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Two local businesses receive awards at county’s economic summit

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Five area businesses and the team that spearheaded the Westfield Galleria at Roseville Shopping Mall’s recovery from a devastating fire last fall were honored by the Placer County Economic Development Board at last week’s 20th annual breakfast summit. Each year, the board presents awards to recognize public and private-sector contributions to the county’s economic well-being. More than 200 individuals attended this year’s summit at Sun City Roseville. This year’s theme was “Partners in Prosperity.” The five businesses that won private-sector honors are Robbjack Corp. of Lincoln for the Private Sector Award for Manufacturing; Thunder Valley Casino Resort of Lincoln for the Private Sector Award for Leisure and Hospitality; TGH Aviation of Auburn for the Robert M. Weygandt Private Sector Award; High Hand Nursery of Loomis for the Private Sector Award for Agriculture; and ioSAFE Corp. of Auburn for the Private Sector Award for Technology. The Dr. Gerald Angove Public Sector Award was presented to the Westfield Galleria at Roseville Mall Recovery Team. The team was made up of a long list of employees from the mall, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, the city of Roseville, Placer County agencies and federal and state agencies involved in the recovery effort. The award is named after its first recipient, a former president of Sierra College. Robert M. Weygandt, a member of the Placer County Board of Supervisors since 1995, is a long-time member of the Economic Development Board and was the first recipient of a private-sector award almost 20 years ago when he was a top officer and part owner of WECO Aerospace Systems, an aircraft repair facility. The Economic Development Board is an advisory board that assists the county with its business attraction and retention efforts. It promotes the creation of new jobs and tax revenue and supports tourism, agribusiness, film production and workforce development initiatives. The board has elected-official representatives from Placer County; the town of Loomis; and the cities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville. The board also includes members who represent agriculture, education, utilities, manufacturing, tourism and healthcare. ROBBJACK The employee-owned business manufactures premium rotary-cutting tools. “RobbJack is a 100-percent employee-owned business and currently employees 80,” explained PG&E Account Executive Chuck Heisleman, the person who nominated the company for its award. “RobbJack is partnering with Sierra College and has had great success in transforming their operation with lean manufacturing,” he said. Lean manufacturing is a strategy oriented toward increasing value-added work by eliminating waste and reducing incidental work. It is designed to radically increase profitability, customer satisfaction and employee morale. Heisleman emphasized the company has a well-earned reputation for consistently providing superior-quality products. President Dave Baker accepted the award, noting that his company has been in Placer County for more than 20 years. “We’re very happy to be here,” Baker said. THUNDER VALLEY CASINO RESORT Located in an unincorporated area between Lincoln, Roseville and Rocklin, Thunder Valley was honored for its contributions to the local tax base, the many jobs it provides and its extensive contributions to community projects. “They’ve really made a decision to invest in this county,” said Doug Elmets, a spokesman and representative of the United Auburn Indian Community, the casino’s owner. “It’s really great to be recognized.” Thunder Valley was honored largely for an expansion and remodeling project completed last year that included a 17-story hotel with 297 rooms, entertainment facilities and a parking structure with 3,700 spaces. To accommodate the expansion, Thunder Valley has hired more than 700 new employees to join its pre-existing workforce of about 1,200 employees. Thunder Valley was also praised for generous contributions through grants and services to many community organizations.