Sandra Rings, the owner of the Salon Diva hair salon, is the Hesperian of the Year for 2012.


The Hesperia Chamber of Commerce honored Rings and other local businesses and business owners at their annual awards banquet, held Feb. 21 at the Courtyard Marriott hotel.


"Since opening her salon in Hesperia a little more than a year ago," chamber president Matt Hawkins said, in announcing the award, "she immediately dedicated her services to the community with such things as food drives and cutting hair for Locks of Love. ... Never talk bad about her New York Yankees, or she will hunt you down and deal with you accordingly."


Also honored was Mike Tuozzo, the owner of the Italian Kitchen, as the Business Person of the Year.


"For years, he has supported the Hesperia community and surrounding areas by providing thousands of gift certificates from his business to schools, parks, service clubs and the chamber," Hawkins said. "His dedication to all he befriends makes him a leader and a mentor."


ICR Staffing was given the Business of the Year Award.


"ICR not only supports many organizations in the community, but in 2011, they implemented an ambassador program where they pay temp workers to work in local agencies at no cost to the agency," Hawkins told the audience. "The program helps local organizations and provides a little bit of income and ongoing training to unemployed individuals seeking work."


Longtime chamber stalwarts Gil and Margaret Zank were posthumously honored with the Hesperia Legacy Award.


"Many existing members credit Gil and Margaret for getting them involved with the chamber," Hawkins said. The pair also started the chamber's Friday morning coffee club, "and hundreds of businesses and individuals benefited from those relationships" that began at the Friday morning meetings.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.