Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual Awards of Excellence
The Bemidji Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Awards of Excellence Thursday in celebration of Bemidji businesses. After a tumultuous year for business, this was one of the first opportunities for leaders to meet face-to-face and honor their achievements.
Excitement was in the air at the Hampton Inn today where community business leaders visited with each other for the first time in a long time. They were brought together for the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence. This was the 17th year of the awards and the first one held in person since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event featured a keynote speech from Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota President and CEO Susan Jarvis. She reminded the group of the hardships endured throughout COVID-19 and the work it took to come together.
There were five business awards given out including Entrepreneurs of the Year, which went to Tracie Lusby and Jaimee Labernik at the Bluebelle Event Venue. The Healthy Workplace Award was given to Lueken’s Village Foods. The Recognition for Community Impact was awarded to Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota. New Business of the Year went to Dunkin’, and the Business of the Year was Paul Bunyan Communications for their work throughout the year in making broadband more accessible.
But the most anticipated award of the day was the Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to an individual that lives by the values of entrepreneurial thinking and stewardship. This year it was awarded to former Potlatch plant manager Pete Aube.
There was also a virtual option for attendants to view the ceremony who were not able to be there in person.