February 2, 2012 at 8:09 a.m.
The Falls Chamber of Commerce celebrated on January 19 at “Midwinter Splendor”, their Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at The Dalles House Restaurant with over 75 people attending the event sponsored by Bank Mutual. Photographer, Brad Nygren, offered portraits for those wishing to have a photographic keepsake of the evening.
After a delicious meal, including The Dalles House’s famous hot popovers, Chamber President, Jerry Boucher, of “What’s Playing” magazine, kicked off the meeting segment. Members approved the 2012 budget the full slate of Board nominees, which resulted in the election of Amy Frischmon of Wild Mountain and Taylors Falls Recreation, and Wade Vitalis of The Drive-In and Adventure Falls Mini Golf, to three year terms on the Chamber Board.
Executive Director, Cindy Stimmler, presented a 2011 Annual Review, highlighting these 2011 Chamber goals:
• Membership goals were achieved by:
- Surveying members, which was completed in April
- Building relationships, an ongoing investment in our members and communities
- Providing six quality educational programs throughout the year
- Reaching a goal of 140 members, which was accomplished in September
• Building Municipal Support goals were achieved by:
- Strengthening relationships with elected officials in Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls
- Promoting the agendas of the City of Taylors Falls and the City of St. Croix Falls
•Addressing Staff Resources goals were achieved by:
- Engaging School to Work Intern, Alicia Gravesen, a senior at St. Croix Falls High School
- Increasing volunteers through the development of the Ambassador Committee
- Improving office technologies by maximizing communications with an improved website (www.FallsChamber.org) that reached over 27,000 unique visitors, posting 52 weekly Member Newsflashes and utilizing social media
Stimmler also remarked on additional new programs in 2011 that included the Welcome Wannigan Business Directory project, the Business After 5 monthly networking events and the Chamber Business of the Month recognition program. “We had a very busy and productive year in which we held five ribbon cutting ceremonies for new businesses, issued more than $17,000 in Chamber Dollars gift certificates and continued to build the trust of local businesses through our steadfast commitment to build a better business network for our members.” said Stimmler.
Frischmon presented a special recognition of outgoing Board member, Sandy Williams, of St. Croix Regional Medical Center, who has provided 16 years of dedicated service to the Chambers in both St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls.
President Boucher presented Annual Chamber Awards; (see photo)
New Business of the Year (given to a new business that uses sound business practices and demonstrates success and profitability while overcoming key business challenges) was awarded to Cyclova XC and was accepted by owners, Frank Lundeen and Ben Jonjak.
Business Renovation of the Year (given to a business that has constructed or remodeled its facilities or upgraded services in a significant way, having a positive effect on local businesses or the community) was awarded to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, with the award being accepted by Manager, David Sandmann.
Businessperson of the Year (given to a business leader who has shown exemplary leadership in their field and is successful in their chosen profession) was awarded to Brad Nygren of Nygren Photography.
The Falls Spirit Award (given to a person or group who advocates the promotion of business growth by demonstrating ethical leadership and showing an active interest in the betterment of the business community) was presented to Dr. Steve Bont.
Business of the Year (given to a company that demonstrates all-round excellence in business, with commercial success, growth and community involvement) was awarded to Marketplace Foods.
The member supported, non-profit, Falls Chamber of Commerce, has as its mission to “…advocate, promote and support business members and our communities.” Membership is open to large and small businesses and non-profit organizations. For more information about membership call 715.483.3580 or visit our website, FallsChamber.org.