And The Winners Are…

The Ord Area Chamber of Commerce and Valley County Economic Development Boards presented Vision Valley County 2020 at their Annual Banquet on February 25.  Over 175 people were in attendance including special guests Senator Kate Sullivan and her husband Mike, Karin Rieger, Associate Dean for Extended Learning Services of Central Community College – Columbus, Lynette Hogelin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, and Professor Kim Wilson and two UNL students that participated in the creation of the Vision Valley County community development and improvement plans.  Representing the youth of our community were Bryant Els, Melani Hagge, Katie Peterson, Molli Hagge, Johnny Ference, Devin Cronk, Kirby Sheets, Madi Hagge, Dusty Staab, Dillon Smedra, Cody Drudik, and Brett Waller.

The crowd enjoyed a social hour before the evening began with dinner and a presentation from the guest speaker, Aaron Davis.  Aaron was a member of the 1994 National Championship Husker Football team, and is currently an author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur.  Aaron spoke about the importance of creating a sustainable community by engaging youth, embracing innovative ideas, and encouraging community collaboration.  The audience enjoyed his motivational message, as well as his light-hearted humor.

Aaron Davis speaks at the Annual Banquet. Photo by Lynn Griffith, Quiz Graphic Arts

The evening proceeded with the presentation of nine Chamber awards.  Members of the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to nominate deserving individuals within the community.  Once nominees were submitted, Chamber members then voted online.  The results were tabulated using Survey Monkey.  All nominees were very deserving of these awards.  Congratulations to all of the winners:

Interactive Media and Website Development Award – Wolf Auction and Real Estate:
Rising Star Award – Misko Sports: Clay & Jennifer Ramsey
ExtraORDinary Organization – Make Christmas Happen: Plain Valley Extension Club
Partner in Progress – Sue Blaha
Community Development and Improvement Award – Ord High School Renovation and Addition
ExtraORDinary Young Citizen – Johnny Ference
Silver Citizen Award – Dale Zadina
ExtraORDinary Citizen – Heather Sikyta
Honorary Lifetime Member – Carol Leggett

In honor of the invaluable leaders in our community, retiring members of the Chamber board were recognized for their service.  The outgoing board members include Ashley Woodward, Kiley White, Mark Hagge, and Megan Cargill.  New Chamber board members include Jennifer Remmereid, Teresa Lange, Heather Zaruba, and Kristi Hagstrom.

The night of the banquet was also the final drawing for the Ord Area Option campaign.  Mary Dennis was the winner of $500 in Ord Area ChamberBucks.  The Ord Area Option has been a campaign to increase awareness within the community on the importance of buying locally.  The Chamber truly appreciates the local businesses and customers for their support of this program.  The new ecommerce website and new Chamber promotion opportunities will be valuable in taking our buy local efforts to the next level.

The Ord Area Chamber and Valley County Economic Development 2011 Annual Report can be accessed here.  The report contains details on the $629,390 loaned to Valley County businesses, jobs created in 2011, a New Neighborhoods update, and various Chamber and tourism projects.  For more information on Valley County Economic Development and Chamber efforts for 2012, feel free to contact (308) 728-7875.

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