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Julie Klecker named region's top female business professional

Julie Klecker reacts to being named the Business and Professional Woman of the Year. Samantha Bengs / RiverTown Multimedia

The 2017 Professional Women's Leadership Event drew record attendance Wednesday. Held at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, the 31st year of the event was attending by over 250 women.

Julie Klecker, of Ellsworth, was named the Business Professional Woman of the Year. Klecker, an accounting specialist at RiverTown Multimedia, has a 30-plus year career spanning a half-dozen positions with the publishing industry.

"This is shocking," Klecker said, moments after leaving the stage.

Klecker was the office manager and general manager of the Pierce County Herald office for 25 years before moving to the Red Wing Republican Eagle office, transferring to an accounting role.

"I remember when we would physically drive all the master layouts to Red Wing for printing," Klecker said. "Automation and technology have sped things up a little bit."

Also nominated were Ann Schafer of Food Service Specialities; Renee Sievers of Siever Creative; Jeannie Riegelman of Treasure Island Resort & Casino; Michelle Walker of Bayley Law Firm; Joanne Krig of Wilson Oil; Jessica Sievers of Sievers Creative; Jill Fauchald of Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing; Brenda Stelter of Anchor Promotions; and Jackie Paradis of Red Wing Public Schools.

Anne Jacobson, news director of RiverTown Multimedia, nominated Klecker. Jacobson described Klecker as "the ultimate communicator in a communications business" in her nomination letter.

"She never hesitates to take responsibility for her productivity whether that's as an entry-level employee, a small-town weekly general manager or an accounting specialist in the division office. She applies her knowledge and experience every step of her career path," Jacobson wrote.

Klecker admits she is not one for the limelight, but her modesty is sweetly apparent in the aftermath of her recent honor.

"The phone calls and texts from friends kept coming in, saying they saw the article online saying I won," she said. "I was so glad to hear they were reading our website."

The Professional Women's Leadership Event is sponsored by Minnesota State College Southeast, StarTech Computing, Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, Maurices, Q Media Group, Express Employment Professionals and the Sheldon Theatre.