business awards

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From left to right officials representing Northface Construction, Distinctive Iron,Takeoff Nutrition, Collyard Chiropractic and Thumbs Up were recognized with awards from the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce.

Recognition program spans variety of local businesses as well as volunteer efforts

The Elk River Chamber Board of Directors has announced the winners of the 2021 PACE Business Awards and the Volunteers of the Year. The award categories allow for recognition of a broad range of business types, sizes, and unique qualities. The PACE Business Awards honor businesses for “Performance, Achievement and Commitment to Excellence” in business. Businesses that were nominated were reviewed and selected by a panel of past award recipients. They were looking for businesses who showcased adaptability in a changing business world, innovative business strategies and recognition as a business leader in their respective industries. The Volunteer Awards include Ambassador of the Year, PACE-setter and Keystone Award. The chamber is a membership-based business organization that relies on member volunteers to help drive its success.

In 2020 the awards were given virtually. This year the chamber membership gathered at Rockwoods for a lively and interactive program that included a panel discussion with all the business award winners and a testimonial from the Volunteers of the Year.

Employer of the Year: Collyard Chiropractic

The Employer of the Year Award recognizes the company that has created an outstanding workplace and has a committed, effective, and motivated workforce. This year’s winner is Collyard Chiropractic. Dr. Carrie believes that is important to spend time learning how to thank each employee in ways their personalities understand and that are meaningful to the employee.

New Business of the Year: TAKEOFF Nutrition

The New Business of the Year Award is aimed at businesses that have demonstrated innovation, creativity and are on the path to outstanding success. Winners must have been in business for less than five years. This year’s winner is TAKEOFF Nutrition. Started in Elk River in 2018, the owner, Jane Matthys decided she needed a change from her career in healthcare and decided to open the nutritional shake shop after using the products to improve her own health.

Small Business of the Year: Northface Construction

The Small Business of the Year Award recognizes an organization, in business for at least five years, and who have exhibited outstanding initiative, customer service, and organizational skills which produce significant results. This year’s winner is Northface Construction. The company has been in business in Elk River for 11 years and they have intentionally built a culture that empowers leaders to grow their own skills and provide pathways for careers, not just jobs. The entire team embraces a Customers for Life Mentality, and this has proven to be a successful strategy.

Large Business of the Year: Distinctive Iron

The Large Business of the Year Award recognizes a larger employer in business for at least five years and who has exhibited excellence, outstanding leadership, and significant benefit to the community. This year’s winner is Distinctive Iron, a structural steel company that has been a part of many public and private building projects including several in Elk River and the surrounding area. Celebrating their 10-year anniversary in business, this family-owned business has expanded three times. The Hemmers (Cindy and her two sons, Nick and Steven) believe strongly in supporting local Elk River businesses and nonprofits. They nurture the future workforce and treat their employees as family.

Young Professional of the Year: Katie Shatusky

The Young Professional of the Year recognizes an emerging leader under age 40 who serves as a role model for other young professionals, both personally and professionally, and demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. This year’s honoree is Katie Shatusky, founder, and executive director of Thumbs Up, a local nonprofit that offers support for those struggling with their mental health as well as families and friends who have lost their loved ones to suicide. Her tireless work and effort is fueled by compassion and care for others.

Volunteers of the Year

Ambassador of the Year — Dr. Carrie Collyard – during COVID and the chamber’s own staffing shortages, Dr. Carrie readily stepped up to not only lead the Ambassador Team but also took over the scheduling responsibilities and helped the team and new members stay connected to the chamber.

PACE-setter of the Year — Joanna Arbic — Maurices Store manager has been very active with the chamber’s golf committee for years and provides her team as volunteers for the annual event. Additionally, she has volunteered for other organizations in town and ties them together with each other for even greater impact.

Keystone Award – Dan Weber — The Sherburne County assistant county administrator has been a longtime chamber champion, recognizing the value chambers bring to local businesses and helping identify great partnerships for the county and the local chambers of commerce. Dan thinks creatively and has a can-do attitude, always available with resources and input on topics of public interest.

The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1968, represents over 320 local businesses. The chamber energizes the PACE of business through “Promotion, Advocacy, Connections and Education.”

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