By Haddon Libby

The Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce Orion Awards which honors local businesses and individuals will take place on Thursday, May 24th at 6pm at the Doubletree Hotel in Cathedral City.  Presented by Jessup Auto Plaza, I am honored that the business I founded, Winslow Drake Investment Management, has been nominated as Small Business of the Year.  Thank you!

All nominees needed to be active members of the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce which is part of the Greater Coachella Valley Chambers of Commerce.

Business of the Year was split into two categories – small businesses with no more than ten employees and large businesses with a greater number of employees. 


For Small Business of the Year, joining Winslow Drake Investment Management in this category are Body Concierge, Capizzi’s Cheesecakes and First Call Security & Sound. 

In the Large Business of the Year category, Esser Air Conditioning, Frazier Pest Control, Jessup Auto Plaza, Planet Fitness and Staybridge Suites were nominated.

Restaurant of the year nominees are A.J.’s on the Green, Bubba’s Bones & Brew, El Portal Ristorante, Pizzeria Bambino’s and Zobo & Meester’s.  You may remember that Zobo & Meester’s was one of our local restaurants featured on Guy Fieris’ “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network.

The Chamber also has an Innovator of the Year award.  Winslow Drake was fortunate to be nominated in this category in 2016 and 2017.  What was our innovation?  Full transparency on costs and fees and an approach that is customized to the specific needs of each person or business.

With that plug for my Small Business of the Year nominee out of the way, this year’s nominees for Innovator of the Year includes CV Repertory Theatre (which is moving into the old IMAX Theatre at the corner of Highway 111 and Cathedral Canyon Drive), solar company Free Volt; Hemp City/CBD Works and the addiction and rehab center iRecover.

Non-profit of the Year nominees are the California Jazz Foundation, Cathedral City Historical Society, the Salvation Army, United Cerebral Palsy and The Unforgettables Foundation.  In the event that you are not familiar with The Unforgettables Foundation, the non-profit helps low income families give their children dignified burials while helping the families in dealing with the financial trauma that is typically associated with these situations.

As effective civil employees make it easier to do business in a given city, the Chamber likes to recognize the efforts of those in civil service.  This category includes retiring Mayor Stan Henry, retiring City Council Member Shelley Kaplan, Fire Chief Paul Wilson, Police Chief Travis Walker and Economic Development officer, Leisa Lukes.

Woman of the Year nominees are Rhonda Carnevale of Nicolino’s Restaurant, Julie Frazier of Frazier’s Pest Control, Kathleen Jurasky of the Palm Springs Cemetery District, Kara Robinson of Team Art Terry & Kara and Windermere Real Estate and Community Activist Sue Townsley.

Man of the Year nominees are Sameer Bhatia of Planet Fitness, Alan Carvalho, Community Videographer, Larry Davis of Forest Lawn, Ted Hane of the Mary Pickford Theatre and Terry Nelson of Team Art Terry & Kara at Windermere Real Estate.

In the final category, Volunteer of the Year nominees are Austin Beneteau, Thommy & Michael Kocan, Loretta Nelson, Valerie Schecter and Jim & Ralph Thompson-Cantua.

Worth noting, I serve as Treasurer of the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce.  The Cathedral Chamber of Commerce joined the Greater Coachella Valley Chambers of Commerce last year meaning that local members had joined forces with those in La Quinta, Indio and Coachella as well as the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians in an effort to unite the voice of business in the Coachella Valley in dealings with Riverside County, Sacramento and Washington DC.

If you wish to purchase tickets to the Orion Awards and dinner, please visit and the Events Calendar or call 760.347.0676.

Haddon Libby is the Founder and Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management and can be reached at  For more information, please visit