Sue Richmond is this year's Citizen of the Year. She answered the phones at the Chamber of Commerce office for six years.
February 06, 2013
Sue Richmond, who worked for the Chamber of Commerce for six years as office administrator in four offices, has been named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber. She will be honored at the Feb. 21 Chamber installation dinner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Woods Valley Kampground. Tickets are on sale now.
In a statement released last week, the Chamber stated, "The Valley Center Chamber of Commerce received multiple nominations for Sue Richmond to be Citizen of the Year. Over the past decade Sue has made significant contributions to the success of the Chamber of Commerce and its major events such as Western Days. Sue's dedication of her time and talents has made a really positive difference for both the Chamber and the community of Valley Center as a whole. The Chamber of Commerce is proud to present Sue Richmond with the honor of being named Valley Center Citizen of the Year 2012."
Mrs. Richmond has lived in Valley Center for 26 years. She has raised children and volunteered in their schools as a room helper, and sports as a sports mom. She and her husband, Fran, a semi-retired general contractor, have been married for 28 years.
One of her main jobs at the Chamber was answering the phone. "You wouldn't believe the strange requests that people made of the Chamber," she recalls. "I had a woman who wanted me to take down night club signs that were on the way to Cole Grade Road because she didn't think children should read them on the way to school. She wanted them down immediately!"
She had people complain to her that their trash hadn't been picked up. "Which I thought was odd!" she recalls. "Somebody else wanted me to paint some of the median in bright colors so that people wouldn't run into it!"
Then there were the neighbor disputes. "The neighbors were either loud or they weren't taking care of their yard," she recalls. "They thought that the Chamber was a governmental agency, or the Better Business Bureau. I had a complaint about a waitress's bad service. If they did not like a business they wanted me to do something to get the business removed."
Whatever the call, Sue Richmond took it in stride. She would direct the caller to county Zoning Enforcement or to the Sheriff's Dept. if it was a dispute between neighbors. "You don't want me," she would say, "because I can't do anything about it."
One person that she directed to a county department where she could obtain assistance told her: "That's too much work, I want you to do it for me." She politely declined that one.
Despite the occasional odd phone call, Sue Richmond enjoyed the job, mainly because she was able to meet so many local people. "Meeting people I didn't already know was really fun!"
Oftentimes walk-in traffic would consist of new people who had moved into town and wanted to see where things where, or knew that they wanted to go to one of the casinos, but were lost. Whatever their need was, Mrs. Richmond helped get them on their way with good information.
The Chamber is a great resource for local businesses people, who often don't know just how valuable it is to belong to the organization, says Mrs. Richmond. "Local businesses need to join the Chamber so they can be promoted. For the nominal fee you can be on the Web site and in the newsletter. It's a pretty nominal fee for all you get. When people call in for a service you are going to recommend the people who are members of the Chamber," she says.
For seven years Mrs. Richmond served on the Western Days Committee. For a couple of those years she put in hundreds of hours of volunteer service simply because there are never enough volunteers to help put on the festival. "If
I had only worked on it during my official working hours, it would have been a failure," she says.
She continues to do statistics for the Volleyball team even though her kids are not playing. "We just want to have it so they know what their stats are. The volleyball program is overlooked a lot," she says.
Mrs. Richmond encourages others to give of their time and volunteer for their favorite cause. "I just love Valley Center and I would love to see more people give of their causes in the community," she says.