OB Town Council Recognizes Key Volunteers of the Community

by on October 15, 2014 · 6 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

Congressman Scott Peters addressed the crowd at Shades. (All photos by Patty Jones)

At their annual “OBie Awards” dinner, held last night, October 14th, at Shades, the Ocean Beach Town Council recognized key community volunteers – giving out the Council’s traditional awards during an event attended by a  ‘who’s-who’ of village politicos.

Councilman Ed Harris.

Congressman Scott Peters and Councilman Ed Harris also addressed the crowd, and numerous reps of other politicians were recognized. Harris gave out a special certificate of recognition to OB Planning Board chair Pete Ruscitti.


OBTC Prez Newsom presenting the Council’s accomplishments.

Town Council president Gretchen Newsom guided the event swimmingly through the evening, smoothed by a fine dinner prepared by the staff of Shades. She listed the Council’s accomplishments over the past year, and with the sun setting behind her, Newson relied on Trudy Levenson, Jon Carr and Gio Ingolia to make the different awards presentations.

(Leveson’s dry wit drew repeated chuckles, such as her sardonic reading off of the names of the politicians invited but who didn’t show, with her most notable comment about the key chains handed out as part of the awards – “they’ll last about 2 weeks”.)


Mindy Pellisier was awarded “OB Citizen of the Year”.

The “OB Citizen of the Year” was awarded to Mindy Pellisier for her work and dedication around the OB Community Plan update process. Mindy and her partner, Jane, own and run Dog Beach Dog Wash – and have for 22 years.

The OB Town Council handed their “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Claudia Jack for her 24/7 volunteerism over the years, becoming the “go-to-gal” for just about anything OB. Claudia also works as staff for the OB Mainstreet Association.

Dave Martin – who in fact owns Shades and is the former OBTC president – was awarded the “Humanitarian Service” certificate for his generosity and giving nature around such enterprises as the OB Chili Cook-off and the annual Pancake Breakfast.


Claudia Jack won the “Lifetime Achievement” Obie.

Newsom also gave out Certificates of Appreciation to OBTC board members who have retired from the council, including Dave Cieslak, Jeri Ryan, former president Jim Musgrove, Jody Thompson, Ken Moss, Melinda Redding, and Steve Grosch (who was rumored to be on his honeymoon).


Jon Carr making a presentation.

Other OBie Awards included:

  • Community Partner: The OB Rag ;
  • Programs for Youth: Junior Lifeguards – accepted by Cory McClelleand;
  • Volunteer Service: Nancy Vaughn;
  • Clean Beaches: John Vorderbruegge;
  • Green Building: OB Woman’s Club – accepted by Mel Roark;

Trudy presenting Dave Martin the “Humanitarian Service” award.

Certificates of Appreciation were also given to Lt. Natalie Stone, SDPD; Councilman Harris, and his aide, Chet Barfield.

Gio Ingolia, Mindy Pellissier, Ed Harris and his daughter.

OB Awardees who were recognized included:    Community Renewal: Integrated Signs –  Steve Clippinger; Cultural Contribution: OB Playhouse & Cultural Art Center – Lynne & Paul Bolton; Great Parks and Gardens: Park & Rec Department – Vincent Paniagua.


Councilman Harris recognizing OB Planning Board chair Pete Ruscitti.


Jon Carr presenting John Vorderbruegge the “Clean Beaches” award.


Jeri Ryan – on left – received a Certificate of Appreciation as a retiring member, and Nancy Vaughn – on right – was given the “Volunteer Services” Obie.


Gretchen Newsom holding the key chain and Trudy Levenson joking about it – “it’ll last 2 weeks”.


Cory McClelland of Junior Lifeguards.


Current members of the OB Town Council are sworn in by Officer David Surwilo, unidentified officer, and Lt Natalie Stone of the SDPD.

There was also the yearly swearing-in of the new board of directors, who now include: Gretchen Newsom – president, Gio Ingolia – vice-president, Donna Zoll – treasurer, Jon Carr – corresponding secretary, Marin Green – recording secretary, Jenn Avoledo, Nate Bazydio, Jill Chorak, Lori Jones, Trudy Levenson, Anthony Palmiotto, Zach Rowland, Becca Taylor and Melanie Williams.

A Sea of blue: Gio Ingolia, Mindy Pellissier and Frank Gormlie.



Chet Barfield – Ed Harris’ aide – was recognized by the OBTC.

Tanya Joy and Jon Carr – our table mates.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie October 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Sorry, gang, for taking so long to get all these photos out. Patty took 110 pics last night so I had lots to choose from.


OB Mercy October 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Oh, was hoping to see one pic of me and Mel accepting our award for the Woman’s Club. You only mentioned Mel above, I accepted the award with her. It was an honor for the club to be recognized after almost folding last year.


Frank Gormlie October 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Sorry OB Mercy, Patty didn’t get a good one of you and Mel. Yes, you were certainly there as well, editordude was simply working off the OBTC sheet that only mentioned Mel as the president of the OB Woman’s Club. Jenn Avoledo certainly praised both of you in her presentation.


OB Mercy October 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

That’s cool Frank. Any way I could get you to email me that pic? I thought I would be taking a bunch of Mel, I had no clue they were going to call me up there!


OB Mercy October 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Sorry, read that wrong, I see she didn’t get a good pic, no worries. Hopefully the official photog got one.


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