Biz Buzz: Dunn named Citizen of the Year

John Dunn,  former SLO city manager
John Dunn, former SLO city manager

John Dunn, former chief administrative officer for the city of San Luis Obispo, has been named 2009 Citizen of the Year by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

For more than 20 years, Dunn has been committed to serving the community in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

“He is the gold standard in community involvement,’’ said Bob Wacker, the 2008 recipient who presented the award to Dunn on Saturday at the chamber’s annual Citizen of the Year gala.

Dunn has been involved in several organizations in recent years, including serving as chairman of the French Hospital Medical Center board, president of the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center and vice president of the Cal Poly Housing Authority.

He also served on the board of the San Luis Obispo Community Foundation and San Luis Obispo Rotary Club and was a member of the chamber’s Economic Development Committee. He is a past president of the Mozart Festival and a recipient of the Cal Poly Arts Award.

Dunn was San Luis Obispo’s city manager for 14 years until his retirement in 2000.

In his thank-you address to the audience, Dunn said, “Community service is one of the best things people can do in their lives,” and he called on community members to offer their talent, time and money to help others.

“We are blessed that we have such a strong sense of community here in San Luis Obispo. There are a lot of people out there who aren’t nearly as fortunate as we are. Anything we can do to help those who are in great need will be appreciated.”

— Tribune staff

Education group gets Talley Award

The Arroyo Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce has chosen the South County Education Foundation to receive this year’s Ken Talley Award, which is given to an organization or person who has made a strong contribution to youth character building programs.

The foundation was established six years ago to allow Lucia Mar Unified School District teachers to apply for project funding for performing and fine arts.

Past projects have included repair of musical instruments, transportation to educational events and assistance to the Arroyo Grande High School robotics team.

The award was inaugurated in 1976 as a way to honor the memory of Ken Talley, who was a strong supporter of civic and youth activities.

It includes a $500 donation. South County Education Foundation President Sylvia Mitchell and board member Gary Thompson will accept the award on behalf of the foundation at the chamber’s 49th annual installation dinner on Thursday.

— Julia Hickey