Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

February 3, 2014

Chamber IMPACT award winners announced

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — The 54th Annual Knoxville Chamber of Commerce banquet was held Saturday night at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Those in attendance viewed the annual report, which showed that the Chamber is 205 members strong, with 22 "Blue Jacket" Ambassadors. The Chamber lost 18 members over the past year, through death, business closures and non-renewals. Financially, the Chamber has $10,000 in reserves.

"The Chamber is healthy," Executive Director Larissa Van Donselaar said. 

Outgoing President Lori Bailey reviewed the accomplishments and goals of the past year. During a strategic planning retreat, the Chamber Board set five areas of focus for the coming years. They included membership, economic development, tourism, events and government relations. Subcommittees for each of these areas have been established as the Chamber moves in to 2014. 

Board members whose terms have expired were also recognized. They were Randy Chambers, Craig Mobley and Marilyn Miller. Brian Hatch will remain on the board in an ex-officio role as Mayor. 

Incoming President Mikol Sesker took over and thanked Bailey for her service as President. Sesker was complimentary to Bailey.

"Lori has a very unique set of skills," Sesker said. "In a word, I would say, 'leadership.'" 

After introducing the 2014 board members, the meeting was adjourned. Following a brief intermission, the evening shifted focus to the annual IMPACT Awards. Award winners included:

• HCI Care Services was awarded the Business IMPCAT of the Year Award. 

• Brian McNeill was awarded the Educator IMPACT of the Year Award.

• Brent Hanna was awarded the Agriculture IMPACT of the Year Award.

• The First United Methodist Women's Almost Free Shop was awarded the Volunteer IMPACT of the Year Award.

• Elsie Kemp was awarded the Matthew C. Job "Pride in Knoxville" award.