PORT OF STOCKTON

Port official named Stocktonian of the Year

December 20, 2017

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Port-Commissioner-Chairperson-Dr-Elizabeth-Blanchard-Stocktonian-of-the-YearPort of Stockton Commission Chairwoman Elizabeth Blanchard believed she was being summoned to a Friday morning meeting to greet Norwegian port officials about a tour.

Much to her surprise, members of the Central Valley Association of Realtors and the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce swarmed into a conference room to announce Blanchard as the 64th recipient of the Stocktonian of the Year award.

“You are our newest Stocktonian!” Bob Kavanaugh, the 1996 Stocktonian of the Year winner, said as he presented Blanchard with an anchor-shaped plaque.

“Uh, what?” she asked as she slowly realized what was happening.

“This is for real? I can’t believe this.”

What makes Blanchard, 88, deserving of being Stocktonian of the Year is the great deal of time she devotes to community service, education and volunteering in numerous organizations.

She was named president of the Association of Pacific Ports in August and has been involved with the port since she was named commissioner in 2008.

Earning a doctorate in psychology from University of the Pacific, Blanchard is a retired professor of the San Joaquin Delta College Psychology Department and the School of Education at Pacific.

Blanchard also serves on six other community and organization boards, and served eight years on the Stockton City Planning Commission and two years on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission.

To top it off, she has been an active presence in the local Chinese community as a member of the Jene Wah Chinese Senior Center, the Chinese Benevolent Association, and the Chinese Cultural Society.

“I have told Liz on more than one occasion to slow down, smell the roses, you have earned it,” Port of Stockton Commissioner Victor Mow wrote in his nomination of Blanchard. “She always just smiles and continues on her way.”

“The spirit to help and serve is still a very big part of who she is. She is truly what is called a good public servant.”

Among past winners on hand to celebrate Blanchard on Friday were Tim Ulmer, a 2014 Stocktonian of the Year, and 1969 winner Ort Lofthus.

Before the surprise, Lofthus, 93, had to be taken to a local hospital after falling in front of the port administration building for treatment of facial lacerations.

While the meeting with Norwegians was all a ruse, Blanchard was still about port business.

“I was expecting the Norwegians, I got Americans,” she laughed.

“Thank you all, I can’t — I just can’t — you guys are kidding me, right?”

A formal award presentation is slated for February.

 

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