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Blue Ribbon Awards

Each year, the Tahoe Chamber spends an evening recognizing and celebrating outstanding South Lake Tahoe businesses and organizations.

14 Annual Blue Ribbon Awards

Meet the finalists

Tourism Award

Sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

An innovative program, promotion or product for our visitors.

  • Provides unique consumer experiences that encourage new visitors and generates repeat visitors
  • Promotes collaboration with local partners
  • Contributes to the local economy (please use specific examples or quantifiable data)
  • Recognizes responsible and sustainable tourism practices and initiatives.
  • Supports the Tahoe South image

Flatstick Pub

Flatstick Pub

“Flatstick Pub gives visitors a unique experience through food, beverage, and indoor golf. They work with local partners by only pouring local beers from the region. They support the South Shore image by giving locals and visitors another great option for entertainment and a place people can feel comfortable.”

Lake Tahoe Balloons

Lake Tahoe Balloons

“Lake Tahoe Balloons offers a unique one-of-a-kind operation only available in the Lake Tahoe area! They have excellent customer service and offer a memorable activity for visitors of all ages to enjoy.”

Weddings at Lakeside Beach

Weddings at Lakeside Beach

“Weddings at Lakeside Beach partners with multiple reception venues to enhance the regions offerings and promotes the need for local wedding service providers. Weddings at Lakeside Beach also donates a portion of the profits to the Tahoe Rim Trail.”

New Business of the Year Award

Sponsored by Luna Lending

A new business that has gained an increasingly positive reputation and who exhibits distinction.
(Business must have been in operation for less than three(3) years)

  • Innovation
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Integrity

Cuppa Tahoe

Cuppa Tahoe

“Sandra, given her innate talent to connect with people, will take your interests, walk you through the store, and land you not only your next read, but some after too! She has also provided a wonderful space for people to connect, through her coffee shop setting and co-workspace… fostering relationships in our community.”

Tahoe Bagel Co.

Tahoe Bagel Co.

“Overcoming the challenges of opening during the pandemic, Tahoe Bagel has quickly proven to be a locals’ favorite. A great operation, delicious food, great coffee, excellent customer service and management, and super easy ordering and window pickup process. Already a go-to spot for breakfast and lunch.”

Test Well

Test Well

“Test Well provides a much-needed service: rapid COVID-19 tests, key to helping our community safely navigate another cold/flu/covid season.”

Excellence in Business Award

Sponsored by Marriott Grand Residence Club

A business that has made a substantial contributions to the overall good of business and the economic well-being of the community. (Business must be established and in operation for at least three (3) years)

  • Corporate stewardship
  • Operational excellence
  • Dedication to employees
  • Commitment to customer service
  • Philanthropy/ community involvement

Cold Water Brewery and Grill

Cold Water Brewery and Grill

If you’ve been in town for a while, the idea of stewardship is widely known about Cold Water. It was even further on display during the Caldor Fire when they were bringing meals to front line workers and afterwards contributing efforts to the All Together IPA (along with several other breweries in the area) to support workers.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

“Hard Rock has always been committed to its employees, and throughout the pandemic and wildfires that service and dedication provide to be instrumental. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe is committed to creating a fun, exciting environment for its guests, employees, and the Lake Tahoe community, and has proved to be a Lake Tahoe hotspot for visitors and locals alike.”

The Hangar

The Hangar

“The Hangar exemplifies perseverance through pandemic regulations. They also fundraised to support Sierra-at-Tahoe’s losses from the Caldor Fire.”

Entrepreneur Award

Sponsored by Sustainable Community Advocates

An innovative individual who assumed the risk of starting a new business.
(Business must have been in existence for a minimum of 2 years)

  • The business creatively filled a need in our community
  • Exhibits resourcefulness and perseverance in overcoming challenges
  • Has potential for future investment
  • Has created jobs and has plans to create future jobs (please provide quantifiable data on number of jobs created including owner/operator)

Chris McNamara, Outdoor GearLab

Chris McNamara

“Outdoor GearLab and Tech GearLab has created multiple jobs for locals and new transplants. Chris has also given back to the community through his work on TAMBA, Ski Run community projects, the new park development on Ski Run and many more.”

Christy Wilson, Embarc

Christy Wilson

“Embarc scored #1 in their application for cannabis retail and did so by detailing how they will work proactively with the community to ensure quality service and protection for our youth. In their first year of operation, they have donated over $50,000 to support non-profits hit hard by the pandemic.”

Lizzy Kirkpatrick, Tahoe Kids Trading Co.

Lizzy Kirkpatrick

“Tahoe Kids Trading Co is a great secondhand shop that provides affordable clothing to the children in our community and where mothers can find affordable, gently used gear and goods for their little ones.”

Customer Service Award

Sponsored by Heavenly & Kirkwood Mountain Resorts 

An individual who consistently provides quality service.

  • Treats each customer, guest and peer with respect
  • Seeks opportunities to exceed expectations
  • Handles crisis and challenges with integrity

Daniele Waterhouse, MacDuff's Pub

Daniele Waterhouse

“Daniele has been a server at MacDuff’s for many years and is also so upbeat and positive. She treats all dinners with respect and kindness. Her fun and energetic attitude makes eating there that much better. She has also donated her time as a server for non-profit events.”

Mike Peron, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Mike Peron

“He is always the guy that somehow juggles 15- 20 things, The Bloody Mary Contest, Chili taste off, The Tahoe Brew fest. He has touched and reached out to every nonprofit and business in South Lake at one time or another.  You can always hear that familiar, upbeat voice Emcee. He does all of what he does with a warm and tender heart.”

Peter Sereno, Encore

Peter Sereno

“Peter makes an impact in the community and visitors through Encore audio visual company. While he leads a team, he is also very hands on, available and knowledgeable. He has worked in our community for many years, and truly appreciate his customer service.”

Public Agency Service Award

Sponsored by South Tahoe Refuse & Recycling Services 

An individual that provides quality service in the not so usual places (Police, Fire, DMV, City, County, TRPA, etc.).

  • Treats each customer, guest and peer with respect
  • Seeks opportunities to exceed expectations
  • Handles crisis and challenges with integrity

Chief Brad Zlendick, Lake Valley Fire Protection District

Fire Chief Brad Zlendick

Fire Chief Brad Zlendick put his community and constituents first while exhibiting his acute ability to make well thought out decisions during crisis. His ability to motivate and lead his staff along with the added support from neighboring agencies is a testament to his leadership style and his devotion to his job and community.

Katie Sheehan, Clean Tahoe

Katie Sheehan

“Katie and the Clean Tahoe crew routinely engage with our community’s homeless population while cleaning up the encampments and always treat the people with kindness and respect. They handle service calls for trash pickup from throughout the city and county. The team developed a partnership with communities in the North Shore to carry Clean Tahoe’s lean up efforts.”

Kevin Fromherz, NV Division State Parks

Kevin Fromherz

“Kevin constantly strives to improve public use of Nevada State lands through innovative and creative concepts. He is not only is known to listen to the needs and requests of guests and vendors but goes beyond those needs to identify future obstacles and overcome challenges to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for both locals and visitors to enjoy.”

Volunteer of the Year Award

Sponsored by Bally’s Lake Tahoe

An individual dedicated to making a positive impact on the agency they serve and on the community at large.

  • Volunteers their time to improving the community through various contributions and community service
  • Considered to be mentor to others based upon their volunteer efforts
  • Demonstrates qualities of compassion, commitment to service, creativity, cooperation, or leadership.

Colin West, Clean Up the Lake

Colin West

“Colin West and his team at Clean Up the Lake volunteer their time to improving the community through various contributions and community service. Colin is considered to be mentor to others based upon their volunteer efforts. He demonstrates qualities of compassion, commitment to service, creativity, cooperation, and leadership.”

Frank Gerdeman, ADVANCE

Frank Gerdeman

“Frank Gerdeman sits on the Tahoe Prosperity Council, Tahoe Chamber, Tahoe Transportation District, Sugar Pine Village, Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled boards, among others. He has been a mentor the past five years to many individuals at LTCC and within the South Lake Tahoe Community.”

Wendy David, Tahoe Magic

Wendy David

“Wendy David started Tahoe Magic and has done incredible work raising money and providing rent relief during the pandemic and now the Caldor Fire. She is also on the Barton Board, the Board for Coalition for the Homeless, donated to the Boys and Girls Club building and is tireless in her efforts to meet needs amongst the disadvantaged.”

Community Enrichment Award

Sponsored by Tahoe South Events Center / Tahoe Douglas Authority

A business, non-profit, or agency that has worked to improve the South Shore community.

  • Has made significant contributions to sustain and strengthen the local community
  • Promotes cultural diversity and programs that foster inclusivity
  • Responds to needs of the community through advocacy or long-term strategies
  • Demonstrates commitment to community through investment of resources, community dialogue, and partnerships.

Family Resource Center

Family Resource Center

The FRC has been vital this past year in providing ongoing support to our LatinX and low-income community, helping fight eviction notices, support sustainable housing, encouraging vaccinations amongst low take-up populations and even arranged lawyers and Mexican Consular visits to help with immigration issues. On a weekly basis they provide food, monetary assistance and advice.

Clean Up the Lake

Clean Up the Lake

“When you look to clean up a 72 mile stretch of our beautiful Lake, and land accolades with the likes of Outside Magazine, then you should, most definitely, land a Blue Ribbon award!”

Saint Joseph Community Lands Trust

Saint Joseph Community Lands Trust

“Saint Joseph Community Land Trust helps to preserve and expand permanently affordable housing for Tahoe Basin’s low- and moderate-income workforce. They feature programs that provide affordable rental and ownership homes as well as supportive and educational programs to Tahoe Residents.”

About Blue Ribbon Awards

The Blue Ribbon Awards were created in 2007 to honor excellence in business on the South Shore. The awards program recognizes businesses, organizations, and individuals for achievements, community contributions, and milestones. It is one of the largest business awards program on the South Shore bringing together over 300 local business leaders, entrepreneurs, organizations, community members and government officials.