Clovis Chamber of Commerce hosts annual ‘Salute to Business’ Luncheon

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig presented Former Clovis Mayor and current SCCCD Police Chief Jose Flores the “Community Impact Award” alongside Clovis City Council Member, Fresno County Judge Bob Whalen. (Photo JT Gomez)
Clovis City Council Member, Fresno County Judge Bob Whalen co-recipient of the “Community Impact Award” (Photo JT Gomez)

January 26, 2023: There was no shortage of patriotism at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District on Thursday afternoon as the Clovis Chamber of Commerce not only awarded a previous Fresno County Sheriff and former Police Chief, but also had recipients of awards specifically mention the importance that they place on law enforcement. 

“There’s four pillars to a great city. The first one is law enforcement, period, end of story. If you’re not safe and secure you don’t have a city…I hope all of you will join our family in supporting and fighting off what I would call a plague that’s trying to penetrate this city. Support and elect the right people in the right positions, who have the same value and love for our city as we do.”

The family that is represented above is that of the Vidmar Family, owners and founding operators of Anlin Windows in Clovis, represented by Greg and Eric, sons of Tom and Linda Vidmar who passed on in 2014 and 2021.

The brothers doubled down on their statement by saying, “I know that our family is prepared to do everything that we can within our resources to preserve the Clovis way of life.”

Former Clovis Mayor and current SCCCD Police Chief Jose Flores continued the Vidmar Family’s sentiment by saying, “We in law enforcement are loving and caring people with families of our own, and we’re here to help. The Vidmar brothers are spot on.”

Flores was being honored by the Chamber of Commerce with the “Community Impact Award” alongside his longtime Clovis City Council colleague, Fresno County Judge Bob Whalen.

Flores and Whalen had previously decided not to run for office in this past November election. 

“These events have really been an important part of my life for many years…I miss this, I like being a judge, but I miss this. And the opportunity to be with you in a room warms me up,” said Judge Whalen as he reminisced on his past serving the public of Clovis. 

In addition to the Chamber Ambassador of the Year award and Chamber Board Director of the Year award given to Vanessa Puopolo and David Bonnar, respectively, the final award besides Business of the Year given to QK Engineering, was the Einar Cook Leadership Award presented by Einar Cook’s grandson Mr. Todd Cook of Cook Land Company. 

Todd Cook, when presenting the Einer Cook Leadership Award to Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, related the qualities of “professionalism, being a visionary, and service to the community” that his grandfather held, to those qualities that he believed Sheriff Margaret Mims also sustained. 

After being presented with the last award of the afternoon, the retired Sheriff spoke to the large crowd in the Liberty Ballroom about her once held job in law enforcement. 

“In my business, everyday is not fun. As you can imagine. But everyday was rewarding. We had tragedy, we had good times, we had funny times, working with so many people in law enforcement. But I have to tell you that the City of Clovis and the law enforcement you have, we work so closely together and it’s so important for you to know that. None of us are working by ourselves, we’re all working together, to keep you all as safe as we possibly can.”

As the ceremony concluded, Chamber of Commerce CEO Greg Newman thanked everyone for attending the luncheon and plugged future events that the Chamber will be hosting in the future.

Newman also commented on the turnout of the luncheon before the ceremony and what this meant to the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. 

“It’s a fantastic crowd, we’re really happy to have everyone here today, and it was wonderful to honor these fantastic people. These are the leaders in this room that are running Clovis.”

On the awardees, Newman stated that the Chamber wanted to “Honor the family of Anlin Windows,” and those efforts of both Bob Whalen and Jose Flores. “Sheriff Margaret Mims has been a fantastic contributor to our community and it was our time to honor her…Like I said, we’re a team, and we’ve been a part of the fabric of Clovis for a long, long time.”


Einar Cook Leadership Award: Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County retired Sheriff

Business Persons of the Year: The Vidmar Family, founding family of Anlin Windows

Business of the Year: QK Engineering

Community Impact Awards: Jose Flores, former Mayor, 24 years on Clovis City Council

Bob Whalen, former Mayor, 20 years on Clovis City Council

Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Vanessa Puopolo, Vice President Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Chamber Board Director of the Year: David Bonnar, Vector Sport Aviation