She took over the job in 2004 and led the chapter through the economic downturn.
"The industry was depressed; a lot of people lost their jobs, but thanks in part to Kris, we are going to get out of this," Young said.
Thalman had previously worked for KB Home and as Government Relations Manager for Anaheim.
Former Anaheim mayor and speaker of the state Assembly Curt Pringle was among those offering congratulations to Thalman.
"I was lobbied by Kris when I was in office," Pringle said. "She did a good job for Anaheim."
Thalman was also commended by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, in a presentation by Bill Campbell, who represents the first district.
She successfully lobbied him to get the county to collect fees at the end of building projects, rather than the beginning.
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey presented Thalman with a commendation signed by a host of Republican legislators.
"You are a lady to be admired," Harkey said.
Councilwoman Pearson met Thalman just after the Laguna Beach landslide in 2005, when Pearson was mayor and Thalman had just moved to Laguna.
"I called her and asked if the builders could help," Pearson said.
The better Pearson knew Thalman, the more she tried to rope her new-found friend into any group in which Pearson was involved, including the South Coast Medical Center Foundation board and the Laguna Beach Seniors Inc.
Thalman moved to Laguna in one of the most stressful times in her life.
Her husband, Chino Hills Councilman James Thalman, had died; she had new job and a new community. Thalman said her association with Pearson and with women to whom Pearson introduced her helped her through that dark time.
Among the guests at the party: former Mayors Kathleen Blackburn and Cheryl Kinsman, Lydick, Joan Gladstone and South Lagunan Ellen Harris, daughter of former Anaheim Councilman Irv Pickler, who also attended.
OUR LAGUNA is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Write to Barbara Diamond, P.O. Box 248, Laguna Beach, 92652; call (949) 380-4321 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.