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Carmichael Times

Sanborn and Citizens Honored

Mar 05, 2024 10:51AM ● By Susan Maxwell Skinner, photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

SMUD Director and Carmichael community figurehead Heidi Sanborn (center, with flowers) joined leaders honored by the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce last week.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Heidi Sanborn was the toast of the town as the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce declared the SMUD director and environmental activist 2024 Person of the Year, last week.

An annual Chamber fundraiser, the Awards Dinner benefit applauded business people, services, non-profits, volunteers, and officials.

Jason Kline Jason Castevens Rosie Buck Roger Niello

School of Rock Sacramento claimed a New Business award. Owner Jason Kline (left) and teacher Jason Castevens accept trophies from Chamber President Rosie Buck and Senator Roger Niello.

Introducing the event's principal honoree, Assemblyman Josh Hoover described Sanborn’s impact as far-reaching. “Heidi’s dedication creates a ripple effect that stretches across the nation,” said Hoover.

Heidi Sanborn Brad Sanborn Dr Clark Kahn III

Sanborn’s awards were applauded by husband Brad Sanborn (left) and 86-year-old dad Dr Clark Kahn III.

Event decor reflected the heroine’s passion for all things sustainable. Napkins and guest notebooks were of recycled paper; knives and forks were compostable. Potted trees dotted the La Sierra auditorium and faux grass formed a photo-op background. Effie Yeaw Nature Center provided a Peregrine falcon ambassador. “Part of local vitality is our environment,” explained Chamber president Rosie Buck. “Protecting it is as important to us as it is to Heidi.”

Just touched-down from a lobbying trip to Washington DC, the woman-of-the-hour barely had time to don cocktail attire before she hit the floor dancing.

“The first thing I thought when I was asked to accept this award was: why me?” The 61-year told nearly 200 supporters. “It means so much to me.”

Her environmental activism, she explained, was with the goal of “leaving this planet as awesome as we found it.” Of her Sacramento Municipal Utilities District leadership, the 2023 board president said: “I’m just lucky to work with so many amazing people. Our SMUD team is the best of the best.”

She also thanked neighborhood service club volunteers. “If I have so much energy, it’s because of this fantastic community,” she said. “So many people here have such huge hearts. It’s because we love each other that we are stronger and better.”

Sanborn’s real estate broker husband Brad Sanborn – and 86-year-old father Dr Clark Kahn III – also got back-slaps. “My husband makes what I do possible,” she said.  “If I’m out picking up trash, he’s with me. My father always told me I could be anything I wanted. He said if I worked hard, I could be an astronaut or even a president.”

Elks Lodge Diane Bristow Cindy Wright

Elks Lodge #2103 takes a Carmichael Legacy award. Accepting honors are lodge officials Diane Bristow and Cindy Wright (third and fourth from left).

The Chamber and the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael benefited from the Awards Dinner fundraiser.

Also honored were: 

Person of the Year: Heidi Sanborn (SMUD).

Businesswoman of the Year: Silvia Anderson (Nature’s Lab School).

Businessman of the Year: Joe Green (Pit Boss Jerky).

Nonprofit of the Year: Kiwanis of Carmichael.

Public Service Award: Carmichael Recreation and Park District.

Carmichael Legacy Award: Carmichael Elks Lodge.

New Business Awards: Carmichael Disc Center and School of Rock, Sacramento.

Chamber Champion Award: Milagro Centre.

Carmichael Spirit Award: Carmichael Midas.

Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Anna-Marie Rodriguez (MoneySafe Mortgage).

Anna Marie Rodriguez

Businessman of the Year is Pit Boss Jerky owner Joe Green (center). Wife Heidi and sons Andrew and Caleb share prophies presented by Supervisor Rich Desmond (left) Assemblyman Josh Hoover, Chamber President Rosie Buck, Senator Roger Niello and Congressman Ami Bera’s representative Kelly Jacobsen.

Joe Green Rich Desmond Josh Hoover Rosie Buck Roger Niello

Businesswoman of the Year is Silvia Anderson (center) from Nature’s Lab Play School.  VIP presenters include Chamber Past President Izzy DeLancey (left) Supervisor Rich Desmond, Senator Roger Niello, Congressman Ami Bera’s representative Kelly Jacobsen and Honorary Mayor Miranda Vianni.

Learn about the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce at