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Livermore Chamber Honors Local Innovators, Students at Ceremony

Annual Dream Makers and Risk Takers Awards Luncheon recognized local innovators, students and officials.

Each year, the holds an awards luncheon that salutes innovators in the Tri-Valley who are changing the world. The sold-out awards ceremony was held at on March 30.

, president and CEO of the Livermore Chamber said, "We're excited to be presenting these awards this year to some amazing people. The recipients dream big, and through their persistence, their dreams come true. They take risks so their visions really have no boundary."

Appropriately, Wil Agatstein, a former senior executive and vice president of Emerging Markets Platform at Intel, was the keynote speaker. He's now executive director of the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship

During his speech, he talked about following your own path, no matter what. He recounted how his teen-age daughter questioned why he wasn't following his dream, even though he always told his children to do so. After thinking about it, he realized that his daughter was right. So he notified his boss at Intel that he was quitting to pursue a new career path.

Award Recipients

Terry Johnson and Lennie Klebanoff, from , were the first recipients. As part of the Fuel Cell Powered Mobile Lighting Project, they helped develop a prototype system that features a fuel cell that runs on pure hydrogen. These small, extremely quiet portable lighting systems produce zero emission and are used primarily by highway construction crews, airport maintenance personnel and film crews. It was even used at the Academy Awards in February. 

Bill Watkins, CEO of Bridgelux, was the second award recipient. Bridgelux, the first new U.S.-based light emitting diode (LED) manufacturer in the last 20 years,  recently moved to Livermore. Bridgelux's focus is bringing innovation to light by providing high power, energy efficient and cost-effective LED solutions for many applications.

John Dulchinos, CEO of Adept Technology, Inc., received the third award. It is a global provider of intelligent, vision-guided robotics systems and the largest U.S.-based manufacturer of industrial robots.

Student Awards

Christine Wente, Livermore Chamber board chairwoman, said, "This year we are presenting awards to the next generation — the generation who will define the future."

students Chris Henry, Austin Blaylock and Avela Hendrix received the Dream Makers Social Innovation award. They are part of the school's Video Productions Team, and were asked to make a 30-second public service announcement about the ramifications of bullying in school.

Interim President and Bob Carling, director of Sandia National Laboratories’ Transportation Energy Center, presented the Student of the Year Award to Takeo Hiraki, a student at Las Positas College. He's the vice president of the Associated Students, past vice president of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society and a legislative intern at the office of California Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan.

Livermore Chamber Ambassador of the Year

presented the final award, the Livermore Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year, to 's Sheila Fagliano.

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