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Our View: Chamber is an important player in community

The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau annual Awards Banquet was held at the Hudson House Grand Hotel on Jan. 23. The event is a good reminder of how fortunate Hudson is to have a strong Chamber of Commerce.

And, you don’t have to take our word for it — The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal always ranks Hudson’s Chamber high on the list of the Top 25 List of Chamber of Commerce organizations in the Twin Cities.

The Chamber may not always be visible to many residents, but it is a tremendously important player in the activities in and around the Hudson community.

The Chamber was in the spotlight on Jan. 23, but work goes on behind the scenes every day of the year. The organization now has well over 500 members with an 11-member board.

President Kim Heinemann oversees a staff of four. On staff currently are Director of Communications & Programs Andrea Jorgenson, Membership & Programs Assistant Vanessa LaFleur, Director of Finance Jane Leaf and Tourism Mary Weller.

Congratulations to outgoing board of directors President Jim Wookey. He kept the ball rolling in 2013. And, good luck to incoming 2014 Chair Traci Leffner. The 2014 board includes Leffner (chair), Wookey (past chair), Pat Cooksey (chair elect) Kevin Blinsmon (treasurer), Sandee Madigan, Brian Hinz, Kevin Frane, Todd Gilbert, Nick Vivian and newcomers Amy Bast and Ron Theis. Retiring from the board are Carla Timmerman and LouAnne Berg.

The organization sponsors numerous community and tourist events such as the Business Spotlights, Good Morning Hudson, Leadership Hudson, the Spring Showcase, an annual golf tournament, the annual Christmas Tour of Homes and Craft Sale, and a whole lot more.

Much of the Chamber’s work goes on behind the scenes. The organization gets countless requests for information from visitors, residents (and potential residents) and businesses (and potential businesses).

Several individuals and businesses were honored at last month’s banquet. Again, congratulations the winners, and congratulations to the Chamber for providing a stage to honor these fine people in our community each year.

The Chamber office is located at 502 Second St. and is open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It can be reached at (715) 386-8411, (800) 657-6775 or Information is available at other times in the vestibule just north of the Chamber office, at Family Fresh market, Abigail Page Antique Mall and Quik Trip.

Our hats are off to the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau for the excellent work it performs on behalf of the Hudson area.