In memory of Leon S. Peters, this award was created in 1984 and continues to be sponsored annually by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. This award was established to preserve the memory and legacy of Leon S. Peters and to honor Central Valley leaders who, over a period of time, clearly demonstrated in his or her personal and business life the values, ethics and character exemplified by Mr. Peters.

Karen Musson

2020
Karen Musson

Matty Matoian

2019
Matty Matoian

Jim Pardini

2018
Jim Pardini

William Smittcamp

2017
William Smittcamp

Stan Oken

2016
Stan Oken

Ray Steele Jr.

2015
Ray Steele Jr.

Richard “Dick” Caglia

2014
Richard “Dick” Caglia

John E. Horstmann

2013
John E. Horstmann

Dr. Peter Mehas

2012
Dr. Peter Mehas

Dr. Pete Peters

2011
Dr. Pete Peters

Joe Williams

2010
Joe Williams

Lou Herwaldt

2009
Lou Herwaldt

Bill Jones

2008
Bill Jones

Sidney Cox

2007
Sidney Cox

Bud Richter

2006
Bud Richter

O. James Woodward III

2005
O. James Woodward III

Samuel Reeves

2004
Samuel Reeves

Octavia Diener

2003
Octavia Diener

Robert Oliver

2002
Robert Oliver

Frederick Ruiz

2001
Frederick Ruiz

Anne Speake

2000
Anne Speake

Larry A. Shehadey

1999
Larry A. Shehadey

Claude Laval III

1998
Claude Laval III

Robert Carter

1997
Robert Carter

Richard Johanson

1996
Richard Johanson

James Hallowell

1995
James Hallowell

Lou Gentile

1994
Lou Gentile

Earl Smittcamp

1993
Earl Smittcamp

Helen Smades

1992
Helen Smades

William Lyles

1991
William Lyles

Martin Nelsen

1990
Martin Nelsen

Joe Levy

1989
Joe Levy

Frank Caglia

1988
Frank Caglia

B. Franklin Knapp

1987
B. Franklin Knapp

James B. Mayer

1986
James B. Mayer

Robert Duncan

1985
Robert Duncan

Lewis B. Eaton

1984
Lewis B. Eaton

Leon S Peters

Leon S. Peters was respected as a businessman, civic leader and philanthropist who lived and worked according to the highest ethical standards. He cherished his community and considered its well-being his personal responsibility. As the son of Armenian immigrants, he grew up on the family farm. After the loss of his parents, he became a salesman for Valley Foundry and went on to purchase the company. Valley Foundry and Machine Works manufactured a wine grape crusher and seamless stainless steel tanks that revolutionized wine production. The company became a world recognized supplier of agricultural equipment.

Peters gave back to his community in many ways, serving in leadership capacities and donating millions of dollars to a variety of causes through the Leon S. Peters Foundation, founded and funded by Leon and his wife Alice. He died in 1983, leaving a legacy of business success, public service, private philanthropy and an ethical leadership model that few can emulate.

You are encouraged to nominate a living person whom you believe conducts his or her personal and business/professional life in the manner consistent with the life of Leon S. Peters. You are encouraged to nominate a person who is:

A BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS

Leon S. Peters was an outstanding businessman and business leader. He was highly respected by his industry and community peers for his personal and business integrity and wisdom.

A SERVANT LEADER

Leon S. Peters was a servant leader who gave significant amounts of his time, talent, and treasure in a myriad of ways, to the betterment of the community.

A MORAL AND ETHICAL PERSON

Leon S. Peters was a moral and ethical person whose value system, ethics and moral compass did not vary, regardless of circumstances.

A CARING PERSON

Leon S. Peters was a caring person whose positive and beneficial activities showed a concern and a commitment to his community and his fellow man.

A MENTOR

Leon S. Peters was a mentor who provided advice and counsel with humility, wisdom, skill and grace.