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Chamber honors businesses

WINNERS — Accepting awards as Fairmont Chamber Business of the Year winners for 2017 are, from left: Luke Long, general manager of Hy-Vee, large business; Rich Vogelgesang and Tom Izen, owners of Slumberland, small business; Kathy Detert, owner of Golden Tie Tuxes, new business; and Blake Potthoff, executive director of the Fairmont Opera House, non-profit.

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting Friday at the Holiday Inn to look back over 2017, and honor top business and non-profit organizations.

After a welcome by board chairman Les Anderson, Chamber President Margaret Dillard said the organization spans 23 industry sectors and 4,300 employees. Of the 257 Chamber members, 66 percent have 10 employees or fewer.

Revenue and expenses for the calendar year broke the $300,000 mark in both columns, leaving a modest positive balance of $4,700.

Featured speaker Deadra Stanton kept the audience in a constant state of laughter as she talked about growing up in Ortonville, marriage, parenthood and her work as a teacher. References about Polaroid cameras, Toni home perms and June Cleaver drew some blank looks from younger audience members, but she advised them to Google it. Stanton used her own life situations to correlate with the Chamber’s banquet theme, “Building Success and Forward Momentum.”

The meeting culminated with the announcement of the top businesses and non-profit of the year. Nominations for each category were open to people living or working in Martin County, but voting was limited to Chamber members.

Hy-Vee won for large business, those with 15 or more employees. Other nominees were Bolton & Menk, Fairmont Farmers Mutual Insurance Co., Krisma Counseling and Kwik Trip.

Slumberland Furniture won for small business, those with under 15 employees. Other nominees were Seifried Portrait Design, Martin County Star, Partners Funding Inc., Larson & Olsen Dental and Krahmer, Schaffer & Edmundson, Ltd.

The Rising Star, a new business award for companies less than 3 years old, was won by Golden Tie Tuxes. Other nominees were Aventure Staffing and Minuteman Press.

The Fairmont Opera House won non-profit of the year. Other nominees were CREST, Fairmont Workforce Center, Kinship of Martin County, Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center, MRCI and the Martin County Historical Society.

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