by John McLoone The Hastings Chamber of Commerce honored the Business Heroes of 2020 at its Annual Meeting & Awards Program Jan. 21. The well-produced virtual program – thanks to Hastings …
by John McLoone
The Hastings Chamber of Commerce honored the Business Heroes of 2020 at its Annual Meeting & Awards Program Jan. 21.
The well-produced virtual program – thanks to Hastings Community TV – was definitely different from the normal Chamber Annual Meeting, where a real party is held to celebrate past successes while looking ahead to the future.
Chamber President Kristy acted as Master of Ceremonies at the event, introducing speakers and providing her viewpoint, with the Hasting Chamber “in the trenches” of the COVID-19 battle and continuing – even through he pandemic – of making the Hastings business community stronger.
“I would give anything to be in-person with all of you right now, enjoying a night of drinks, good food and celebration,” she said. “The day will come, and it will be one epic bash.”
Barse continually urged members watching the event to make sure they ordered their “annual dinner’ from one of the many fine Hastings restaurants. She introduced the sponsors of the events. Gold Sponsors were Merchants Bank and the Hastings Golf Club and Hastings Public House. Silver Sponsors were Dakota Electric Association, North American Banking Corp., Emily’s Bakery and Deli, MidCountry Bank, Premier Bank Minnesota, Smead Manufacturing and The Busted Nut. Bronze sponsors were Dynamic Structures, Farmer’s Insurance-Katy Lindberg, InMotion Realty, Knight Barry, Lewis, Kisch & Associates, Spiral Brewery, Stotko Speedling, Treasure Island Resort & Casino and Villas at Pleasant. The committee helping to plan the event included Barse and Wendy Goblirsch from the chamber and Mike Bremer, Chad Collignon, Debbie Grimm, Peggy Johnson, See Chamber Honors Page 2 Chamber Awards
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Todd Siewert, Nicole Sindelar and Martha Sullivan, Representatives of Gold Sponsor businesses credited the hard work of the chamber. “Kristy and her team have been tremendous assets to the Hastings Business community,” said Bruce Goblirsch of Merchants Bank. “We cannot say enough fantastic things about our Hastings Chamber, said Nicole Sindelar of Hastings Golf Club and Hastings Public House. “Kristy, Wendy Goblirsch and Dave Youngren have played a crucial role in the success of Hastings businesses, keeping us connected with each other and getting us through some hard times.”
Derrick Jaeger of the Hastings YMCA, Past Chair, looked back on 2020. “When I started my term, who could have imagined the challenges that were ahead of us,” he said. “What a year it’s been. I look back to all of these challenges we faced and continue to face: shutdowns, restrictions, constant changes…but through it all the chamber has worked to support off of our members. We really focused on providing businesses the tool to unite us together, to advocate for the things that are important to us as a business community,” said Jaeger.
He said the Chamber took the lead in COVID-19 safety issues, promoting the safety of local businesses and helping promote Hastings.
“We’re proud to have been part of that campaign,” he said. “We focused on being the go-to business resource in the community for COVID-19.”
He noted valuable partnerships with the City of Hastings, Dakota County and other organizations.
“Nothing can be done alone,” he said.
“I want to thank off of our Chamber members for your commitment to keep Hastings safe and strong., I want to thank all my fellow board members. I want to thank Kristy and her team for the countless hours they spent helping,” said Jaeger.
Barse commented, “The Chamber and our business community have been extremely fortunate to have Derrick lead us through the most challenging year of our lifetime…He continually had the best interest of our small businesses in mind.”
Barse said in the spring, the Chamber jumped into gear to help businesses in the community.
“The Chamber put 100 percent of our effort to help our business community plan for a safe, sustainable and successful reopening of our community,” she said.
The Chamber disturbed 24,000 disposable masks to local businesses and spearheaded a popular Stay Safe and Shop Local campaign to get people back in shops and restaurants.
She credited outgoing board members for their dedication during their terms of office; John Hunt of Smead, Amy Reents of Midwest Ski Association and Jesse Starkson of the Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel.
“A big thank you to these community leaders for their countless hours on the Chamber board,” said Barse.
She welcomed incoming board members Sindelar, Steve Pedro of Hastings Chrysler, Hastings Ford and Crossroads Express Lube and Sonya Prange of Intek Plastics.
Taking “center stage” then was 2021 Board Chair Kellie Akins of Innovative Surfaces Inc.
“2020 was like no other but so many great things came out of the Hastings Chamber,” said Akins. “I did want to add how very proud I am of all they’ve accomplished for our business community.”
She said the focus for 2021 will be on “recovery, rebuilding and stabilizing” in the community,” She said the tourism message is, “We’re safe. We’re waiting for visitors.”
The Chamber will continue to advocate for small business.
“Advocacy has been a key cornerstone this past year and it will continue through 2021,” said Akins.
She said she looks forward to “having a big old party when we get through this thing.”
The program ended with a tip of the hat to all 265 Hastings Chamber of Commerce members who were all credited as this year’s businesses awards winner.
“You are all so deserving of this recognition,” said Barse