Over 150 community members were in attendance at the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce and Valley County Economic Development Annual Awards Banquet on February 23rd. The evening provided an opportunity for community members, business owners, volunteers, and youth to come together to celebrate the great people and places of Valley County. As Kristi Hagstrom, President of the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, stated in her welcome message, there are numerous reasons why we all “love Valley County.”
The evening began with a social hour followed by a delicious meal prepared by the Ord Veteran’s Club and a trio of desserts prepared by Jubilee Catering. After the meal, the guest speaker, Barry Carlson, entertained the audience by describing how The Sixth Sense…The Sense of Humor can positively affect our attitudes, careers, health, quality of life, and the lives of those around us.
The evening continued with the annual Chamber and Economic Development awards presentation. Dozens of deserving individuals, businesses, and organizations were nominated by members of the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce. Once nominees were compiled, Chamber members had the opportunity to vote for a final winner in each of the nine categories. Emcees Ben Lansman and Kevin Kreger tag-teamed their way through the award presentations while entertaining the audience with witty remarks.
The first three awards were presented by Valley County Economic Development. The award for Outstanding Public Service was presented to the Ord Volunteer Fire Department and EMT Crew for their selfless commitment in serving our community. Dave Ference received the Excellence in Agribusiness award for his dedication to agriculture in Valley County. Lastly, the Community Development and Improvement Award, was presented to the Valley County Supervisors for the restoration of the Valley County courthouse.
The Chamber of Commerce then presented the next six awards. The award for Interactive Media and Website Development went to Anderson Pharmacy for their website, innovative use of mobile technology, and ecommerce presence on www.ShopOrd.com. The Extraordinary Organization award was presented to the Ord Township Library for their new ideas and programs to encourage reading for the youth. Valley Fire Pottery received the Rising Star award for their new business venture. The Silver Citizen Award went to Dorothy Andreesen for her continued involvement in a variety of local organizations and the Extraordinary Young Citizen award was presented to Clayton Lange and Devin Cronk for their work with the Pee Wee wresting and football programs. Finally the Partner in Progress award went to Jennifer Remmereid for the time and talent she contributes to a variety of Chamber activities.
To conclude the presentation of awards, Larry Masin was recognized as the 2012 Honorary Lifetime Chamber Member. Larry’s involvement with the Ord Veteran’s Club and volunteer fire department and the years of services he provided as a local businessman makes him more than deserving of this prestigious award.
Following the award presentations, Kristina Foth, Business Development and Marketing Specialist, recognized and thanked the new board members of both the Chamber and Economic Development boards for their commitment to serving our community. New board members for the Chamber Board of Directors include Heidi Proskocil, Harold Benton, Kevin Kreger, Luke Staab, Linda Cruikshank, Kimberly Mundt, Jennifer Lewis, and Mark Winchell. Gaylord Boilesen will be serving as the newest director on the Economic Development board. Executive Director, Caleb Pollard, then thanked the retiring board members who include Andy Bowin, Sally Domeier, Anne Clausen, Kurt Petska, Amy Sillivan, and Erin Philbrick of the Chamber board and Russ Blaha and Heather Sikyta of the Economic Development Board. Caleb Pollard then provided his Executive Director remarks which highlighted information from the 2012 Annual Report, which can be found at www.OrdNebraska.com/2012-Annual-Report-Released.
Bob Stowell, President of the Valley County Economic Development board, provided closing comments and reiterated that our “community” extends past city, village, and county lines. The regional sense of community we have continued to work towards has made each city and village within Valley County stronger.
The Ord Area Chamber of Commerce and Valley County Economic Development would like to thank everyone who helped with and attended the annual banquet. Our community has a lot to celebrate due to the continued dedication, leadership, and progressive mind-set of the hardworking volunteers and businesses within Valley County.