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Chamber banquet slated for Feb. 6

1/20/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.com

The area's business community will gather Feb. 6 in Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union for Hays Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Sunset Lounge with a social sponsored by Edward Hammond, FHSU president. Four hundred people are expected to attend the program, said Tammy Wellbrock, executive director of the chamber.

"In my opinion, I am not aware of a cross-industry networking opportunity that exists in this community except for the annual chamber banquet," Wellbrock said. "That social hour is an amazing time to be able to see people you don't normally see."

The $50 tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

The dinner, which will be in the Fort Hays Ballroom, begins at 7 p.m. Salad, apple and Brie stuffed chicken and cheesecake will be on the menu.

The program will be begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Outgoing position holders will speak about the chamber's accomplishments in 2013, and new representatives will share their goals for 2014. Mayo Schmidt, who is on the Board of Directors of Agrium Inc., will be the guest speaker.

Jerry Haley, owner of Vision Video Labs, will present the five awards. Haley will announce the recipients with a special narrative that reveals each individual as the story progresses.

The hall of fame award will recognize long-term community service, demonstrated excellence in an industry and civic involvement. The most valuable citizen award will go to the person who has improved the community with noted involvement in the past year.

The businesswoman of the year award will be given to someone with business accomplishments and a history of service and leadership collaboration. The rising star award will go to someone between the ages of 21 to 40 who is a leader in the business or local community and has a history of community service. A small business chamber member with entrepreneurial success in the Hays area will win the business achievement award.

For more information, call the chamber at (785) 628-8201.