2013 Achievement Award recipients announced

Posted: December 10, 2012

Antelope Valley College and the Antelope Valley College Foundation have announced the recipients of the 2013 Achievement Awards who will be honored at a dinner, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the J.P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center, 43404 30th St. West, Lancaster.

The honorees include AVC alumnus Gary Bryant, former area director for Special Olympics Dennis Wick, AVC Professor Emeritus John Berry, former Lancaster Mayor Lynn Harrison, Antelope Valley Press Vice President and General Manager Cherie Bryant, and San Diego County real estate broker David Rehmann.

In addition, the Legacy Award, which recognizes individuals whose commitment and concern has transformed the lives of others, will be presented posthumously to Wayne Ekimoto and Dennis Ekimoto.

For information on sponsorships or reservations call the AVC Advancement and Foundation Office, (661) 722-6300, ext. 6391.

Gary Bryant will be presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is a 1964 AVC graduate who went on to a career with the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which included a six-year stint managing Hoover Dam.

Wick, who spent his career as a teacher and advocate for special needs youth and adults, will be recognized with the Community Service Award. Wick was a teacher/program specialist for the Los Angeles County Office of Education who established the first class for special needs youth on a local high school campus and he served 33 years as the volunteer director of the Antelope Valley Special Olympics Program.

Berry will receive the College Service Award. Berry started his teaching career at California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a Master’s in Business Administration. In 1987, he accepted a full-time teaching position at AVC, where he continues to work part-time since his 2008 retirement.

Harrison will be honored with the Public Service Award, having served eight years on the Lancaster City Council and 12 years as community resources manager for California State Prison-Los Angeles County. During her tenure on the council, she served two one-year terms as mayor.

Cherie Bryant started her newspaper career in Georgia. In 1972, she joined the Antelope Valley Press, where she has been responsible for creating and maintaining new departments. She has served as retail advertising coordinator, retail salesperson, national advertising manager and manager of the marketing and promotions department. She now serves as vice president and general manager.

Rehmann will receive the American Spirit Award. A graduate of Antelope Valley College, Rehmann went on to become a Navy radar intercept officer during the Vietnam War. His fighter jet was shot down over North Vietnam in 1966 and he was held as a prisoner of war until 1974. After leaving the Navy, Rehmann went into the real estate business in San Diego County.

The family of brothers Dennis and Wayne Ekimoto will be presented the Legacy Award.

Dennis Ekimoto was a standout football player for Antelope Valley High School, recognized as an All-American who helped advance his team to playoffs. He went on to work for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and retired from the Lancaster Parks and Recreation Department in 2006.

Younger brother Wayne Ekimoto played football at Antelope Valley High School and Antelope Valley College. He pursued his interest in helping others eventually returning to AV High School where he served as a coach, teacher and guidance counselor.