Video: Chamber has great yearIt was a good year for the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. That was the main topic at the business organization’s annual meeting and awards ceremony Monday night.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
It was a good year for the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. That was the main topic at the business organization’s annual meeting and awards ceremony Monday night.
“In England, they use the slang word ‘brill’ to mean something is brilliant,” Chamber President Patty Brown said, keeping with the night’s British royalty theme. “That’s how I would sum up 2012 at the chamber: It was a brilliant Year, our best ever.”
Last year, the chamber added 35 new members and had a 91.5 percent member retention rate, something many chambers throughout the state envy, Brown said.
In addition, the chamber is “financially sound. Yay,” outgoing board Chair Donna Anderst said.
Later in the evening, Ric Claydon was awarded the Ambassador of the Year, and Cheryl Mohn was recognized as the Chamber Volunteer of the Year.
Outgoing chamber board of directors members Lorrie Tongen, Don Kliewer and Shelley Diercks were recognized for their service. Taking their vacated seats will be Paul Cardinal, Marisa Dille and Dave Hallstrom.
Pam Gorman will serve as chair in 2013.
“We’re always looking to make things better and 2013 will be no different,” she said.
In the coming year, Gorman said the chamber will participate in three new initiatives: the creation of a young professionals group to help keep young workers in Red Wing, a partnership with Red Wing High School to develop a career exploration project and the hosting of the Cabella’s National Walleye Tournament in April.
In addition, the organization wants to increase membership by another 7 percent, or 22 members, and continue to offer communication, education and networking opportunities for its members.
“Things are never stagnant at the chamber,” Gorman said.
The evening ended with the annual business of the year awards. Winners were:
• Manufacturer of the Year: Red Wing Shoe Company.
• Newcomer to the Red Wing Chamber in 2012: Red Wing Brewery
• Restaurant of the Year: Wiederholt’s Supper Club
• Retailer of the Year: Red Wing Ace Hardware
• Service Business of the Year: Body Kneads Massage & Wellness Center.