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Free Press - Citizen of the Year - Hubbell Honoured to Win Award

Oct 27, 2011

Citizen of the Year

Hubbell honoured to win award

Transcription of the the article:

~Teresa Mallam

He’s a man with a heart of gold who has given of his time, talent and financial resources to make this community a better place to live.

Darrell Hubbell was named Prince George Citizen of the Year 2011 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony Friday at Coast Inn of the North.

Hubbell’s acceptance speech began with his trademark sense of humour.

If I was Oprah Winfrey, you’d all have free jewellery right now – but I’m not,” he joked. The award is a “great honour”, one he’ll cherish for a lifetime. It’s “pretty wonderful,” he told the Free Press on Monday.

It was a complete surprise.

“They keep you in suspense until your name is called.”

Hubbell said he’s proud to be named along with the four other worthy candidates this year – as well as the winners from previous years. There were many people to thank, he said, first and foremost his wife Diane.

“She’s as generous as she is beautiful,” he said. “And I tell everybody she’s strong enough to let me be me. She keeps me grounded.”

The occasion was made even more memorable, he said, because his parents, who just celebrated their 60th anniversary, were in the room. However, while Hubbell was the “man of the hour,” he said that it was important for him to ask the other nominees – Lorne Calder, Ken Pendergast, Matthew Church and Marvene Layte – to stand up and be acknowledged.

Hubbell has a unique perspective on what it takes to be a nominee because up until a few years ago he served on the Prince George Community Foundation which administers the award.

“Now I’ve seen the award from both sides, both as a committee member and as a nominee and award recipient, and I personally think this is the most meaningful award in Prince George – from the way in which the nominees are chosen to what the award represents,” he said.

“I know what goes into the final selection and it’s a lot of hard work because there are a lot of deserving nominees. The list of people who’ve won – and those who were nominated but didn’t win – well, that’s quite an impressive list.”

The well-known businessman urges people in the community to nominate someone for next year’s award, and, “if someone asks you to be a nominee, say ‘yes.’”

Awards are just part of the work they do, the Community Foundation is always expanding its list of who they help, he said.

As for his community service, Hubbell has served on the boards of Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George Symphony Orchestra (PGSO), Town Centre Business Association and Downtown Rotary Club. He’s assisted with fundraising efforts by donating gift certificates and custom made jewellery in support of many local organizations.

He’s helped numerous groups including Prince George Public Library, Baldy Hughes Addiction Association Centre, Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, Rotary International, PGSO, Ducks Unlimited, United Way, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, B.C. Cancer Foundation, RCMP Victim Services, Hixon Community Association, Mackenzie Chamber of Commerce and the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.

Hubbell has been recognized several times for his leadership. He’s been named as Corporate Citizen of the Year three times (2004, 2005 and 2009) by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. Last year he received a Community Leader Award from Prince George MLAs Shirley Bond and Pat Bell.

Saturday night, Hubbell’s downtown business, Hubbell Designer Goldsmiths, also won the Retailer of the Year Award at the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Banquet.