Hispanic Chamber honors business leaders

STOCKTON -- San Joaquín County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its 39th annual Installation and Awards event recently, honoring Stockton-area leaders who've made an impact in the Latino business community.

Recognized were:

Pacific Avenue Bowl, Business of the Year -- The bowling alley, founded in 1958, is a Stockton landmark, home to more than 40 active bowling leagues, including the Mexican American League and various adult, senior and youth leagues. For years, it has hosted tournaments, including state men's and women's tournaments.

Besides providing a safe and family-friendly environment, Pacific Avenue Bowl has donated to several nonprofit organizations, such as United Way of San Joaquín, David Jackson Foundation and Stockton Go Foundation.

Andy Chesley, director of San Joaquín County Council of Governments, Executive of the Year-- With the council for more than 30 years, Chesley manages transportation planning, the Measure K transportation sales-tax program, which he wrote, the San Joaquín County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan and various other projects.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's degree from University of Iowa.

Manuel Núñez, coordinator at San Joaquín County Office of Education, Volunteer of the Year-- As an employee of the Migrant Education program, Núñez frequently interacts with students and families, but he goes beyond by also volunteering in the community.

Núñez is a former farmworker in the Salinas and Watsonville areas. He worked in the fields until he was 18 years old.

After high school graduation, Núñez attended Cabrillo College in Aptos and earned a bachelor's degree in studio art and a single-subject teaching credential from San José State University.

Mark Plovnick, director of economic development and professor of management at University of the Pacific, Business Advocate of the Year-- Plovnick has been at UOP since the late 1980s. He served as dean of the Eberhardt School of Business until 2006.

Plovnick is active in community affairs. He has served on the San Joaquín County Civil Service Commission, the San Joaquín County Council of Governments Blueprint Leadership Group, the Mayor's Economic Development Task Force for Stockton, the California Partnership for the San Joaquín Valley, the city of Stockton's General Plan Action Team and the city's Neighborhood Renaissance Program.

Plovnick is chairman of the board of the San Joaquín Angels. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce, the San Joaquín County Public Facilities Financing Corp., Goodwill Industries, the Stockton Rotary Endowment, the Children's Home of Stockton Foundation and the editorial board of Comstock's magazine.

Plovnick holds undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and economics from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. He earned a master's degree and a doctorate in management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Paul Guerrero, attorney and retired businessman, John Aguilar Spirit Award-- Guerrero retired in 2010 after a long career in the construction industry. He oversaw crews that built a significant portion of Highway 280 from 1967 to 1970, under Oscar Holmes Inc. Other projects included the entrance roads and buildings at San Francisco International Airport.

In 1971, Guerrero started Andero Construction, which grew to specialize in both public and private work and to include an equipment-rental division. His company completed projects for IBM, Ford Aerospace, Hewlett Packard, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military.

Guerrero has served as a member of the Caltrans Advisory Council, Department of General Services Advisory Council, Department of Corrections Advisory Council, the Bay Area Rapid Transit Advisory Council and East Bay Municipal Utilities District Advisory Council.

He holds a law degree from Peninsula University College of Law, with a specialty in construction law.

El Concilio, Community-Based Organization-- El Concilio is a 43-year-old nonprofit organization based in Stockton, with offices throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Under the direction of José Rodríguez, the agency offers a number of services, including social services case management, advocacy, immigration services, day care for children of farmworkers, driving under the influence classes and mental health programs.

The Diocese of Stockton founded El Concilio with a $10,000 grant to aid migrant workers with immigration and social welfare issues.

Throughout the years, it has continued to add programs, as needs change.

State Farm Insurance, Corporate Member of the Year -- Founded in 1922, State Farm Insurance has branches and agents worldwide. Its services encompass auto, home, life and other insurance, as well as mutual funds and bank operations. It also provides assistance to nonprofit organizations.

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