Phil and Daphne Felde have been named the Lodi Chamber of Commerce's Outstanding Citizens of the Year for 2010. The couple was selected by a committee of previous winners for their volunteer work outside their occupation, according to chamber President/CEO Pat Patrick.
The Feldes were surprised by a sneaky bunch of chamber committee members, who gathered late Saturday afternoon at the Woodbridge home of Jeff and Carolyn Kirst before the Feldes arrived.
The Feldes and Kirsts had planned to attend the Lodi Kiwanis Club crab feed that night, but the Kirsts insisted that they drive Phil and Daphne Felde to the dinner. That meant they had to go to the Kirst home.
The chamber representatives shouted "surprise" as the Feldes walked into the Kirst home.
The trick worked, and the Feldes said the surprise really worked.
"He was very adamant about driving," Phil Felde said of Kirst.
The Feldes will be honored at the chamber's membership dinner on Jan. 25.
"We were very honored by this," Daphne Felde said. "I know a lot of people who have gotten this award in past years, and we're honored to be considered in the same company."
Patrick added in an e-mail, "I have known Phil and Daphne for 23 years, and I am always amazed at the different organizations they are involved with and the commitment they have to them. They come as a team — if you get one of them going, you get them both.
"This award was started for people like the Feldes, who are so generous with their time and talents to the community they love," Patrick said.
The chamber award isn't the first the couple has received. Phil and Daphne Felde were inducted into the Lodi Hall of Fame by the Boys and Girls Club several years ago, and Daphne was named a "Woman of Distinction" by the Soroptimist Club in 1999.
"I was very pleased and very honored," Phil Felde said of the chamber award. "We don't get involved because we expected to get honored."
Daphne Felde grew up in Lodi. She left Lodi for 10 years when her father was in the service, but the family returned to town. She has lived in Lodi ever since, except for when she attended California State University, Fresno.
Phil Felde grew up in the Los Angeles area, moved to Northern California in 1969 and to Lodi eight years later, when he got a job at the San Joaquin County Assessor's Office. He met his wife at the assessor's office, where she also worked. Phil Felde currently works in the business development office at the Lodi branch of the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.