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And the award goes to…

By Staff | Feb 2, 2015

It was a full evening when the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce held its 74th Annual Banquet, Meeting and Awards Presentation on Friday night, Jan. 23, at Hamilton Hall.

Joe Bromeland, who was re-elected as chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, conducted the annual meeting.

Bromeland discussed the progress on plans for a new chamber building, to be built at Giant Park.

“Last year I said the goal was to have a plan in place by this meeting, and we do,” Bromeland said. “Next year I hope to be able to say we are just around the corner from starting construction.”

Three persons were elected to the chamber board at the meeting and will serve three-year terms.

They are: Ryan Milbrandt, of Blue Earth Drug; Mandy Farrow, of Farrow Custom Cabinetry; and Ryan Gustafson, of Frundt and Johnson Law Firm.

Financially, the chamber had a good year, Bromeland reported.

Although the chamber was over budget on expenses, the income more than covered the expense.

The 2014 budget had been $86,000, but expenses were actually $87,830. However, income was at $92,566 for a net of $4,736.

The budget for 2015 was approved at $86,500.

Bruce Hanson of First Bank Blue Earth gave the introduction for the 2014 Business of the Year, Winnebago Manufacturing and Daryle, Connie and Matt Pomranke.

Owner Daryle Pomranke gave a presentation on how the company was formed and just what it is they do at their plant located in the far corner of the West Industrial Park.

But his wife, Connie, summed it all up by joking, “We are definitely into ‘Heavy Metal.'”

Dr. Kirk Odden did the introduction of the 2014 Community Service Award recipient, Bruce Ankeny.

Odden’s introduction was both a toast, and a ‘roast.’ While he listed all of Ankeny’s involvement in the Blue Earth community, he also told a story about the only book Ankeny ever read. It was a book called Snow Treasure, which Ankeny read in third grade, and used for every book report through his senior year.

Odden presented Ankeny with the teacher’s guide to Snow Treasure.

Chamber of Commerce executive director Cindy Lyon also presented one other award. She gave the Area Ambassador’s Award to outgoing Faribault County Development Corporation executive director Linsey Preuss.