Roblan of the Year Matt Masia wiped away tears as he received a standing ovation from the roughly 300 people in attendance at the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala on Saturday.
Longtime Adelaide Inn owner Masia took the stage to receive his award after hearing friends Bill Roof and Danna Stroud tell his story, one that included a long list of community service and awards.
“Matt has been a steady presence in our community for what seems forever and when the news broke that he had been named Roblan of the Year, I’m sure we all nodded our heads in agreement and had one of those well alright moments,” said Stroud, who is the executive director of the Travel Paso Alliance, which Masia helped form.
Masia, who is usually one to let his actions speak for him, actually took a couple of minutes to express his gratitude for being named Roblan of the Year.
“I just want to say thank you very much for this honor,” Masia said. “I’m very honored to be Roblan. I love Paso Robles. It’s been a great community and a great town for my family and friends.”
In true Masia fashion, he applauded the efforts of everyone around him for helping to make Paso Robles what it is today.
“I just want to make Paso Robles as special as it can be,” he said. “We all make Paso Robles what it is. It’s not one person, or one group, or one activity, but it’s all of us and that is what makes Paso Robles so special.”
Masia then singled out his family that was in attendance.
“Most of all I want to thank my family,” he said. “Without their love and support and understanding, I couldn’t do anything that I have done in my life. I appreciate them so much. Mostly I want to thank my mother. She’s given up and done so much for my family and for our business, and for the town, and for just…I love you
Masia wrapped up his comments by also putting the spotlight on his employees. The Adelaide Inn currently employs 28 frontline hourly employees, who have worked for Masia collectively for over 220 years.
“And finally, everyone who I work with,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything without the people that I work with. I have great, great employees. I have people that have been with us since we started in ’86. That is what we are — we are a family.
“Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you very much and I didn’t mean to bare my soul tonight and I have,” he said, followed by another standing ovation.
Masia is a graduate of Paso Robles High School and played on the 1972 CIF champion football team. He received a bachelor’s in Finance from California State University, Fresno. After college, he returned to Paso Robles and in 1986, he established the Adelaide Inn.
In 2017, he was inducted into the California Mid-State Fair Hall of Fame. He also won the Mid-Sate Fair Blue Ribbon Award and the Pioneer Committee “Supporter Award.”
He has been a proud supporter of numerous youth organizations, including the California Mid-State Fair Livestock Auction, several youth sports teams, Bearcat Boosters, Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Museum, and Youth Arts at Studios on the Park. He volunteers with Little League Baseball and has helped establish a working garden along with the students of Daniel Speck Elementary School.
He has also been instrumental in a variety of community organizations such as Estrella Warbird Museum, Pioneer Museum, Pioneer Day, Main Street Association and the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce.
His committee and board involvement include, but are certainly not limited to, 4-H President, Paso Robles FFA President, Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce President for 2 years and longtime Board Member, City of Paso Robles “All Aboard” Train Station Committee Chair and Board, San Luis Obispo County Visitor and Convention Bureau Founding Member and Board and a founding member of the Paso Robles Business Improvement District.
“When we step back and consider who Matt is we land on the pure and simple fact that he is our friend,” Stroud said. “His thoughtfulness at just the right time has helped us get through some of life’s tougher moments. And his subtle sense of humor has helped brighten our days. He has earned our trust and our respect and our community
In addition to Masia, the Paso Robles Chamber recognized Cava Robles RV Resort as the 2018 Beautification of the Year recipient and Virginia Lockyer as the 2018 Ambassador of the Year.
President and CEO Gina Fitzpatrick highlighted the chamber’s accomplishments in 2018 as well as what was on tap for 2019.
Chairwoman Sarah Hinds introduced the Chamber’s 2019 Board of Directors and thanked outgoing board members — Matt McClish, past chairman, Larry Werner, Lisa Marrone, Margaret Johnson
For more information about the chamber, visit www.pasorobleschamber.com or call 805-238-0506.