The Ann Denny Memorial Community Award

Anne Grodin's Ann Denny Memorial Award 2022At the Community Thanksgiving Breakfast on Thursday, November 17, 2022, the Lafayette Chamber presented the Ann Denny Award to Anne Grodin. Well deserved, Anne! Thank you for your long-time and ongoing contributions to Lafayette!

The Ann Denny award, named for long-time Chamber Executive Director Ann Denny, is only given periodically to an individual who, over years of service, exemplifies the “very best of our community”… a visionary who models excellence, long-term community commitment, and inspirational leadership. At the recent community event, Lafayette Chamber Board member Kathy Merchant presented the award to Anne Grodin. Ann Grodin served as board member and President of the Chamber board in the 1980s. Anne joins past honorees Bob Athayde, Don Tatzin, Eric Christensen and Mike Anderson.

Photo by Craig Isaacs, BlueGoo Photography.  See photos at



Ann Denny Memorial Community Award: [Former] City of Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson

And the fourth Lafayette Chamber Ann Denny Memorial Award goes to … [Former] City of Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson. Congratulations Mike!!! So deserving!

If you haven’t seen a screen full of smiles or seen anyone genuinely surprised in a while, this is the video* to watch!
*Video is an excerpt from last night’s City Council meeting during Public Comment.
Many thanks to Lafayette Chamber Board Members John McCormick, Kathy Merchant, Larry Blodgett and Don Tatzin as well as the entire City Council for their kind words!


Lafayette Social April 2021The Lafayette Chamber Recognizes Former Lafayette Mayor and City Councilmember Mike Anderson as their fourth Ann Denny award recipient.

During public comment at the beginning of the Lafayette City Council meeting on Monday night, March 22, the Lafayette Chamber surprised and honored Mike Anderson for his service to our community.

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce established the Ann Denny award several years ago to recognize those in our community that have made extraordinary contributions, but do not fit into the Businessperson of the Year or the Citizen of the year criteria.  It is not an annual award, but only given when an exceptional person is nominated and approved by the Chamber Board.

The award is named in Ann Denny’s honor.  Ann Denny served as the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director from 1993- 2005.  Ann was a leader that represented the best qualities each of us admire and respect.  She was beloved by the residents and business owners of Lafayette.

Her obituary reads: “She loved working for causes that made her communities and the world around her better.  As a 27 year resident of Lafayette she served as Director of the March of Dimes in San Francisco and the American Diabetes Association prior to taking the reigns as Executive Director of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce in 1993. In 1995 she was instrumental in designing and coordinating the inaugural Lafayette Art and Wine Festival.  In 2001 she was named the “Lafayette Business Person of the Year” due to her tireless efforts in promoting the unique and special qualities of the town and its businesses. Ann was a founding board member of the Lafayette Community Foundation. After retiring from the Chamber in 2005, Ann remained an active board member for the next decade, offering advice and encouragement to the community she loved and could always be found volunteering at Chamber events.  She personified the spirit of “Love Lafayette”.

We are pleased to recognize Mike Anderson as our fourth Ann Denny award recipient. Mike was on the City Council for 16 years and was mayor several times. In particular, Mike’s steady leadership of Lafayette through a tumultuous 2020 that saw coronavirus, wildfires, power outages, demonstrations, and multiple shutdowns. He led us with dignity, transparency, common sense and always with a smile, Mike gave us comfort as he approached every hurdle for the community with humanity & respect.

Mike Anderson joins Stanley Music Teacher Bob Athayde, Police Chief Eric Christensen and Mayor Don Tatzin as award winners.

On behalf of the board, staff, and members of the Lafayette Chamber, we would like to say congratulations to Mike and thank you!

You can watch the presentation – complete with a screen full of smiles and the astonishment on Mike’s face on the YouTube video excerpt here:




The Ann Denny Memorial Community Award

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce a new program that will recognize an individual, from time to time, that exemplifies the very best of our community.  The award is named in Ann Denny’s honor.  Ann Denny served as the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director from 1993-2005.  Ann was a leader that represented the best qualities each of us admire and respect.  She was beloved by the residents and business owners of Lafayette.  Ann was named “Marquis Business Person of the Year” in 2001.

The creation of this award will seek those in our community that have made extraordinary contributions, but do not fit into the Business Person of the Year or the Citizen of the year criteria.  The bar will be set high for this award and will only be presented occasionally.

The criteria for this honor is:
➡ someone who models excellence in everything they do
➡ long term continuing commitment to the community
➡ helps others achieve
➡ displays leadership skills that inspire others
➡ helps create a vision for the future and helps others understand their role in achieving that vision

The procedure for this award:
➡  A nomination can be made at any time to the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
➡ The “sitting” Executive Committee will review and determine if the nomination should go to the full board for a vote.
➡  There is no set date or event to present this award.

The current Ann Denny Community Award recipients are: Stanley Music Teacher Bob Athayde, Police Chief Eric Christensen, Former Mayor Don Tatzin and Former Mayor Mike Anderson.

For questions or if you would like to make a nomination for this award, email us at



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“We are very impressed with your Chamber. We have been members of other Chambers over the years and it’s been nothing like the experiences we’re having right out of the gate with your organization. Thank you for your great communication, follow up, and professionalism.”
– Peter Dewey, Bayview Painting

“I couldn’t have asked for a better resource than the Chamber, as I was establishing my medical practice in Lafayette. AJ, Holly, and Sara were so responsive to my questions and gave me many ideas on networking in the community. They host several events that foster community building. I honestly cannot imagine a more robust, active, and friendly chamber as this. I’m a member for life!”
– Cheruba Prabakar, Lamorinda Gynecology & Surgery

“WE LOVE THE CHAMBER! Batch and Brine has been a member of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce for almost six years. We value and appreciate the incredible amount of work this organization produces for our community through many events and support for each business. The networking and education of information that’s spilled out weekly for the business community is impressive. They are a helping hand in so many ways for our business community and beyond. We couldn’t be part of this community without being part of the chamber. Lafayette Chamber is one of the best organizations we’ve worked with, so don’t think twice about it, join the Chamber!” – Rolla Ghaben, Batch & Brine

“The Chamber was instrumental in helping us open 14 years ago. The staff went out of their way to help us make connections and ensure we were successful. We would not be where we are today without the Chamber!”
– John & Colleen McCormick, Lamorinda Music