A small sign company, a medium-sized bank and a large bank are winners in the 2007 Mesa Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence and Leadership Awards contest.
Fast Signs, at 7143 E. Southern Ave. and owned by David and Karen Lamb, was honored with the small business award Friday at the chamber’s annual awards luncheon at the Marriott Phoenix East Mesa ballroom, 200 N. Centennial Way.
“Their story is truly a success story that still continues to grow,” said Charlie Deaton, president of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.
Mesa Bank with branches at 63 E. Main Street and 1733 N. Greenfield Road won the mid-sized business award, and Wells Fargo Bank, the third largest employer in Arizona with nearly 14,000 employees, including 550 who work in Mesa, was given the large business award.
Mesa Bank employees were congratulated for their support of United Food Bank in Mesa by Bob Evans, chief executive officer for the food bank, while Deaton said Wells Fargo is “truly a unique bank in changing the world of finance.”
The late Bill Eaton, founder of the first chain motel in Mesa in 1963 and later owner of the Best Western of Mesa, was awarded the tourism award, which was accepted by his daughter, Marcia.
“Bill Eaton knew the tourist industry, but more than that, he knew how to make a difference in the lives of others,” Deaton said.
Other award winners:
• Teacher of the year award was given to Kirk Thomas, a teacher at Skyline High School in Mesa.
•Volunteer of the year award went to Raymond Lee, a photographer for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.
•Taylor Barnwell, student body president at Westwood High School, an Eagle Scout and leader in his church and youth groups, received the 21st century leadership award.
He is on varsity athletic teams and participates in Honors Choice, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the National Honor Society.
•The public sector award was given to Williams Gateway Airport, which has more than 4,200 employees and is offering passenger service to Las Vegas and Gary, Ind.
The 21st century leadership award for past leadership was given to Wayne Brown, who served as mayor of Mesa from 1996 to 2000.
The 21st century leadership award for present leadership went to Robert Brinton, executive director of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That agency, along with The Boeing Company, sponsored the 2007 awards luncheon.