2020 Employee of the Year Winner_Jeannie Zagaros_Rosewood Senior Living.jpg

Jeannie Zagaros, Rosewood Senior Living House Manager, was named the 2020 North 65 Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Year. Photo submitted

The North 65 Chamber of Commerce held its 2020 Employee of the Year Virtual Award Ceremony on Nov. 18. Jeannie Zagaros, Rosewood Senior Living House Manager, was honored as employee of the year.

Listed are all the nominees for 2020 Employee of the Year. Congratulations to the winner and all the nominees.

Jeannie Zagaros

Rosewood Senior Living House Manager

Length of Employment: Six-plus years.

Jeannie is the smile to our resident’s faces, the shoulder to lean on for our staff, the Mrs. Fix-It for the facility, but most of all she is family. She trains all of our new staff to work the floor and her training motto is “treat everyone in this facility like they are your grandpa and grandma.”

Jeannie has not let the challenges of COVID-19 affect her positivity and her love for our residents, in fact it has only excelled her desire to care and to protect them in the most vulnerable time of their lives.

Ross Benzen

Dispatcher, Isanti County Sheriff’s Office

Length of Employment: Eight years.

Ross is a team player in his role and works to make our county better. He has a winning attitude, very thorough, and takes on more than his job description requires. He handles tough situations with calmness and is looked up to by other staff.

Justin Boeke

Facilities Worker, Anoka Ramsey Community


Length of Employment: Two to three years.

Justin is working extremely hard and doing high quality work. Every interaction is extremely positive and he takes a “how can I help you’’ approach. His presence has lifted our facilities department and it shows in our building and grounds. Rock star!

Joseph Christenson

Environmental Services Manager, Cambridge Medical Center

Length of Employment: Six years.

Joe has been the leader of a dedicated 20-plus member team for almost six years. Even before COVID-19, he ensured that the almost 1,500 patients, visitors, family members and staff who enter our building every day are as safe as they can be. His ability to balance “big picture” while interacting face-to-face with others across the organization is amazing and he does it all with a strong customer focus. Even though Joe is behind the scenes, his leadership makes it possible for care to be provided to our patients.

Ashley Keyport

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, North Branch Store


Length of Employment: 13 months.

I would like to recognize Ashley for her work ethic, leadership, customer service and her training of new/current employees. She is definitely a lead by example person that interacts well with the employees. She’s also awesome with customers and writing custom catering orders. All within one year!

Kyla Keyport

Heritage Tax Service Payroll Manager

Length of Employment: 10 years.

Kyla is always willing to help where she can. She addresses client needs after hours, on her own phone, on her own time. She is dedicated to the firm and our success. This mom of 4, with 2 schooling at home, continues to do right by us and the clients.

Patty Koljonen

Semler Construction, Inc. Chief of Staff

Length of Employment: 26 Years

Patty has been and continues to be an extremely dedicated employee who continually goes above and beyond! Everyone she comes into contact with from customers to vendors praise the manner in which she represents herself and the company.

Colton Lekkas

Miller Custom Remodeling Job Supervisor

Length of Employment: Two Years.

Colton has done everything within his power to help grow Miller Custom Remodeling. His dedication to the job and the homeowner goes above what anyone can ask from him. He has not only become a face of the company but has become part of our family.

Lauri McKinnon

Art and Science Academy Office Manager

Length of Employment: Three years.

Lauri took on a new role unexpectedly last year with a very high learning curve. She has risen to the challenge and now manages the majority of our operational functions for the district. A role that would often be split into multiple positions.

James Morin

Chilson Jewelers Store manager

Length of Employment: Four years, three months.

Jim has great customer relations skills. He is a great asset to our business. He makes Karen and I very proud the have him as an employee! We can spend time with our four kids and know our business is in good hands!

Jayne Mund

Family Pathways

Caregiver Consultant

Length of Employment: Six years.

Caregiver Consulting is Jayne’s strength, she shines in her work by being a caring, empathetic community member. Jayne has pivoted in ways to support caregivers as they journey this new experience of providing care during a pandemic.

Cynthia Szafranski

Newton Financial

Solutions Operations Manager

Length of Employment: Eight years.

Cindy represents the essence of teamwork and she strives to support those around her through hard work and communication. Her customer service is second to none, and without her, our team would suffer greatly. Cindy always does her work with a smile, and treats her teammates with honor and respect. She is an incredible employee, and teammate.

Lori Wahlberg


Community College Nursing Program Nursing Program Coordinator

Length of Employment: Seven years.

Lori works hard to ensure continuation of the nursing program during COVID-19. She has done an exceptional job of communicating with our clinical practice partners to facilitate a successful working relationship. She is a tireless team player.

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