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Community Builder Award

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The “Community Builder Award” is an award the District presents to local individuals, businesses, and organizations for their volunteer service, sponsorship, promotion of programs and events, outstanding service in the interest of the District, and for other contributions significant to McKinleyville’s quality of life.  District Staff has identified Jesse Miles, Executive Director of the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce for the 2023 Community Builder Award.
Jesse and her family arrived in McKinleyville on the first Saturday in June of 2012, the day of McKinleyville’s annual Pony Express Days Festival, a festival that Jesse would one day be responsible for coordinating. In January 2020 Jesse was hired to serve as the Executive Director of the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce. Prior to taking on the leadership role of the Chamber, Jesse volunteered with the school PTO’s and worked with McKinleyville Parks & Recreation to develop teen programming. Serving her community is an opportunity Jesse is grateful to have; driven to give back to the community that gives so much to her, her family and her friends.
McKinleyville’s location amidst the Redwoods and ocean and proximity to many natural wonders to be enjoyed is among Jesse’s favorite attributes, but what she appreciates the most is the sense of community that exists here. She can go almost anywhere and see someone she knows. She loves that there are so many ways people can be involved in serving their community here and that so many community members are involved in creating the community they want for their children and their children’s children. For Jesse, involved citizens, passionate local business owners and organizations are the catalyst for creating a vibrant, connected and engaged community.
As a mom of three, Jesse is very proud of the work she gets to do and the example that her work sets for her kids. Her heart swells with pride when shehears her kids talk about her work and their understanding of the importance of building community connections and supporting the local economy of the community they live in. She hopes to inspire as many community members as she can to be engaged and active citizens who regularly participate in community events and municipal meetings that shape the forward path of McKinleyville. She believes that the challenges facing McKinleyville are best faced collectively and collaboratively so we need citizens to participate at every level of decision making. A champion for choosing Humboldt first, Jesse also encourages McKinleyville residents to support the local economy by investing their spending dollars at local businesses rather than out of area retailers. “In order to keep the businesses we love here, we must support them every day, with both our dollars and our words.”
It is an honor and pleasure to present the 2023 Community Builder Award to Jesse Miles for her energetic and passionate drive to be in service to the greater good of the McKinleyville community. McKinleyville is fortunate to have a community member like her, endlessly advocating for local business, enthusiastically championing community events that bring us all together to not only address challenges, but to also celebrate the community we’ve built and continue to build.


Past Recipients:

December 2022 - McKinleyville Family Resource Center

December 2021 - Charlie Caldwell

December 2020 - Hooven & Co., Inc. 

February 2019 - Kelly Miller and Christine Willfong

June 2018 - Rosemary Freret

January 2018 - Sheriff’s Citizens on Patrol (SCOP)

January 2017 - Aaron Ostrom

January 2016 - Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor, Ryan Sundberg

December 2014 - Humboldt Area Foundation

March 2013 - Humboldt Regional Occupational Program

February 2013 - Norman Shopay

January 2013 - Northern Humboldt Employment Services

July 2011 - McKinleyville Land Trust

May 2011 - McKinleyville Press

November 2010 - John Kulstad

October 2010 - Friends of the McKinleyville Library

September 2010 - Humboldt County CalWORKS Welfare-to-Work Department

August 2010 - Kiwanis Club of McKinleyville

July 2010 - Coast Central Credit Union