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Hayward Chamber of Commerce Awardees

By Hayward Chamber of Commerce

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Hayward community members gathered on Saturday, January 26, 2013 to celebrate hometown heroes Pam Russo, St. Rose Hospital (Business Person of the Year), Ariel Dolowich, Ochoa Middle School Principal (Educator of the Year), Detective Ryan Cantrell (Police Officer of the Year) and Battalion Chief George Silva (Firefighter of the Year) at the 69th Annual Hayward Chamber Awards Gala at California State University, East Bay.

* PAM RUSSO - Business Person of the Year

Pam Russo has always been unconventional in her approach as a strategic thinker, inveterate volunteer, consummate consensus builder, community activist, a mentor and teacher and absolutely devoted to making St. Rose Hospital the best it can be. She worked at St. Rose in various capacities for more than 30 years and has been affiliated with more than a dozen community organizations. She began her career at St. Rose as a registered nurse and transitioned into the Education and Training Department where she supervised all clinical personnel. This laid the background for her promotion to Executive Director of Marketing and the St. Rose Foundation.

She was named Woman of the Year by the State of California 18th Assembly District and has received national marketing awards for her innovative and creative campaigns, including executing the Foundation’s signature annual black-tie event, the Spectacular, where her flair made it easy for guests to be “wowed” each year. She is affiliated with several volunteer organizations including the Hayward Rotary Club, Honorary Deputy Sheriff Program, Chabot College Foundation, Hayward Tattoo Removal Program, Kid’s Breakfast Club, Tennyson High School Advisory Board and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. She has been a regular presenter in the Leadership Hayward program, where she addresses issues related to marketing, public relations, communications and health care.

The Hayward Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year Award is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.

* ARIEL DOLOWICH - Educator of the Year

Ariel Dolowich became principal of Ochoa Middle School in summer 2010 and has applied his dedication and skill to improving the school environment and academic performance. During his first year at Ochoa, API scores gained 46 points and a year later, another 40 points to meet all 17 AYP criteria. In those two years, Ochoa has become the highest-scoring middle school in the Hayward Unified School District.

His life-long commitment to education began when he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UC Davis and joined Teach for America. After student teaching in the Bronx, NY, he taught middle school in Baltimore for four years and was head coach of the basketball team while working on a master’s from Johns Hopkins University. He worked with the faculty of Dumbarton Middle School in Baltimore County before returning to California, where he taught in Oakland schools.

He became an instructional reform facilitator in the San Francisco Unified School District and was accepted into the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley, where he graduated with a master’s in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential. He then was Assistant Principal of Hayward High School for two years and oversaw campus safety, athletics, counseling, student discipline and other departments.

The Hayward Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Award is sponsored by Tri-CED Community Recycling.

* RYAN CANTRELL - Police Officer of the Year

Detective Ryan Cantrell is a 10-year veteran of the Hayward Police Department and has earned the respect of colleagues and the community through his work as a patrol officer, school resource officer and field training officer for new recruits. His expertise was a gateway to certification as a department-wide trainer in juvenile law, prescription drug diversion, human trafficking detection and investigation, prostitution abatement and enforcement of state and City regulatory compliance related to alcohol sales and municipal codes.

He is known for self-initiated work and investigation into countless investigations of prostitution, cases involving exploitation of children and the recovery of missing or run-away children lured into the sex trade, crimes involving illegal use or trafficking of tobacco products to children and many other often-unseen crimes targeting impressionable youth.

It was Cantrell’s idea to create a county-wide vice enforcement collaborative of county, federal and local law enforcement agencies - The Alameda County Vice Enforcement Team. The team’s success includes 143 arrests and the rescue of six sexually exploited children. Cantrell recently finished a soon-to-be-published book titled “Modern Slavery: Investigating Human Trafficking,” a guide on how to conduct human trafficking investigations.

The Hayward Chamber of Commerce Police Officer of the Year Award is sponsored by St. Rose Hospital.

* GEORGE SILVA - Firefighter of the Year

Battalion Chief George Silva, the son of a firefighter, has been a Hayward firefighter for 26 years, has the respect of his peers and has always pursued the opportunity to learn and share knowledge with those around him. He started his career 30 years ago as a firefighter at Moffett Field in Mountain View. After joining the Hayward Fire Department (HFD), he became an apparatus operator on some of the busiest fire companies in the City, developing a reputation as a smart and experienced member of HFD.

He was promoted to Captain in 1991, recognized for quietly leading by example and teaching the “Hayward way” to younger firefighters. As a battalion chief he has demonstrated expertise and leadership, qualities that lend themselves naturally to the position of Training Officer which he assumed in 2011. In that role, he works throughout the City and has been able to respond to emergencies to provide crucial medical care, stabilizing patients until advanced life support units arrive. At fires, he engages members in his role as Safety Officer, identifying dangerous situations and preventing injuries. It is for this dedication and commitment that he has been selected as Firefighter of the Year.

The Hayward Chamber of Commerce Firefighter of the Year Award is sponsored by Paramedics Plus - California.



Pam Russo, Business Person of the Year


Ariel Dolowich, Educator of the Year


Ryan Cantrell, Police Officer of the Year


George Silva, Firefighter of the Year

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