Roblan of the Year and other chamber award winners honored at annual Chamber Gala

PASO ROBLES — Dressed in their best, community members, business owners, and family gathered at Rava Wines to celebrate the 2023 Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce awardees. The event that happened on Saturday, March 23, honored Dick Woodland as the 2023 Roblan of the Year alongside Jason and Rebekah Carvalho as Citizens of the Year, Paso Robles Golf Club and Deeds Bar & Grill with the Beautification Award, and Paso Robles Waste and Recycle as the Business of the Year.

Before commencing to honoring awardees, Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Gina Fitzpatrick announced that the Chamber has gone into an agreement with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA) and the two organizations will be relocating into one space. 

Paso Robles Jointed Unified School District Trustee and PRWCA Executive Director Joel Peterson, who acted as the master of ceremonies for the night, helped Fitzpatrick introduce the news.


“We’re very excited to announce tonight that the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is going to be moving into a new building with the Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce,” said Peterson. “It’s in the heart of downtown Paso Robles on the corner of 13th and Spring Street, formerly known as Kelly Williams Realty.”

With the Chamber over 100 years old and the PRWCA around for over 30 years, the two decided to join forces joined by a new visitors center where both tourists and locals can come together to celebrate Paso Robles. 

With renderings of the space on display, Peterson explained, “We’ll have our offices for the Wine Alliance on the western side of the building. The Chamber of Commerce will be on the east side of the building, and right in the middle is a brand new visitor center for Paso Robles.”

Throughout the evening, items were sold through the auction and each award winner came up to the stage to receive their award and give thanks to their community. 

Prior to Woodland taking the stage, Gary Eberle gave him an introduction.

When there were talks to nominate Woodland as Roblan of the Year, Eberle’s first thought was that there was no way that he had never been named Roblan of the Year before, “He has done so much for this community and he’s done it so quietly and so self-effacing.”

An annual tradition, the Roblan of the Year is chosen from the previous Roblans of the Month. The award is an initiative put together by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce to recognize individuals who make significant contributions to Paso Robles through community action, donations, and other ongoing community outreaches. 

A fixture in Paso Robles’ development, Woodland’s involvement spans various sectors. From his pioneering roles in Eberle Winery and the banking industry to his endeavors like the Woodland Plaza Shopping Centers and River Walk Terrace, Woodland has left a mark on the community. His passion for cars, reflected in the Woodland Automobile Display, further enriches the community’s landscape.

Summarizing his family history and journey to Paso Robles, and his love for the race track and family, Woodland said that overall about being named Roblan of the Year, “It’s an honor. And an evening I’ll never forget.”

He added, “I guess I’m just overwhelmed that I was nominated, let alone that I ended up being awarded the Roblan of the Year, and I so much appreciate it.” 

Feature Image: Roblan of the Year Dick Woodland and Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Gina Fitzpatrick take the stage at the Chamber Gala on Saturday, March 23. Photo by Camille DeVaul