Owner of The Gifted Basket honored by Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce

Being named the Ambassador of the Year by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce at its annual Gala was a true honor for Virginia Lockyer, owner and operator of The Gifted Basket. To say she was surprised by the award is an understatement.

“I was absolutely flabbergasted when I learned I was chosen as the Ambassador of the Year,” Lockyer said. “What an amazing and pleasant surprise!”

What makes this award special is how the voting is conducted. The Chamber Ambassador Team members submit anonymous ballots, making it a peer-to-peer award, according to Chamber Events Coordinator Shanay Brown.

“They select an individual who has dedicated a lot of time and energy to the Chamber and is present at most of our events,” Brown said. “Everyone in Paso Robles knows Virginia because she is usually the first person to greet them at our events such as ribbon cuttings, mixers, and our Restaurant of the Month award ceremonies. She is very deserving of this award.”

Among the current Ambassador team, Lockyer has been serving the longest. After moving with her husband, Phil, to Paso Robles in 2006, Lockyer joined the Chamber in 2007. Approached to become an Ambassador in 2008, she took on this important role and has been helping to promote the Chamber for more than a decade.

“One of the things I enjoy the most is the ribbon cuttings we do for new local businesses,” Lockyer said. “This gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and help them launch their business forward. Another way I am able to meet community members is by greeting and signing people in at our Chamber mixers — I get to see everybody!”

Brown has worked with Lockyer for more than six years. She said Lockyer recognizes the value of giving her time to the local community and is almost always one of the first people to volunteer for whatever the Chamber has going on.

“To put it simply, Virginia shows up and gets things done,” Brown said. “To stick with serving as an Ambassador for as long as she has is just amazing. She is friendly, genuine, committed to our community, and sees the value of business-to-business relationships. It is truly evident that she cares not just about the success of her own business, but about all of the businesses in our community.”

Some of the positive changes Lockyer has seen during her time serving with the Chamber include the leadership of CEO Gina Fitzpatrick and the partnership with the City of Paso Robles and Main Street. Lockyer looks forward to continuing her role as an Ambassador while also running The Gifted Basket, a business she started about three years before moving to the area.

“It was a challenge rebuilding my business in a new area, but the Chamber has been a huge help with referrals and promotions,” Lockyer said. “That is what I like to share with other newcomers to the area, just how dedicated the Chamber is to their success.”

In her spare time, Lockyer enjoys exploring the area with her husband and staying active at the gym and outdoors. She is also a member of the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association, and the North County Realtors Association.

“Paso Robles is such a friendly and cohesive city,” Lockyer said. “There’s always something happening here; so much to do and so many ways to keep active and involved. We just

love Paso Robles and now, to be recognized for helping the Chamber promote our beautiful city, I am truly honored.”