these meetings," Ogas said at the chamber's installation and awards luncheon on Jan. 15. "We need to give people opportunities to do that and to network with the other chambers — Belen and Hispano. "We're all in this together, trying to earn a living and see economic development."

As president, Ogas said he was willing to put himself out there as a resource to nurture entrepreneurship and build businesses.

"I love being in the situation where we can lend a hand and help others," he said.

Other initiatives Ogas would like to implement this year include some sort of incentive program to encourage members to sign up new members and help increase the chamber's membership.

And he said he will continue to maintain good fiscal responsibility for the chamber by issuing accurate and timely reports.

When he announced the chamber's Volunteer of the Year, Ogas said the board looked at the category a little differently this year.

"They went above and beyond what they were paid to do," he said. "You see them in the community all the time, sometimes on the clock, sometimes not."

The Los Lunas Police Department was named Volunteer of the Year in appreciation of its services to the community throughout the year.

Ralph Mims, the village's economic development director, attended the luncheon and accepted the award on behalf of the department.

"We have great police officers and I am happy to be an employee of the village and associated with the police department," Mims said.

The Chamber Member of the Year was sick the day of the luncheon, something that is unusual for Dwight Tuttle, Ogas said.

"He usually doesn't miss a meeting," he said. "Dwight always ends up being someone (executive director) Stephanie (Flynn) can go to for extra help at any time throughout the year."

Ogas said the Business of the Year recipient, Leigh Van Gilst CPA and Associates, has been a tremendous support for all the chamber members, Ogas said, as well as for the chamber itself, spending extra hours helping with its accounting and bookkeeping.

The chamber's board of directors sworn in for the coming year are Mike Ogas, president; Martin Callahan, past president; Andrew Barnes, treasurer; and members Darleen Aragon, Bruce Prater, Claire Cieremans, Wayne Abraham, Robert Noblin, Randy Gomez, Ryan Wolff and Ralph L. Mims.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.