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Willmar, Minn., Chamber of Commerce receives state award

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has been named Outstanding Chamber of the Year by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives, the professional association for local chambers of commerce in Minnesota.

The award is based on performance in several categories, including leadership and governance, finance, advocacy, innovation and membership development.

The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber was especially cited for its work in developing relationships with diverse business groups such as Latino and African business leaders. It also was singled out for increasing its membership and for a "bundle-up" membership plan that the MCCE said was "innovative and responsive to member needs."

The award will be formally presented to Ken Warner, president of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, at the MCCE annual meeting Feb. 23 in Owatonna. It will be presented to the full chamber at its annual meeting March 30.

Willmar was one of two Minnesota chambers of commerce to receive the Outstanding Chamber of the Year award this year. The other award went to the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead West Fargo.