Recognition awards presented at chamber annual meeting

By Jan Wann

More than 100 members and guests of the New Prague Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated a successful 2004 and kicked off 2005 during their annual meeting, held at The Lakeside Supper Club Monday evening, Jan. 17. In addition to the election of three new board members, the evening also included the announcement of the chamber’s third annual recognition awards.

Recognition Awards

Three finalists were named in each of the three areas of recognition: Employee of the Year, Chamber Volunteer of the Year and the Community Service Award.

Selection was based on specific criteria for each category by the chamber's recognition committee members: Mark Mahowald, Mahowald Autos & Sports; Mary Reedy, Yoga for You; Mark Swelland, New Prague Ford/ Mercury; Jan Wann, Suel Printing Co./The New Prague Times; and Bruce Wolf, State Bank of New Prague.

The finalists for Employee of the Year for 2004 were Renee Brod, State Bank of New Prague; Marilyn Hudspeth, Hairchitects; and Sister Catherine McInnis, Queen of Peace Hospital. Sister Catherine McInnis was the recipient of this year’s award.

The 2004 Chamber Volunteer of the Year award finalists included Dirk Berger, Bevcomm; Amber Klaseus, Charisma Specialty Shoppe; and Jan Wann, Suel Printing Co./The New Prague Times. Dirk Berger was recognized as the outstanding chamber volunteer.

The Community Service Award for 2004 recognizes a person in the New Prague area who has made a difference because of his or her contribution to the community. Finalists in this category were Jim Becker, New Prague Fire Chief; Roger Hartmann, for his Christmas display and Santa visits; and Palmer Welcome, for his involvement in many community events. Jim Becker received the chamber’s Community Service Award.

Guest speakers

Jeff Moen, U of M women’s hockey goalie coach and Charlie Berggraf, U of M assistant women’s hockey coach, were the speakers for the evening program. Both spoke on relating the skills utilized with their hockey team to building your own team at work. Among the concepts they focused on were three points:

1) Do the right thing the right way;

2) Be committed to continued learning and growing;

3) Enjoy the journey.

Board members and officers

Three members were elected to the board of directors: Jane Dittberner, ReMax Dynamic Associates; Patrick Goggins, Wornson & Goggins Law Office; and Kathy O’Neill, The O’Neill Brothers. They replace board members Cindy Bastyr, Trailside Liquors; Erick Christianson, Domino’s Pizza; and DeAnna Hendricks, The Nesbit Agencies, whose terms have expired.

Chamber officers for 2005 include President DeAnn Puente, Bargain Betty’s; Vice President Greg Aase of Community Security Bank; Secretary/ Treasurer Monica Bartyzal, State Bank of New Prague; and Past President Patty Peterson of Patty’s Place. Associate member Rick Strand is also a member of the board.

Charitable gambling recap

During 2004 the chamber donated more than $30,000 to various community requests.

The chamber has been able to distribute these funds, thanks to Marion Nelson, owner of Corner Bar, who has offered her business as a charitable gambling site to the chamber since 1998.

Annual report

A recap of the chamber’s 2004 accomplishments were distributed to the meeting attendees.

There were 26 new chamber members in 2004 and only three membership non-renewals, two of those businesses closed or relocated. More than $25,000 of New Prague Czechs were purchased during 2004 and $15,675 worth were also redeemed at chamber-member businesses.

If you would like more information on the chamber or any of its activities, call 952-758-4360.

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