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Brainerd Lakes Chamber includes Business Excellence Award

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber announced its Business Excellence Award program designed to recognize area businesses for their entrepreneurial spirit and business accomplishments.

“We have great businesses in the Brainerd lakes area,” said Brent Gunsbury, of Bercher Design & Construction, former chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, and lead volunteer developing this program, in a news release. “This award provides us the ability to celebrate and draw attention to these exceptional businesses. In addition, we hope this award spurs other entrepreneurs to take risks – to use their innovation to grow their businesses.”

The 2012 sponsor of the Business Excellence Award program is the Brainerd Dispatch. Up to three Brainerd Lakes Chamber member finalists will be considered for the first Business Excellence Award. The award judging criteria will look at a variety of factors, including the growth, innovation, ethics, and community impact of the nominated business. Nomination deadline is Sept. 7.

“We encourage business professionals, community members, and customers as well as business owners to nominate businesses that they believe meet the award requirements,” said Lisa Paxton, Brainerd Lakes Chamber CEO. “This is our opportunity to shine the light on businesses that are meeting their goals and serving as great community stewards.”

Businesses may self nominate, or others may nominate a business and the Chamber will inform the business of their nomination, and encourage them to complete the brief application process.

The following are factors that will be considered in the judging criteria:

• Growth: Demonstrates outstanding sales, profit or revenue growth; reveals a commitment to job creation; actively supports the development and growth of the Brainerd Lakes Area.

• Excellence: Holds customer service/experience audits with high results; shows a record of excellence in business through awards received or recognition by peers; provides benefits to employees such as flexible work schedules, child care options, employee assistance programs, etc. and/or works in manner with associates to reach exceptional results.

• Innovation: Displays industry leadership with the products/services offered; deliver creative ideas presented to the marketplace.

• Risk: Demonstrates a willingness to take risks; takes risks commensurate with innovative products/services presented to marketplace; implements a program of work that is challenging and manages change effectively.

• Business Ethics: Exhibits sound management and ethical business practices; directs operations in method that consistently garners respect from others, especially that of competitors, influencing agencies which impact one’s operations, and/or customers.

• Community Impact: Provides community leadership and is involved in community activities; encourages and provides opportunities for employees to contribute to the community.

Nominees need not exhibit outstanding performance in all categories to win. To be eligible, nominees must be for profit business members of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, and physically located in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Nomination information can be found at, under the Chamber Programs tab. Nomination deadline is 4 p.m. Sept. 7, 2012.

Finalists will be contacted by Sept. 13 and the Business of the Year winner will be named at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Annual Dinner on Oct. 8 at Breezy Point Resort.

Nomination materials may be mailed to Brainerd Lakes Chamber, 124 N. Sixth St., Brainerd, MN 56401, faxed to 829-8199 or emailed to For more information, contact Ruth Ann Hanson, Program and Events Director, at 822-7119 or

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889