On Wednesday, December 14th, the St. John Chamber of Commerce held their annual Holiday Luncheon. The event was a chance for members to celebrate the holiday, reflect on their successes throughout the year, and a chance to glimpse into the future for what next year had in store for the chamber.
“There’s going to be a lot happening at this meeting,” said St. John Chamber President, Gina Fezler. “We’re recognizing and congratulating many members of this chamber, who frequently go above and beyond for our community. We also have several awards we’re eager to give out. Many of the recipients don’t know they’re receiving the honors. And of course, we have our wonderful raffle!”
The raffle featured prizes donated by chamber members. The prize table held a variety of gift baskets. Prize packages included wrapped wine, popcorn, candy, and other holiday treats. A 50-50 raffle was also available for members to purchase tickets. All of the profits from the raffle will be given to local organizations throughout the community.
After the members were seated and their lunch orders taken, Fezler took the podium to welcome new members of the chamber. One of the new members recognized was Ed Krygier of JAKs Warehouse.
“Joining the chamber was a long time coming for us at JAK’s,” Krygier began. “We expanded our sales department this year. And with the chamber and lots of other help, we were able to spread the word about what our business is all about. Plus, it's a great way to share our business developments with all the other members.”
From welcoming the new members, Fezler eagerly announced and welcomed the newly elected officers for 2017. The officers will begin their terms in January 2017. Ryan Spangler, of State Farm Insurance, was announced as the Frezler’s replacement as President.
“It’s an amazing honor to have been elected President of this chamber. I can’t wait to get a hold of it all, but honestly, it's a little bit of a daunting task considering I’m following Gina Frezler, who has been beyond amazing as President of our chamber,” said Spangler.
The Advocate group of the chamber were next to be honored. The Advocates do not sit on the board, but they promote the chamber through their actions and their commentary. They’ve helped share and create ideas for new events. They also volunteer at every event.
The final award was the Georgene Resney Award. This award is only handed out once a year based on the member’s involvement and commitment to the chamber. Though the award is given out annually, the award also focuses on the member’s success throughout their time in the chamber. This year the award was given to Tim Swallers, who helped shaped the chamber to what it is today.
“I came into St. John in early ‘99, so this will be 18 years of being in St. John. Back then we had 12 or 13 members at a meeting. And now it's an awesome feeling to look around and see 70 people here,” said Swallers.
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