Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesDale Maes, owner if DJ’s Pizza, accepts the award for Citizen of the Year by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce on
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Dale Maes, owner if DJ's Pizza, accepts the award for Citizen of the Year by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 1, 2013.
BLOOMFIELD — Kare Pharmacies was named Business of the Year by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

The drug store was established in the mid-1970s and now has 11 employees who average 10 years' service.

Bloomfield's a great town," said owner Roger Murray.

The Chamber bestowed its 2012 annual awards Friday night at SunRay Park and Casino.

It was a bittersweet occasion for Bernadette Smith, who retired as the Chamber's executive director. The annual banquet marked her last event as director after six years in the job.

She also served 23 years on the Chamber's board.

"This is my last day," she said. "I'm excited but I'm so sad at the same time."

Smith said her years as Chamber director had been rewarding.

"Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the city for all of these years," she said. "Thank you."

The Chamber is searching for Smith's successor.

"She has worked tirelessly in promoting Bloomfield businesses and bringing events to Bloomfield for us to enjoy," said board President Janet Mackey.

The banquet had a 1950s theme. Many attendees wore '50s outfits, including Smith in a pink poodle skirt.

Also among the honorees, Dale Maes, owner of DJ's Pizza was named Citizen of the Year.

"He has truly a kind heart and is always giving of his time, talent and pizzas," Mackey said.

Maes is active in coaching youth sports and serving at his church. He took over the pizzeria in 1994 at age 18.


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The Judge James Welsch award for lifetime service was given to Joe Rasor, superintendent of Bloomfield schools. Rasor recalled how he adjusted to life in Bloomfield after moving from Illinois.

"It's the community that made me want to stay, and makes me want to stay here," he said.

Bloomfield Police Department Lt. Carroll Scott was named Public Employee of the Year.

The Christine Donisthorpe Leadership Award was given to Williams Co., a major natural gas firm that has a large presence in Bloomfield.

Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesRoger Murray of Kare Drug accepts the award for Business of the Year by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Roger Murray of Kare Drug accepts the award for Business of the Year by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 1, 2013.
The company has given away more than $1.8 million in San Juan County, and is a frequent contributor to events such as the San Juan Balloon Rally.

Diana Schneider, a teacher at Mesa Alta Junior High, was named Educator of the Year. A fellow teacher said Schneider "inspires other teachers to become awesome."

The Customer Service Award went to Elizabeth Ledbetter of Roadside Restaurant, who was praised for knowing customers by name and their favorite dishes.

"You guys make me feel good about myself," she said. "And I like to return the favor."

Chuck Slothower may be reached at cslothower@daily-times.com; 564-4638. Follow him on Twitter @dtchuck