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Willmar Chamber seeks leadership nominations

WILLMAR — The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations from the community of individuals who have exhibited leadership, volunteerism and giving in the Willmar lakes area.

The neXt organization and the Chamber will honor the recipients at the Annual Awards Leadership Luncheon noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Willmar Conference Center.

Nominations should be submitted to the Chamber on or before Jan. 17. Nomination forms can be found at the Chamber website at, at the Chamber office, or call 320-235-0300 and the forms can faxed, mailed or emailed.

2013 Emerging Young Leader Award The Emerging Young Leader Award is presented to an individual younger than 40 who demonstrates outstanding leadership that benefits the community and its citizens in working with youth, adults and families to improve the Willmar lakes area quality of life.

Leadership qualities include creativity, volunteerism, responsibility, problem-solving, respectfulness, cooperation and organizational skills. Leadership qualities are not limited to Chamber activities and may include work for other organizations.

Previous recipients have been Robert Mathiasen, Heritage Bank N.A.; Lourdez Schwab, All Star Realty & Willmar Area Multicultural Market; and Jonathan Kreps, JD Kreps Financial Group.

2013 “MILO’’ Award The “MILO’’ Award is named after long-time Chamber volunteer Milo Halberg who died in 2001. Halberg served a three-year term on the board of directors and was a longstanding Membership Committee member until his retirement from “volunteerism’’ from the Chamber in 1998.

During his years of service to the Chamber, he signed more than 100 members, and many times was requested by certain members to have him personally pick up their membership check as part of the overall retention program.

The award recognizes local business leaders who exemplify Halberg’s leadership in volunteerism, community leadership and involvement and dedication to the Chamber.

The award will be presented to a Chamber member who is 40 years or older who has provided leadership and commitment to the Chamber and other community organizations and programs. The recipient’s photo will be featured in the Chamber lobby, along with past recipients.

Other recipients have been Bob Dols, Northern States Supply; David Reed, Welders Supply; Lachlan Smith, Affiliated Community Medical Centers; Ken Behm, Home State Bank; Smitty Luschen, Heritage Bank, N.A.; Greg Hilding, Bremer Bank, N.A.; Gary Geiger, Heritage Bank, N.A.; Milan Schmiesing, Conway Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP; and Russ Bennett, Bennett Office Technologies.

2013 Exemplary Leadership Award

The Exemplary Leadership Award honors a male or female who has achieved recognition in their field and made significant contributions to their respective profession and business or organization.

The award is open to a man, woman, or business that has demonstrated a successful and exemplary history of leadership resulting in noteworthy accomplishments for the business or organization that the leader serves.

The recipient will have been successful in serving his or her profession in a manner that inspires others in the profession to recognize the person as a leader in the field. Ideally, community members also will readily identify the recipient as being successful as a leader.

Other recipients have been Kathy Leedom, Willmar Public Schools; Julie Asmus, Willmar Police Department; and Lynn Johnson, Ridgewater College.