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Surprise award given at banquet

By Staff | Jan 28, 2008

Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelly Greimann had planned out all of the many details for the 67th Annual Chamber Banquet, Meeting and Awards Presentation held last week Monday.

All but one detail, that is.

The board of directors surprised Greimann by presenting her with a special award celebrating her 10 years as the chamber executive director. The presentation was given by Dr. John Sawyer and the board.

There was a large crowd on hand for the banquet and awards ceremony despite the fact that six inches of snow had fallen that day.

Two other big awards were also given out at the event. Drug store owner Dennis Zitnak was given the 2007 Community Service Award, and Seneca Foods Corporation was named the 2007 Business of the Year Award winner.

Zitnak’s award was presented by Ron Nesbit, who preceded the presentation with a short speech about Dennis. Zitnak then gave a humorous acceptance speech.

The Seneca award was presented to Plant Manager Colleen Gronewald by Greimann. Gronewald gave a history of the Seneca plant in Blue Earth, and also introduced members of the managerial staff at the plant who were also in attendance.

The entertainment for the evening was Bruce and Brandon Ankeny who sang along with Jay Reinders. BEA teachers David Sparks and David Kittleson also entertained the crowd with their juggling skills.

At the meeting three new Chamber board members were elected to three year terms. They are Lori Nauman of the Faribault County Register, Cornelia Hagedorn of Olson Realty, and Deb McDonald of Waste Management. They join current board members Pam Armon (chairman), Brandon Ankeny, Nathan Larsen, Deena Biretz and Jim Beattie.

An insert in the program at the banquet showed that the BEA Chamber budget for 2008 had proposed revenues of $107,500 and expected expenses of $98,250.