FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 1999
Contact: Diane Thomas
County Chief of Protocol
is Number One of 722
(SANTA ANA) Joanne
C. Sokolski, Chief of Protocol for the County of Orange,
has been twice honored for her work promoting stronger
cultural, business and educational ties between the international
community and Orange County governments and corporations.
Sokolski volunteers an average of 60 hours a week in her
position with the County.
The Orange County Tourism Council presented Sokolski with
the first annual Walter Knott Award, the councils
most prestigious honor, acknowledging service excellence.
The award is given in the spirit of Knott, founder of
Knotts Berry Farm, whose philosophy, imagination
and vision were key to attracting visitors from around
An independent panel of judges from government, business
and the media selected Sokolski from a pool of 722 nominations.
She received her nomination from County Supervisor Todd
Sokolski was also the recipient of the Service Excellence
Award in the category of Visitor & Convention Bureaus/Chambers
"Joanne Sokolski is a remarkable ambassador and takes
extra measures to ensure that foreign visitors have a
memorable and positive experience while in Orange County."
said Bruce Brown, director of the Orange County Tourism
Council, a department of the Orange County Business Council.
"She certainly earned the awards."
Sokolski, a resident of Santa Ana, has served as the Orange
County Chief of Protocol for nearly two years. She is
actively involved in the community as a member of the
UCI Clinical Cancer Center, Visiting Nurse Association
of Orange County, Salvation Army and as a docent for Bowers
Museum. She also sits on several local boards including
the Orange County Protocol Foundation, Protocol Commission
and Orange County Performing Arts Center. She has traveled
extensively throughout the world and has lived and studied
The Office of Protocol, in association with various government
and private agencies, plans and coordinates visits to
Orange County by chiefs of state, heads of government,
ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, trade missions and cultural
exchanges. All operating costs of the Office of Protocol
are funded by the Protocol Foundation of Orange County.