San Juan Capistrano’s business community gathered Thursday, July 11, at El Adobe de Capistrano, where longtime residents and local photographers Scott and Diana Schmitt were presented with the annual Man and Woman of the Year award as well as the Lifetime Achievement award.
“We love San Juan!” Scott Schmitt exclaimed after he and Diana received the award.
“This is the jewel and the crown of our life’s works,” Scott later told The Capistrano Dispatch following the ceremony. “To get this kind of recognition from our peers, friends and fellow San Juan residents is beyond an honor.”
The San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce hosts its Annual Installation and Awards Banquet to celebrate the work of local businesses and citizens, recognizing them for their work and efforts to help the community.
Scott and Diana, who run Accent Portraits by Diana and San Juan Photo & Digital, have lived in San Juan for more 30 years and have become staples of the community, being regularly seen at events with their cameras.
The couple was brought to tears on Thursday night after getting caught off guard with winning both awards. The awards portion started with Scott and Diana being recognized with the Man and Woman of the Year award. And to cap it off, Chamber CEO George Peppas III surprised the couple again with the Lifetime Achievement honors.
“I was completely surprised, but I have to say, after all these years, it was so easy to do because we love doing what we do because we love our community,” an elated Diana Schmitt told The Dispatch.
The award for Business of the Year was also given out during the annual event. This year it went to Sweet Home Capistrano Bakery Café, which is owned by James Parris.
Here’s the complete list of awards and recipients from this year’s Installation and Awards Banquet:
Man & Woman of the Year: Scott and Diana Schmitt
Business of the Year: Sweet Home Capistrano Bakery Café
Sister City, Ensenada, Mexico Award: Mares Foundation
Sister City, Capistrano, Italy Award: Regency Theatre
Lifetime Achievement Award: Scott and Diana Schmitt
Ambassador of the Year: Randi Peshkin
New Volunteer of the Year: Kelly Kaban, DDS & Larry Kaban, DDS
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