POST FALLS - Len Crosby likes to work behind the scenes when he helps the community.
But the spotlight caught Crosby on Thursday night during the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet and awards ceremony at Red Lion Templin's Hotel.
Crosby, vice president at Community 1st Bank who is involved with several nonprofits, was named Citizen of the Year at the event attended by 226 people representing 90 businesses.
"All I can say is thank you," Crosby said while fighting back tears. "Thank you to Community 1st. Thank you to my wife (Mary) for when she says, 'Are you having dinner tonight?' and when I say, 'Gosh, honey I've got a meeting at 6.'
"I feel so privileged to be up here, so thank you."
Crosby is the board chairman for Dirne Community Health Center. He also serves with Boys and Girls Club, Post Falls Community Volunteers, American Legion Post 143, Disabled American Veterans, the Chamber of Commerce and Inland Northwest Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.
His past involvement includes the Idaho Humanities Council, chairman of the Post Falls Urban Renewal Commission and the Washington State University Real Estate Advisory Board.
Jackie McAvoy, last year's top citizen who presented Crosby with the award, said Crosby has provided pro-bono consulting to community groups and small businesses related to finance and real estate. He's also known to be a watchdog on urban renewal matters.
"He does these good deeds and good work quietly," McAvoy said.
Crosby also serves on the Idaho Bond Bank Authority, which assists local governments that have earned voter approval on a bond issue.
Here are the other award winners:
* Craig Wilcox, D.A. Davidson, Volunteer of the Year - Wilcox serves on the chamber's board and several of its committees. He is a 2010 graduate of the chamber's River City Leadership Academy and will serve as president of the Panhandle Kiwanis this year.
Last year he was chairman of Kootenai Perspectives and was key to the passing of a $9.6-million levy for the professional-technical high school on the Rathdrum Prairie. For the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization, he spearheaded an 18-month project called Benches for Bus Stops.
In 2009 and 2010 he was named one of the top 20 community leaders who are under 40 by the North Idaho Business Journal.
* Post Falls Food Bank, Spirit of Post Falls - The nonprofit organization made a difference in the lives of more than 1,000 local families last year, giving out food, blankets and coats.
"With the support of local businesses and in partnership with more than a dozen agencies and nonprofit organizations, they rose to the challenge that was 2010," said Rich Houser, representing the Lions Club, last year's winner.
* Silverwood Theme Park, Business of the Year (more than 50 employees) - The park had a record attendance of more than 600,000 in 2010, making it the No. 1 tourist attraction in Idaho. It partners with the chamber on several efforts and was the sponsor of the chamber's new visitor center lobby.
According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, Silverwood's guests spent $67.9 million on food, lodging, services and other expenses. The business has an annual payroll of $6.3 million for 70 full-time and 1,200 seasonal employees.
* Rosa's Italian Market and Deli, Small Business of the Year (less than 50 employees) - Tina-Marie Schultz, the owner, restored a 1910 home for her business. The building at the corner of Fourth and Frederick across from City Hall is the only Post Falls home on the National Register of Historic Places, earning an Orchid Award from the Idaho Historical Society in 2010.
Schultz also started an Italian festival that is now held in the city center.
"Working long hours and with a dedication to the history ... , she also invested in the beginnings of the city center of Post Falls," said Dave Bobbitt of Community 1st Bank, last year's small business winner. "The business shows pride in ownership inside and out."
* President's Award, Tami Martinez - Chamber CEO and President Pam Houser presented Martinez the award for helping with public relations and marketing, including during the capital campaign for the new chamber building.
* Chairman's Award, Randy Oaks - Bobbitt, outgoing chairman, presented Oaks an award for his involvement in several chamber committees in 2010 and his work on the new chamber office. A room at the office will be named after him.