On January 22, IBL held the first annual Salute to Community Awards Dinner and honored Pena with the Sonoma State Recognition Award.
Pena is the community development coordinator for the Athletics Department, and has worked tirelessly for the past year to create stronger ties between the university and local businesses.
"He really has identified the university with this town like no other member of the university has done," said Gerard Giudice, IBL Board Member and owner of Sally Tomatoes. "He must have visited 100 businesses in Cotati and Rohnert Park extolling the values of the university and the athletic department in particular."
Pena said he was humbled to be recognized for trying to make a difference in the community. His ultimate goal is to eliminate division between the university and local community members, businesses and organizations.
IBL is a community-based business association of 60 local business and community leaders. Their annual awards dinner has been established to create a tangible bond between business, education, pbulic safety, non-profit and collegiate endeavours in the community.
A Sonoma State Recognition Award will be presented annually, along with awards for Business Person of the Year, Independent Business of the Year, Corporate Business of the Year, Public Safety Officer of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Local Business to School Assistance Gift, and a Hall of Fame Award.
For more information on IBL, visit their website at http://www.rpibl.com.
Video of the awards dinner is below: