The results of the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Splash Awards have been announced, recognizing seven people, businesses, organizations or groups that made a big impact in the community in 2020.

The 2020 Splash Awards recipients each received a trophy award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
The 2020 Splash Awards recipients each received a trophy award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

The Splash Awards, first introduced in 2019, went a little differently in this second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of an in-person awards ceremony, the Chamber put together a promotional booklet with photographs and information about each of the award recipients. That booklet was released to the public last week.

The nomination and selection process remained the same as before, other than being slightly delayed.

“We had a lot of nominations,” said Chamber President Carrie Johnston. “There are so many people to honor.”

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Johnston noted that the Chamber is already looking ahead to next year’s Splash Awards; nomination forms will be available through the Chamber this summer, “so we’d love for people to consider nominating for the 2021 awards.”

A brief rundown of the 2020 awards and recipients follows, with information taken from the Chamber’s Splash Awards booklet. For more detailed information, see the booklet.

Wave Award

La Barista received the Wave Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
La Barista received the Wave Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

Recognizes a current Detroit Lakes Chamber Member that sets the example for promoting and investing in the tourism and hospitality industry in the region.

WINNER: La Barista

La Barista has contributed to the local tourism culture by bringing two food trucks to the community. Owners Brooke Holubets and Courtney Wenzel and their staff are frequent participants in community events and donate often to community causes.

Launch Award

Amy Erickson was recognized with the Launch Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
Amy Erickson was recognized with the Launch Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

Given to a rising star in the community whose leadership, energy and willingness to serve propels projects, organizations and the community forward.

WINNER: Amy Erickson

A member of the Detroit Lakes School Board and leader of the local Imagination Library program, Erickson moves educational projects forward and collaborates with fellow volunteers to get goals met.

  • Runners-up: April Thomas and Zeke Fuhrman

Skipper Award

Kristin Bausman received the Skipper Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
Kristin Bausman received the Skipper Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

Acknowledges an individual’s commitment and service to the region in the past year.

WINNER: Kristin Bausman

Bausman is the Public Health Supervisor for Becker County Public Health. Her ability to stay calm, be prepared and collaborate have been an asset to the community, especially during the challenges of the pandemic. She also has a willingness to serve and make a difference for the people of the region.

  • Runners-up: Kelcey Klemm and Matthew Carrier

Lighthouse Award

SJE, represented here by Christy Staab, received the Lighthouse Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
SJE, represented here by Christy Staab, received the Lighthouse Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

For a business that consistently shows its commitment and longstanding service to the region.

WINNER: SJE

SJE has a 45-year tradition of supporting the Detroit Lakes region through company and employee donations of time and money. At the onset of the pandemic, SJE implemented a “100 Day Plan,” which included buying meals, supplies and employee ‘thank you’ gifts from local restaurants, retailers and suppliers.

Accelerator Award

Terry Kalil received the Accelerator Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
Terry Kalil received the Accelerator Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

Recognizes a person who motivates their friends, colleagues, family and/or community members to get involved; a team-builder and community collaborator.

WINNER: Terry Kalil

Instrumental in supporting the endeavors of the Detroit Lakes Public Library, and in garnering the support of others toward that cause, Kalil is also very involved in the League of Women Voters -- and offered a much-needed voice for voter engagement in an election year.

  • Runners-up: Jim Sinclair and Kathy Michaelson

Ripple Award

Director Greta Guck (holding the award) and the entire team at the Detroit Lakes Public Library received the Ripple Award for their innovative ideas, projects and approaches to safety during the pandemic. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
Director Greta Guck (holding the award) and the entire team at the Detroit Lakes Public Library received the Ripple Award for their innovative ideas, projects and approaches to safety during the pandemic. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

For a group, club, nonprofit or person that motivates the people around them to be engaged and contributing members of the community through an event, volunteer project or service -- making a ripple through the region.

WINNER: Greta Guck / Detroit Lakes Public Library

The library team has incorporated innovative ideas and injected positivity into its continued program offerings throughout the pandemic. They have worked to improve library systems, offer curbside service, book delivery and more. Guck, the library’s director, brought to life the idea of a Book Bike and empowered volunteers to donate.

Beacon Award

Bruce Imholte received the Beacon Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)
Bruce Imholte received the Beacon Award. (Photo Courtesy DL Chamber)

For a longstanding regional advocate who has repeatedly stepped up to participate and lead; a steady beacon of light.

WINNER: Bruce Imholte

Imholte has dedicated more than 38 years to the betterment of Detroit Lakes, serving on the city council and numerous committees. He is a consistent advocate for long-range planning and making sure future dreams can be supported by financial planning.

  • Runners-up: Karen Skoyles and Beth Pridday



Honorable Mentions for Splash Awards this year were: Crystal Piekarski, Hans and Mary Beth Gilsdorf, Jill Brandt, InLine Motion, Matt Davis, Paul Gintner, and Starboard Point Condo.