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Businesses and individuals were recognized Tuesday for their contributions to the community during an awards luncheon.

The Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Chamber Member Awards were held at Holiday Inn Express.

The annual event is an opportunity to thank those chamber members who have a lasting impact on the community, according to Chamber Director Angie Bruna.

“We are here to celebrate the successes that our business owners and our business men and women face on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “Really, just kudos to everyone in the room. It’s hard to pick just one winner. Thank you all for all of your contributions on a daily basis and we look forward to growing our Beatrice community with you.”

Awards presented during the event included:

Business person of the year: Todd and Soni Hydo, Lammel Plumbing Inc.

Young professional of the year: Gina Heckey, Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation.

Best new image: Southeast Community College, Beatrice campus.

Outstanding new business: Stone Hollow Brewing Co.

Customer service: Colleen’s Catering.

Member employee recognition: Lisa Behrens, Mosaic.

Member employee recognition: Betsy Anderson, Southeast Community College.

Non-profit business of the year: Gage County Foundation.

Business of the year: Home Instead Senior Care.

The keynote speaker at the event was Jason Olberding, owner of J-Tech Construction.

A 2001 graduate of Beatrice High School, Olberding shared his story of starting a business out of his mother’s house, and now owning locations in Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley also spoke at the event and discussed some of the issues facing the state of Nebraska.

“The number one issue in my opinion facing our state today is workforce shortage,” Foley said. “I’ve been to so many businesses recently, Cargill, Case IH, so many other businesses and everyone’s told me the same thing. Send me workers.”

In addition to the presentations, Bruna highlighted some of the chamber’s activities throughout the year, including legislative forums, the holiday lighted parade, holiday lighted tour, fantasy of trees, an annual banquet, Homestead Days, an ag appreciation barbecue, lunch and learns and business after hours events.

“These are all opportunities where our members can get together and strengthen our sense of community,” she said. “We’re continuously seeking out ways to validate chamber membership and adapt new opportunities for our members to better utilize their chamber membership.”

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