2019 Brainerd Lakes Chamber Celebration of Excellence
BEHIND EVERY MASK IS A STORY!
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's Celebration of Excellence is the largest signature event of the year for our 1,000+ members to celebrate the accomplishments of our Leadership Experience, Business Award recipients and Destination Downtown Business Challenge Winner!
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE GRADUATION
Inducted into the Blue Ox Business Academy's Leadership Experience Hall of Fame will be the Class of 2019. The Leadership Experience is a ten-month program (11 full days!) that is designed for emerging leaders and high-potential employees to develop essential skills and insights into their leadership character. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber is proud to have over 400 graduates from the Leadership program that originated in 1999. Several of our alumni have grown and developed into some of our area's most influential leaders! Join us in celebrating this year's Leadership Experience Class of 2019:
Danielle Addison, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union; Scott Antolak, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union; Jason Bassett, Nor-Son; Molly Bordwell, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center; Melissa Canfield, Access North Center for Independent Living of NE MN; Matt Cousino, Deerwood Bank; Matthew Dickinson, Frandsen Bank and Trust; Roxi Grimsley, CTC; Russ Hale, BlackRidgeBANK; Erik Haslam, Borden Steinbauer, Krueger and Knudson P.A.; Lisa Hennen Tupy, Essentia Health; Katelin Hohertz, Home Instead Senior Care; Kenzie Hohman, Essentia Health; Mark Johnson, Midwest Recycling Solutions; Rachal Johnson, Bremer Bank; Katie Kaufman, City of Brainerd; James Kramvik, Landsburg Landscape Nursery; Eric Larson, Nor-Son; Greg Maciej, Pequot Tool & Manufacturing; Andrea Martin, Common Goods; Ali Meyer, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center; Ruth Nordby, Boyd Lodge; Maria Orlowski, Brainerd Savings and Loan; Robert Oswaldson, Grand Casino Mille Lacs; Andy Pickar, Hy-Tec Construction; Katy Pittman; Kera Porter, RiverWood Bank, Brent Prescott, Avantech; Collin Rehbein; Kaitlyn Rohda; Kim Rollins, United Way of Crow Wing & Southern Cass Counties; Susan Schmidt, BlackRidgeBANK; Kevin Spielman, Pequot Tool & Manufacturing; Valerie Swenson, Pequot Lakes Public School; Jason Walkowiak, Crow Wing County; Jonathan Ward, Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake; Katie Wassermann, Pequot Lakes Chamber; Chad Wottreng, CliftonLarsonAllen.
Surround Yourself with the Dreamers, the Believers, the Planners and the Doers!
What do Dutch and Irma Cragun, Brainerd General Rental and 3 Cheers Hospitality have in common? They all had a dream that they believed in and made it come true!
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber and Cub Foods are excited to to present the 2nd Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award to Brainerd General Rental which is a small business that truly personifies the spirit of entrepreneurship, pride and success! The Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award honors a Brainerd Lakes Chamber business that employs up to 25 team members with the following attributes: leadership, innovation, employee investment and community service. Steve Mau, owner of Brainerd General Rental, was encouraged by other business owners and customers to apply for the Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award. Steve's comments upon being announced as the award recipient, "For the past 26 years Brainerd General Rental has been blessed to be a part of this amazing community. Through countless projects that our customers have undertaken and the support that our dedicated staff has provided, this recognition is for them. An opportunity to pause and rejoice in all that we have accomplished together."
Brainerd General Rental was founded in 1993 by Steve and Louise Aslakson in the former Taco Towne building in what was unincorporated Brainerd. Initially Brainerd General Rental provided equipment and supplies to both the party/event and construction categories. Eventually Steve and Louise sold the party business to help create Party World. In 2001 Brainerd General Rental was annexed into the city of Baxter and in April of 2002 was acquired by Steve and Maureen Mau. Our mission is to provide great equipment at a fair price with exceptional service. We focus on the equipment needs of commercial and residential customers. In 2008 the former Johnson Rental business was purchased and integrated into the existing business and a few years later the adjacent lot of the former Auto World business was acquired expanding the property to 4.5 acres on Highway 371. Additionally, the business has expanded from equipment rental to sales and service as well. Brainerd General Rental is now an equipment dealer providing rental, sales and service for Toro, ASV, Genie, Yanmar, Husqvarna Construction, Virnig and Wacker Neusan. Most recently, Brainerd General Rental has moved into their new state of the art sales, rental and service center built on the same property.
Joining the cast of legendary Business Excellence Award winners is 3 Cheers Hospitality! They will be recognized for their leadership, innovation, employee investment and community service. Brainerd Dispatch is proud to sponsor the Business Excellence Award and present it to 3 Cheers Hospitality during the Brainerd Lakes Chamber's premiere event of the year!
3 Cheers Hospitality is the company that owns and operates such venues as Prairie Bay, Sherwood Forest, Iron Range Eatery, The Mad Hugger Café and the new Dock 77 at the Quarterdeck Resort. They strive to offer a delicious food and service experience by buying local products whenever possible, to offer the freshest ingredients on their menu and by hiring high energy fun staff that they treat as family. Their company holds true to their mission/vision of Community Family Experience and they strive to achieve this every day. They connect to the community in many ways encouraging and supporting Staff and Management participation in local events, as well as being a part of the community through actions including but certainly not limited to: Operation Sandwich, Soup Kitchen, Chambers, Public Library, area schools, the local college and nonprofits with our Happy Hour for A Cause program (now going for 14 years!). Family to them means not only their staff, but also every guest who enters their doors. They want everyone who is associated with the 3 Cheers name either by employment or by entering one of their venues to feel at home. They are unique in the fact that they share their knowledge with the community, sharing recipes, how to tips and assist others venues and businesses in event planning and marketing ideas. They know what it takes to make a community thrive and they aim to do their part in making that happen.
Headlining the Celebration of Excellence will be the presentation of the Business Legacy Award by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber and RiverWood Bank to Dutch and Irma Cragun! They are a monarch in the hospitality industry who have achieved exceptional business success in their lifetime. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber seeks to recognize inspiring leadership that transcends business and leaves a legacy of community and economic vitality for generations to come.
Merrill "Dutch" Cragun was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. He started his career in Brainerd at age 9 (1941) working the summers at the family resort in charge of worms and minnows. After attending the University of MN and serving in the Army, Dutch returned to Brainerd and took over as manager of Cragun's Resort in 1957. At that time, Cragun's Resort consisted of 12 cabins, 6 hotel style units, and a dining room that could seat 20. Steady growth continued for the next 40 years which included purchasing both Cronoble's and Island View Resorts that were adjacent to the original property. Today, Cragun's Resort has 205 hotel style rooms, 54 cabins, 45 holes of award winning golf, and 5 restaurants.
Fresh, local, authentic, colorful. Enter the reimagined Crow Wing Food Co-op to take a step back in time and a step forward to a modern, nourishing experience. The Co-op?s newly expanded and relocated grocery store will feature organic foods, a smoothie and juice bar, and a small deli for healthier ?fast food? options. A member-owned business with deep local roots, its goal is to connect people to freshness in Downtown Brainerd.
Imagine discovering the lushest olive oils and bursting balsamic vinegars imported from around the world and freshly bottled in Downtown Brainerd. Sample them all with food pairings created by knowledgeable staff?all within a warm and wonderful showroom of luxury appliances. Entrepreneurs Lois and Steve Hensel promise to bring global experiences and inspired customers to help revitalize their new downtown home.
Creating a community takes tools, teamwork and craftsmanship. That?s the premise behind Minnesota Makerspace. Entrepreneurs Trevor Kruse and Chris Smith will unlock high-quality tools, materials and technology in the heart of Downtown Brainerd, offering members access to bring DIY ideas to life. Step-by-step classes will allow amateurs to build unique home décor with personal flair. Their motto: Together We Create!
JOIN US LIVE TO FIND OUT WHO WINS!
After all the votes are counted, the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed during the Celebration of Excellence.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT! PURCHASE YOUR TABLE (seat 8) or INDIVIDUAL TICKETS TODAY!
TABLE & SEATING OPTIONS:
MASQUERADE TABLE ($1,000 - ONLY 2 TABLES LEFT!)
- Prime seating for 8 at a reserved table up front
- Funds help support our LakesPROUD regional campaign
- Plated dinners for 8
MAGIC TABLE ($750)
- Reserved table with prime seating in the middle
- Plated dinners for 8
MYSTERY TABLE ($650)
- Reserved table for 8
- Plated dinners for 8
INDIVIDUAL SEATS ($60 / Ticket)
- Non-reserved seating for 1
- Plated dinner for 1
Support the LakesPROUD Movement
Help us keep it local! www.lakesproud.com
- $50 LakesPROUD Donation
- $100 LakesPROUD Donation
TABLE AND INDIVIDUAL SEATING REGISTRATION FORM
SOCIAL HOUR SPONSOR ($2,000)
Be the "Host with the Most" and socialize with all of the attendees!
- Signature drink named after your business
- Hand out drink tickets
- Stage recognition
- Signage at both bars
Add to the evening's celebration with live music!
- Personalize the evening with your music request
- Stage recognition
- Signage next to the band
- Jonathan Laflamme- Brass and Vocals
- Steve Anderson- Piano and Vocals
- Izzy Armstrong- Woodwinds
- Laurie Chamberlain- Bass
- Joe Yager- Drums
ENTERTAINMENT SPONSOR ($1,500) SOLD!
NEW for our 2019 Celebration of Excellence will be live entertainment by Hudson the Magician!
- Personal magic show at your table
- Stage recognition
- Signage at the event
- Branded masks for guests to wear
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FORM
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
- Social Hour
- Cash Bar
- Live Music by Jazz Cubed
- Professional Photos by Luminous Photography
- Hudson the Magician
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
- Celebration of Excellence - Sponsored by Widseth Smith Nolting
- Recognition of volunteers, committees, and retiring board members
- Recognition of the Leadership Class of 2019
- Plated Dinner
- 3 Course Meal-
- Plated House Salad with Poppyseed Vinaigrette and Dinner Roll.
- Irma's Pot Roast served with Garlic Mashed Potato, Butter Asparagus and Baby Carrot Stalks.
- Alternating Desserts-
- Triple Chocolate Tiger Torte
- White Chocolate Raspberry Torte
- 3 Course Meal-
- Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award Presentation - Sponsored by Cub Foods
- Business Excellence Award Presentation - Sponsored by Brainerd Dispatch
- Business Legacy Award Presentation - Sponsored by RiverWood Bank
- Destination Downtown Business Challenge Winner Announced
ABOUT THE AWARDS
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber will present three awards at its eighth-annual Celebration of Excellence on November 21st - the traditional Business Excellence Award, which goes to an outstanding local business, the Business Legacy Award, which celebrates individual lifetime achievements as well as community and economic contributions and the Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award which will recognize a small business that personifies the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Brainerd Lakes Area!
For all three awards, a nomination/application process was announced in April 2019. After the deadline passed at the end of May, a ten-member volunteer selection committee independently scored and discussed each applicant before choosing the recipients.
Past recipient of the Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award:
- Jack Pine Brewery (2018)
Past recipients of the Business Excellence Award include:
- Widseth Smith Nolting (2012)
- Crosswoods Golf (2013)
- Grand View Lodge (2014)
- Ultra Paws LLC (2015)
- Just for Kix (2016)
- CTC (2017)
- Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (2018)
- Stewart C. Mills Jr. (2016)
- Arnie Johnson (2017)
- Paul and Lynn Hunt (2018)
- The Purple Fern Bath Company (2017)
- The Knotty Pine Bakery (2018)