FAIRFIELD — Alkar Human Resources, Integrity Auto Collision Center Inc. and Bryan-Braker Funeral Home are some of the county’s businesses that have the Spirit of Solano.
The Solano Economic Development Corp. and Westamerica Bank on Thursday sponsored the 18th annual Spirit of Solano awards at the Hilton Garden Inn. The county’s chambers of commerce choose the honorees.
Businesses featured at the luncheon had to meet certain criteria. The Spirit of Solano involves such things as outstanding customer service, adaptability, profitability and contributions to the community.
“The Spirit of Solano is about Solano shining,” said David Payne, chief executive officer for Westamerica Bank.
Alkar Human Resources got chosen by the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. The woman-owned business was established in 1985.
“Alkar firmly believes in giving back to the community,” Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Steve Lesler said. “Staff members actively donate their time and resources to the community by volunteering, sponsoring and supporting nonprofit organizations.”
Lauri Law, sales and operations manager for Alkar, accepted the award.
Integrity Auto Collision Center Inc. got chosen by the Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Fidel Zavalza, Oscar Moreno and Hank Dominguez started the center two years ago in Fairfield.
Zavalza talked about customers who don’t have a deductible and who need their damaged car, but also have children who are economic priorities. The business finds ways to help them.
“Do we need to make money? We all need money,” Zavalza said.
But the best thing is helping people get back on the road, he said.
Bryan-Braker Funeral Home is based in Fairfield, but opened another funeral home in Dixon in 2008. The Dixon Chamber of Commerce chose Bryan-Braker for the Spirit of Solano award. Craig Bryan and his wife Francie Bryan accepted it.
“Being a small business is hard – I know I’m preaching to the choir – it’s a lot of hard work,” Craig Bryan told a banquet room packed with business and civic leaders. “Having a very supportive chamber of commerce in Dixon makes it a lot easier.”
First Northern Bank has its headquarters in Dixon, but has a branch in Vacaville. The Vacaville Chamber of Commerce chose it for a Spirit of Solano award.
“We’re proud to contribute to the vitality of the community,” bank Chief Executive Officer Louise Walker said. “Being recognized by the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce confirms we are doing the right thing.”
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom got chosen by the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce. The park does such things as hold animal encounters for Make-A-Wish recipients and donates tickets to more than 400 nonprofit groups and schools each year to help with their fundraising efforts.
Valero got chosen by the Benicia Chamber of Commerce. The refinery’s 450 employees contribute about 15,000 hours of volunteer time to regional nonprofit groups.
Home 4 All Realty and Mortgage Inc. got chosen by the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Solano County Inc. John and Yolanda Cummings started the business in Suisun City in 2005 and moved it to Vallejo in 2011.
Nana’s Glory Child Care Center got chosen by the Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce. Lameka Gratton opened the center in 2007 in her home, moved it to a duplex and is now seeking a commercial education facility with the intention of adding a preschool.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.
Note: Corrects Lauri Law’s first name on an earlier version.