The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting at the Oliver Kelley Farm’s Community Room in Elk River. Kit Welchlin presented a seminar on change, stress and doing more with less.

The annual meeting provides the opportunity to hear about the accomplishments of the chamber over the past year and thank outgoing leadership.

Chair Danyell Wendland of ABRA Autobody and Glass shared reflections on the year that was, including how her theme “New Roads Ahead” pivoted from a “get ready for 169 construction” to responding to business needs during the pandemic. She also helped lead the charge of the first of team building opportunities for board members as they completed a surprise face-lift on the chamber office.

Also retiring from the board after six years of service are Corey Wemple of The Bank of Elk River, who served as board chair from 2018-2019, and Randy Barney of RB’s Computers, who served on the Government Relations Committee.

Brian Bohnsack of Fleming Investment Group was installed as board chair and provided insight to his goals for the upcoming year. They include:

• Installation of a new electronic sign that will share community events and chamber updates.

• Improvements to the exterior of the building.

• Launching an Advanced Leadership Program to complement the Community Leadership Program the chamber has been known for over the past 25 years.

• Helping local businesses with their workforce needs, including best practices on hiring and retaining employees.

•Updating the long-standing “Chamber Bucks” shop local program with a modern version.

• Continuing the chamber’s strong reputation for advocacy work, making sure the voice of business is heard at all levels of government.

New board members were elected in the spring and were installed. They are David Black of The Bank of Elk River; Ryan Hardin of Partners Real Estate MN Hardin Companies; and Anne Nelson of Cornerstone Automotive.

The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1968, represents more than 325 local businesses. The chamber energizes the “pace” of business through promotion, advocacy, connections and education.

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