It turns out those Post Falls Chamber of Commerce members can be a sneaky bunch — when they have to be. While informing President and CEO Jamé Davis of who the Post Falls Citizen of the Year would be prior to the nonprofit’s annual banquet and community recognition ceremony Thursday night, they were forced to tell her a little fib. So when Davis learned she was the actual winner — not her husband, Ryan, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County, as she was led to believe — she was dumbfounded.

“For the first time in my life I’m speechless,” she said, fighting back tears after receiving the award at Red Lion Templin’s Hotel before 300 attendees. “Besides being shocked and honored, I’m completely gullible. I was under the impression my husband was getting the award.” Post Falls City Council member Kerri Thoreson, who announced the winner, said Ryan was a great sport in the surprise. “I called Ryan and said, ‘Will you help me lie to your wife?'” Thoreson said. “He said, ‘Sure, I’m really good about playing dumb.'”

Jamé said she and Ryan moved to Post Falls 10 years ago with their two children and it’s been a wonderful place to raise a family and be engrained in the community. “We have a motto in our family that’s called Team Davis,” she said. “I wish there was two of these (awards) to share with my husband because we take that approach.” Thoreson described Jamé as “a passionate and forward-thinking visionary with a servant’s heart.”

Davis, the former economic development specialist for the local Jobs Plus economic development firm, returned to the chamber of commerce last August as CEO and president. She was the chamber of commerce’s vice president of membership and tourism from 2010-2012.

Her board service in Post Falls has included the chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, Library Foundation, Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center, Urban Renewal Agency and Parks and Recreation Commission. Davis is a graduate of the River City Leadership Academy and was honored as the Lewis-Clark State College Alumni of the Year and a Soroptimist Woman of Distinction.

The chamber of commerce also honored Northwest Specialty Hospital, Business of the Year (51 or more employees); Express Employment Professionals, Small Business of the Year (50 or less employees); and Kay Viebrock, Volunteer of the Year.

Northwest Specialty employs more than 250 and was recently named one of the region’s best places to work. It formed a HOPE Committee with the mission to improve local lives and nonprofits Express Employment has partnered with local nonprofits to raise money and donations for those in need. Viebrock has served with the chamber of commerce’s board and Ambassadors group. She leads crews at several nonprofit events and also volunteers with 4-H.

For more information visit CDA Press