Fresno Chamber honors John Harris, Bob Smittcamp

Smittcamp is the first to be honored with the Leon S. Peters award posthumously.

Harris Ranch owner John Harris was named the 2024 Leon S. Peters award recipient by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. 

The chamber also handed out its first-ever legacy award to Bob Smittcamp – the former CEO of Lyons Magnus who passed away in 2021 – to mark the 40th anniversary of the Leon S. Peters Award. 


The big picture: Harris has overseen Harris Ranch since 1981 and is also known for his philanthropic work, notably at Fresno State. 

  • His philanthropy has benefited the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the Craig School of Business, the Bulldog Foundation, the Fresno State Library and the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. 
  • He has also served on the Kenneth L. Maddy Board of Directors and is a part of the President’s Circle of Excellence. 
  • The Fresno Chamber chose to honor Smittcamp with the posthumous award to recognize his legacy in the Fresno Community, notably for his support of Fresno State and Community Medical Centers. 
  • Along with Harris and Smittcamp, the chamber awarded Dutch Bros President and CEO Brent Wilson with the Harold Zinkin Entrepreneur of the Year. Noble Credit Union was given the Community Champion of the Year Award, Dad’s Cookies received the Risking Star of the Year Award and Patrick Palmer, the owner of Little Valley Goods, was named the Student Entrepreneur of the Year. 

What they’re saying: Fresno Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Scott Miller said in a press release that the decision to honor Smittcamp emphasizes the historical importance of the 40th anniversary of the Leon S. Peters Award. 

  • “The fact of the matter is that this award represents the Central Valley’s greatest examples of people who have used significant success in business to benefit the whole community,” Miller said. “Mr. Smittcamp’s name absolutely belongs on that list with Mr. Harris and the other legendary individuals who came before.”
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