The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named its new board of directors and the recipients of its annual awards.

Bakersfield College's dean of instruction, Cornelio "Corny" Rodriguez, won the Business Man of the Year award. Raji Brar, Countryside Corp.'s COO, was named Business Woman of the Year. Centro 18 took the Small Business of the Year award and Varner Bros. was honored as Large Business of the Year.

Chevron was named Corporation of the Year, Bakersfield Police Activities League won Non-Profit Organization of the Year and Michael Bowers was given the chamber's annual Community Service Award.

Advance Beverage's Ken Ouellette was selected to be the group's chairman, Realtor Blodgie Rodriguez was named chair-elect and David Alanis of America's Job Center of California was appointed vice-chair. Kaiser Permanente's Eva Ramirez is now treasurer, Bakersfield College's Olivia Garcia is secretary and Adam Alvidrez of Chevron is past-chair.

Other board members are Russell Bilbrey of Knights Pumping & Portable Services Inc.; Sal Brito of State Farm; Denise Castaneda-Ornelas of La Bonita Tortilla; Claudia Catota of Cal State Bakersfield; Gloria Garcia of California Resources Corp.; Donna Hermann of the American Cancer Society; Edward J. Herrera of Edward J. Herrera Insurance; and R.L. Hutchinson of H.A. Sala, a Professional Corp.

Also on the board this year: Brandon Ivie of Strata Credit Union; Chris Lowe of AltaOne Federal Credit Union; Robin Mangarin-Scott of Dignity Health — Mercy and Memorial Hospitals; Julie Pensinger of Pensingers Oilfield Trailer; Melissa Poole of The Wonderful Co.; Zachary Rabanal of Walker-Lewis Rents; Sal Saavedra of Daniells, Phillips, Vaughan & Bock; Dr. William Stuart Tatsuno of Lifetime Chiropractic; Ed Taylor of The Petroleum Club; and business consultant Ricardo Villarreal.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf. Sign up at to receive free newsletters about local business.

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