Riverton City and the South Valley Chamber presented the annual Peak Awards to deserving business and community leaders on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The following awards were presented:
- Chamber Ambassador of the Year
- Business Woman of the Year
- Business Man of the Year
- Business of the Year
- Excellence in Public Safety Award
- Outstanding City Employee Award
- Mayor's Service Award
Dave Khwaja is the owner of First Touch Consulting, a local Riverton business that helps other businesses of all sizes obtain business loans or financing for commercial real estate and equipment. Dave has served as a South Valley Chamber ambassador for the last two years and will serve as co-chair of the new Small Business Committee. He first became involved with the chamber by attending workshops on topics such as digital marketing, finance and sales. He ultimately completed the South Valley Chamber’s Business Acceleratory Academy, a 13 week course, which he credits for substantially changing and improving the way he runs his business. Dave and First Touch Consulting have played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic in helping many small businesses apply for and receive loans and other financial support that allowed those businesses to remain open.
Leslie Mulford-Reiser is the owner and operator of Elite Academy, an award-winning dance studio and academic preschool located in Riverton. Leslie has taught thousands of students over the course of her 25 years in the business where she has worked to teach many life skills such as teamwork, kindness, dependability and leadership. Leslie’s leadership this year helped her business creatively adapt to COVID-19. She and her 15 employees have worked to limit the amount of dancers and staff in the building, follow social distancing and masking protocols, and keep her space clean and sanitized. Leslie’s leadership has also shown through as Elite Academy is frequently involved with the community and participates with local charities and causes.
Monte B. Peterson has been a prominent member of the Riverton business community for his entire career. As president of Peterson's Fresh Market, Monte has employed many neighbors and residents of Riverton. Monte has worked with Peterson's Market for over 58 of the 82 years the business has operated. At 70 years old, Monte entered the realm of semi-retirement at the end of 2020. Under Monte's leadership, Peterson's Market has grown and prospered, bringing many new offerings to the community over the years and currently employing over 100 people. During his career at Peterson's Market, Monte served in many business and community functions, including as chairman of the board and board member for Associated Food Stores. Monte and Peterson’s Market have been champions of the Riverton community and have given much over the years. He has also been a little league baseball coach, scout master, and served in volunteer positions within his church.
Salsa Leedos Mexican Grill is a cornerstone in Riverton’s restaurant community. Salsa Leedos first opened in Riverton in 2002 and has since become one of the most popular dining locations in the south valley area. The restaurant specializes in delicious fresh Mexican food served by a friendly and courteous staff in a fun and casual restaurant environment. Like most restaurants, COVID-19 hit Salsa Leedos hard. Due to quick innovation, the business not only adapted to and survived the situation, but found ways to feed hungry families and the homeless, and hire back most of their staff. Salsa Leedos employs approximately 67 employees and has a long history of giving back to and supporting the community. The business is owned by Travis and Teri Bonino, with Jake Bright serving as general manager. Travis and Teri’s sons, Cayden and Dylan, run the catering and delivery business.
Wade Watkins serves as Riverton City’s liaison to Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and as chief of UFA’s Fire Training Division. During his time as liaison to Riverton, Chief Watkins is known for going above and beyond to meet the city’s needs and be a trusted, reliable partner for the city. His efforts to further integrate UFA with the community and Riverton City to promote an atmosphere of teamwork have not gone unnoticed. He’s been serving the community since 1999, when he started his career as a part-time firefighter and EMT working on the ambulance serving primarily in Riverton and Herriman. In his current role with the Fire Training Division, Chief Watkins’ priority is to train the next generation of firefighters to respond effectively to citizen needs. This is his passion and he finds a great deal of joy in this pursuit.
Outstanding City Employee Award
Todd Stewart | Facilities Maintenance Manager, Riverton City
Todd Stewart works as the facilities maintenance manager for Riverton City. He has worked for the city for approximately 7.5 years. Todd has been instrumental in the recent remodeling of Riverton City Hall, which includes updates to the council chamber, courtroom, lobby and many offices. Todd manages a team of seven staff who are primarily responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of seven city facilities and the Riverton Senior Center. As circumstances have changed over the last year due to COVID-19, Todd and his team have been instrumental in keeping city employees and public visitors safe. Todd and his family have lived in Riverton for the past 20 years.
Linda Abel serves as chair of Riverton City’s Historic Preservation Commission. She has served on the commission since 2018, becoming chair in 2019. Linda has played a key role in organizing the Wreaths Across America program at Riverton City Cemetery to honor the veterans buried there. In December of 2020, every veteran in the cemetery was honored with a Christmas wreath thanks in part to Linda’s passion for the project. Additionally, Linda has been involved with the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War 1 at Riverton City Cemetery, the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, and in developing historical displays at the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center. She also serves on the board of the Spirit of America chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, her HOA board and within her church. She has lived in Riverton for 14 years.