Boss named Mount Shasta's Citizen of the Year

Skye Kinkade
Former publlic works director and Mount Shasta city councilor Ned Boss was named Citizen of the Year last week. Photo by Cindy Corrales

Former public works director and city councilor Ned Boss was named Mount Shasta Citizen of the Year during an awards ceremony at the Sisson Museum Friday evening.

Sharing the award for Business of the Year were Solano’s Alpine Hardware and Wholesale Solar.

Honored with a plaque of appreciation was Marie Josée Wells. After eight years as Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Wells is leaving the chamber to begin a new career with Great Northern Corp., said Joy Taylor, who emceed the event with city councilor Jeffrey Collings.

Taylor cited the “significant changes” Wells has made at the Chamber, including the tiered membership program.

“It’s quite an honor,” said Boss, a 64-year resident of Mount Shasta who was selected from a panel of nominees that included Russell Baba and Jeanne Mercer of Shasta Taiko, former planning commissioner Michael Backes, and Village Books owner Kim Padilla.

“Of course each of these individuals are so worthy of this award,” Taylor said. The honor goes to an individual who has made significant contributions to the local community and is a resident of Mount Shasta or sphere of influence. They were all nominated by members of the public.

Boss thanked Joe Montgomery for nominating him for the honor, as well as the Chamber of Commerce board and his family for their support and understanding during all the years when he was “away doing things.”

The Boss philosophy

“I learned many years ago that you don’t volunteer to your community to be rewarded or to see your picture in the paper. You volunteer to satisfy your own ambitions and give back to your community,” Boss said.

Boss was raised on Boss Ranch, which is now under water at Lake Siskiyou. In the early 1960s, he donated his time and excavation equipment to dig the hole for the community swimming pool. From 1965 to 1983, he was the city’s Director of Public Works. In 1964, the state mandated that the city chlorinate its drinking water.

“My endeavor was to locate the source of contamination, permanently stopping the problem,” Boss said. “We have enjoyed non-chlorinated water for 49 years.”

Boss was elected as a city councilor three different times and served as mayor for one year during each of his terms. He was a volunteer firefighter for 24 years and a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Beautification Committee, Fourth of July Committee, and Merchant’s Committee.

In 1984, Boss and his late wife Carol placed lights on the tree outside their business, Boss Photo. Then he helped raise funds to light all the trees on the 300 block of Mt. Shasta Blvd. For several years, Boss was the chairman of the Tree Lighting Committee.

He is now a board member of the Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum.

The Business of the Year is selected by the Chamber Board of Directors and given to a chamber member in good standing, Taylor explained.

“It is awarded to the most dynamic businesses and business leaders with a commitment to professional excellence, business growth and community service.”

Solano’s Alpine Hardware and Wholesale Solar shared the award. Other nominees were Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum and Wayside Grill.

Solano’s responded to community survey

Solano’s was praised for remodeling and revitalizing its store in the Mt. Shasta Shopping Center. The upgrades were done in response to community surveys, said owner Michael Solano.

“This store was built for our community, and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” he said.

The 6,500 square foot expansion provided more space for sporting goods for hunting, archery, fishing and camping. They added more power tools, electrical and plumbing supplies, and products for contractors. There are more lawn and garden products, houseware items and everyday supplies for the homeowner.

Solano’s added a service desk for ordering specialty items and key cutting, while continuing to sell hunting and fishing licenses. They also collect batteries for recycling as a service to Mount Shasta residents.

Employee-owned Wholesale Solar

Wholesale Solar employs 40 people at its three separate storefronts on Mt. Shasta Boulevard and two local warehouses.

In May 2012, Mark and Ellen Coleman sold the company to its employees and Wholesale Solar is now an Employee Owned Stock Ownership Trust.

Founded about 20 years ago as a supplier of solar equipment for the off-grid solar market, Wholesale Solar is now one of the largest distributors of solar equipment for retail residential solar users in North America.

According to information provided to the Chamber, the company has grown by 20 to 40 percent annually since 2003 by maintaining its website, using Google ad campaigns, efficient shipping and providing “superior customer support before and after the sale.”

Joy Taylor said, “These nominees and award winners are inspirations to all of us.” They make Mount Shasta a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. I encourage us all to remember that the vitality of our town is enhanced when we shop local. To be a thriving community takes a commitment by each of us to vote for local prosperity with our consumer dollars by supporting local businesses.”