Chamber to host annual banquet May 2
For years, members of the business community throughout the lakes area have gathered once a year for the traditional annual Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce Banquet, and this year that tradition marches on.
The event is being held on Thursday, May 2, at the Fair Hills Resort on Pelican Lake at 5:30 p.m.
“We move the banquet around every year among chamber members, and I think this year we really needed a touch of summer,” said Chamber President Carrie Johnston.
The event is not only the chamber’s only annual meeting, but it’s also a chance for business members of all sectors to get together on a social level as well.
“We have 200 people coming out for a nice dinner and to network with other chamber members … it’s just a really nice time,” said Johnston, who says there will also be a number of people and businesses leaving the event with awards in hand.
“We do an awards ceremony as a way of recognizing those chamber members who really get out there and do a lot not just for the chamber, but for the community,” said Johnston, who says they keep the ceremony short and sweet because it’s a work night.
She says one of the big awards is the “Chairman’s Award.”
“That is given by our board chair to one business and one individual who have somehow helped the chamber become a better part of the community,” said Johnston.
Another award being handed out is the “Rising Star” award, along with volunteer awards.
“We’re a small office with a small staff, but all our committees and boards are manned by volunteers, and without those volunteers, we wouldn’t have an active organization,” said Johnston, who says those volunteers not only work to help other business in the area stay strong, but are also rewarded with a lot of networking and possibly business opportunities.
Another part of the Chamber Banquet is the official swearing in of new board members as out-going members are recognized and thanked. This year there are five going off and four entering upon approval, including Jim Sinclair from Bremer Bank, Jodi Johnson from ProResources, Cheryl Chivers from Travel Travel and Melissa Heimenz from AmericInn Hotel.
“The board is really the vision of the Chamber as a voice of business for DL, they steer the chamber in the direction they think we need to focus our energies on,” said Johnston, who says this year will be a busy one.
“There are a lot of changes going on around town,” she said. “Like the downtown construction in 2014 and changes on Highway 10 and 59, so we want to make sure we’re focusing on helping those surrounding businesses get through times of construction.”
Tickets for the Chamber Banquet are $25 and can be reserved or purchased by calling the Chamber at 847-9202 or by stopping by its location at 700 Summit Avenue in Detroit Lakes.