A thunderous ovation at the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce awards banquet recently appeared to confirm the selection of Ron and Louise Mika as Business People of the Year.
"It was a very well-deserved award. They're great people," said chamber vice president-elect Judene VanCleave on Friday.
The Mikas own and operate Nikiski Building Supply and the Lamplight Bar and were recognized by the chamber, which also named B.J. Services as Business of the Year and honored the Homer Electric Association for "Community Vision."
The President's Award, given by chamber President Fred A. Miller, was presented to Bea Lashlee, chamber treasurer, and Diana Forslund, chamber secretary. The two were involved in making arrangements for the awards banquet, conducted this year at Agrium's Camp facility on North Miller Loop.
Miller said many people told him the event was the best chamber awards banquet they have attended ever. He also thanked Audrey Johnson, Marty Anderson and Jim Arness for helping make that happen.
Guests were shown slides picturing the Nikiski area from past homesteading days and the beginning of the marine dock facilities that support the oil and gas industry, plus slides of current businesses, industrial sites and people of the community.
A Community Award plaque this year recognized numerous individuals and organizations for performing outstanding community service. Named on the award are Sharon Traughber and Leslie Baker from Nikiski Neighbors, Pat and Sherry Heath of the North Peninsula Community Council, Bob Harrison of Cook Inlet Lions, Retha Hall and the Nikiski Senior Citizens Center, and Mary Kennedy and Beth Kellie from Nikiski Middle-Senior High School.
Others named on the plaque are Veta and Nick Sacaloff of the Nikiski Elementary School breakfast program, Marion Nickelson or Cook Inlet Lions and Nikiski Neighbors, and Jean Thompson from Aurora Heights Assembly of God.
Carol Ernst and Jeannie Smith spoke to the group about the area's past and about plans for the future of the north peninsula.
A buffet-style dinner was arranged by Denver Copeland and Cory McGee, according to Miller, and was catered by Nikiski Baptist Church.
Musical entertainment was provided by Morrie Porter, who played a saw, Robert Blake, who sang an Irish folk song, and Jessica Segura, who was accompanied by Huewoon Um.
Door prizes were provided by ConocoPhillips Alaska, Tesoro Alaska, Udelhoven Oilfield Systems Services and Offshore Systems Kenai.
Miller added thanks to Ted Riddall and the Young Life team, who decorated the banquet hall and cleaned up afterward.
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