Biz Buzz: Citizen of the Year’s passion is enhancing Los Osos

In the years since Mimi Kalland retired as an educator, her purposeful life has belonged to Los Osos.

An active member of Celebrate Los Osos, which exists solely to complete all-volunteer community enhancement projects, Kalland was personally celebrated by the Los Osos-Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce as 2010 Citizen of the Year.

George Kastner, last year’s recipient and co-volunteer with Kalland on the Los Osos Community Organization, said, “What hasn’t she done?”

Formerly a contributing writer to the now-defunct Central Coast Sun Bulletin, Kalland’s latest project was the planting of drought-tolerant plants in the community’s entry medians on Los Osos Valley Road.

Surprised by the honor, she said, “I didn’t think I’d know anyone tonight but realize I’ve solicited all of you and you’ve generously supported. Making my community beautiful is my pursuit.”

Also recognized was Dawn Rodden as Volunteer of the Year.

Rodden, president of South Bay Women’s Network and chamber board member for 15 years, has produced several chamber projects, including the Business Expo and online newsletter.

Newly installed chamber President Carole Stockton was surprised when her company received honors as Business of the Year.

Outgoing president Jim Stanfill credited Stockton’s Dos Perros Inc. for contributing time, talent and investment for community projects.

— Judy Salamacha