SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

It was a night to recognize and honor successful local businesses and individuals in the Santa Maria Valley.

The annual Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Installation Awards dinner is a big night when the community comes together to pay tribute to successful local businesses and men and women who make a difference with their public service, volunteerism and support for the community.

"It certainly is one of the most important events we do every year", says Chamber CEO Glenn Morris, "this is our chance to recognize leaders in the community, leaders in our businesses, people that make our community work."

"Tonight is about honoring and recognizing great companies, great leaders in the town, people that have invested a lot of time and effort in making Santa Maria the place where we want to live and do business", Morris says.

"Santa Maria is probably one of the most generous, giving towns in the world and everybody is involved in something", said local retired financial services executive and well-known volunteer and community supporter Ed Murray who received the Robert P. Hatch Citizen Of The Year Award.

Murray says for him, its the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

"Yeah it definitely is", Murray says, "I mean all the involvement I've had over the years means something to the community, I feel like, you want to feel like you've left something and you did something for the good of the community and I feel like I have done that and passed it on to my kids just like my Dad and Mom passed it on to me."

Recipient of the Robert F. Grogan Award For Public Service is retiring Santa Maria City Councilman Bob Orach who will have served 30 years on the City Council when his term expires at the end of the year.

The Chamber Ambassador Of The Year Award went to Pastor Dave Brogren with Heritage Evangelical Presbyterian Church, formerly Santa Maria Community Church.

Small Business Of The Year Award went to Salon Studio 23 in Santa Maria and Large Business Of The Year Award went to Heritage Oaks Bank.