Chamber of Commerce to hold annual dinner Jan. 26

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual dinner Jan. 26 at the Show Me Center, 1333 N. Sprigg St., to celebrate its successes in 2006.

The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m, followed by dinner and program events at 7 p.m.

"The annual dinner is a time to come together to celebrate our successes and to recognize many of our members for all the wonderful contributions they give to their chamber," said John Mehner, chamber president and CEO. "Without our volunteers and servant leaders, we could not accomplish all we do."

The program will include comments from board of director leadership, acknowledgement of current and retiring board members and extending appreciation to the 2006 committee chairman, said Tim Arbeiter, Chamber vice president of community development.

The highlight of the evening will be the awards ceremony for two business categories and one volunteer category and a recognition of members who have been with the chamber for 50 years.

The Small Business of the Year award, created in 1991, will be given to a business that has a local ownership of 51 percent, employes no more than 50 employees and has been in business for more than five years.

Candidates are evaluated on business history and growth, financial soundness and profitability, customer satisfaction and reputation, employee relations, civic and business leadership and an innovative product or service, Arbeiter said.

Past honorees include Automation Services Co. in 2005, Minor's Harley-Davidson/Suzuki Sales in 2004, Red Letter Communications in 2003, Ford and Sons Funeral Home in 2002, Shivelbine's Music Store, Inc. in 2001 and Kwik-Kopy Printing & Rose Concrete Products Inc., in 2000.

Created in 1989, the Rush H. Limbaugh award is given to a business person who has benefited the community through a variety of efforts over time.

Prior recipients include Mary Kasten in 2006, James Limbaugh in 2005, Judith Wilferth in 2004, Mike Kohlfeld in 2003, Gary Rust in 2002, Vernon Auer in 2001 and J. Ronald Fischer in 2000.

In addition to these top honors, a Go-Getter Award is bestowed upon a chamber ambassador who has excelled in attracting new members and retaining existing members and who represents the chamber in various functions.

David Hutson, 2007 chairman of the board, will speak at the conclusion of the event, Arbeiter said.

Reservations for the dinner can be made by contacting the chamber office at 335-3312. The cost is $35 per person.

335-6611, extension 127

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