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American River Messenger

Honoring the Best of Fair Oaks

Feb 08, 2023 12:00AM ● By By Judy Andrews

Many of the winners of the Best of Fair Oaks pose for their photograph of special recognition at the event. Photo by Paul Scholl.

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FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - It’s official! The 2022 Best of Fair Oaks winners were announced on Jan. 26 at the 7th Annual Best of Fair Oaks Awards Gala at North Ridge Country Club. The ballroom was packed to the brim as hundreds turned out to celebrate with the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce (FOCC).

Sponsored by the FOCC, VoterFly, and the American River Messenger, voting to determine the 2022 “best of the best” took place online over a six-week period in November and December. More than 15,000 votes (the most ever in the program’s history) were received and tallied through The website was designed in 2018 by VoterFly creator Ryan Griffith.

“The Best of Fair Oaks keeps growing each year by its number of contenders, categories, and votes—and this year we blew it out of the park!” exclaimed FOCC Executive Director Kimberley Pitillo. “Overall, 515 nominees competed in 71 different categories compared to three years ago where there were only 267 nominees and 51 categories.”

Pitillo kicked off the night’s awards segment with a heartfelt welcome and message of gratitude to all nominees. “This is an evening to celebrate and share all the great things we love about our community!”

The gala was organized and presented by students from Fair Oaks Youth Outreach (FOYO). Presenters included Noah Wright, Emma Ford, Abby Lingenfelter, Dezerai Thompson, Navya Aqarwani, Lauren Mannerino, and Ethan Throung with background support from Zac Lingenfelter and Gray Mihalakos.

A portion of the proceeds from the event, which also included a raffle and dessert auction, support the chamber’s FOYO Youth Scholarship Program.

Other event sponsors included Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District, Good Hands Massage, Jessica Rose Balloons, North Ridge Country Club, St. Mel Catholic Church, and State Farm Insurance Agent Katie Yount.

Award highlights

Some notable 2022 winners included: Best Bar/Brew Pub (Fair Oaks Brew Pub); Best Burger (Dad’s Kitchen); Best Coffee Spot (Badfish Coffee & Tea); Best Church (St. Mel Catholic Church); Best Entertainment (Concerts in the Park); Best Home-based Business (Ships and Trips Travel); Best Restaurant (Divided Sky Tavern); Best Sandwich Shop (Rim’s Deli); Best Service Club (Rotary of Fair Oaks); Best Skin & Beauty (Skinned & Lashed by Jen); Best Sports Retailer (Bob’s Cycle Center); Best Event (Chicken Festival); Favorite Hidden Treasure in Fair Oaks (Nellie the Elephant & Little Library).

For the seventh year in a row, the Orangevale-Fair Oaks Food Bank won for Best Non-Profit.

Special chamber awards

Pitillo presented special awards to five deserving chamber members and businesses. These recipients were chosen for their outstanding work in the community in 2022.

Volunteer of the Year went to Jill Stevens; Business Person of the Year went to Dustin Buck of Buck Wealth Management; Business of the Year went to Fair Oaks Brew Pub; and Citizen of the Year went to Katie Yount of State Farm Insurance.

In a moving tribute, Pitillo presented a Special Recognition award to Warren and Janet McWilliams who just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Warren was Fair Oaks Honorary Mayor in 1996 and the couple, who are still active in the community, have been chamber members for 28 years.

Congratulations to all 2022 Best of Fair Oaks winners and nominees!

For a complete list of winners, please visit or