Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) held its Second Annual Awards Banquet Saturday night, during which some of the top community and business leaders in the area were recognized.

Awards were presented in six categories: Lead, Serve, Connect, Company of the Year, FLYP Graduate Scholar and FLYPer of the Year. Congressman Jim Costa delivered the evening’s keynote speech, and in addition to the awards presented, two $500 scholarships were awarded to a local college student and graduate student who are either attending or will be attending local universities.

“It was a wonderful night to celebrate and honor what makes Fresno great and the people that have committed so much time and energy into making our community a better place to live,” said Allison Boogaert, chair of the board of Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals.

Electronic Recyclers International, the nation’s leading electronic waste recycling company, was honored as FLYP’s Company of the Year. ERI is known for “recycling lives,” and has given employment opportunities to many individuals who have previously been incarcerated, as well as 40-50 graduates of California State University, Fresno. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims praised ERI and its chairman and CEO John Shegerian for ERI’s service to the community.

“When you walk in the front door of ERI, and on our Web site, is our mission statement: ‘Everybody can be great, because everyone can serve,’” Shegerian said. “That’s not my words, that’s the great Dr. Martin Luther King’s words.”

Dawn Steele, a field representative with Congressman George Radanovich’s Office and vice chair of FLYP, was named the 2010 FLYPer of the Year.

“There are many within this organization that are deserving of the award,” Steele said. “It’s a privilege to be acknowledged for what I have accomplished in the organization, but more importantly what FLYP has done for the Fresno area.”

FLYP is in its sixth year of existence, and it offers programs dealing with professional development, leadership classes, trainings and workshops, and its members spend time involved in community service. Monthly mixers are held, presenting plenty of networking opportunities with some of the area’s top young professionals.

The following is a list of this year’s awards winners.

  • Lead Award – Congressman George Radanovich
  • Serve Award – Kendra Rogers
  • Connect Award – Council Member Andreas Borgeas
  • Company of the Year – Electronic Recyclers International
  • FLYP Graduate Scholar – Nicole Moye
  • FLYPer of the Year – Dawn Steele