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Chamber celebrates accomplishments and volunteers at Annual Gala

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February 07, 2018
At its 149th Annual Gala, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce celebrated the successes of 2017 and revealed crucial priorities in 2018. As part of the celebration, The Chamber recognized those who have helped lead our business sector and the community at large.

Three awards were given to Chamber leaders who went above and beyond their positions to help enhance our members’ success and advance our economy.
  • Chairman’s Award - presented to Elena Kezelis, recently retired Executive Director of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation and 2016 Chamber Board Chair for her commitment to and investment in The Chamber and the community at-large. Elena provided over a decade of volunteer leadership for The Chamber. She not only served as the 2016 Board Chair, she served on The Chamber’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Strategic Leadership Council, Government Relations Council, and most recently as one of the 2017 Co-Chairs of the Strategic Leadership Council.
  • Ambassador of the Year Award – presented to Pamela Frazier, Owner of All In One On-Site Wash & Detail. The Chamber’s Ambassadors Committee is comprised of local Chamber member professionals that advocate on behalf of The Chamber in a variety of ways, including member contacts, identifying member leads, and attending events such as ribbon cuttings, Business After Hours and committee meetings. A point system is utilized to recognize the accomplishments of its members, and the Award recognizes the hard work and dedication of the individual that earned the most points for the various responsibilities of an Ambassador.
  • President’s Award – presented to Hickory Point Bank for their commitment to honor, recognize, and promote the importance of small businesses in our community. Hickory Point Bank entered the Springfield market in 2002, joined The Chamber and immediately became the Presenting Sponsor of The Chamber’s Small Business Awards Luncheon. In 2018, they will be the Presenting Sponsor for a record 17th year in a row. The luncheon, which is held each June, honors numerous small businesses for their accomplishments and contributions to our community and local economy. Bob Mizeur, Senior Vice President, Springfield Market Manager, received the award on behalf of Hickory Point Bank.
Speaking at the event were Chamber President and CEO Chris Hembrough, 2017 Board Chair Tom Gihl and 2018 Board Chair Jim Britton. 

“Our gala is a unique opportunity to celebrate all that took place last year and look forward to the new year, while at the same time recognizing the people and organizations who help move our community and economy forward,” Hembrough said. “It is through the work of our board and volunteers, business leaders and staff that 2017 was such a memorable year.”

Event sponsors included Town and Country Bank as presenting sponsor; CEFCU, The Horace Mann Companies and HSHS St. John’s Hospital as visionary sponsors; Eck, Schafer & Punke, LLP as catalyst sponsor; CDS Office Technologies / Color World of Printing as print sponsor; Cooper’s Hawk Winery Restaurants as wine sponsor; Best Expo, Inc. as stage decoration sponsor; Ed Clark Photography as photography sponsor; Crowdson Creative Media Production as video sponsor, and ContentWorks LLC as graphic design sponsor.

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