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Boreal Community Media

Cook County Chamber Business Winners Awarded at Fall Gala

Oct 22, 2019 09:42PM ● By Editor
From Boreal Community Media - October 22, 2019

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce and Visit Cook County hosted its annual Fall Gala at Papa Charlie's at Lutsen Mountains on Tuesday night.  A big crowd turned out to enjoy wonderful appetizers, a buffet dinner, delicious desserts and to hear who the award winners were in the Cook County Chamber of Commerce Business Award competition.

The fun included a historical tourism slideshow by Dan Helmerson that had the attendees cheering and clapping and the drawing of the winning raffle ticket of a handmade canvas canoe in the Chamber's fund raising event for the Great Places initiative.


More than 20 local businesses and entrepreneurs were nominated by Chamber members for the business awards.  And winners were announced Tuesday in several categories.

Entrepreneur of the Year:  Winner:  Kate and Jeremy Keeble of Hungry Hippie Hostel and Hungry Hippie Tacos
This award is presented to the person who has taken on significant risk and effort in the past year to launch a new enterprise or significantly expand an existing one. Previous winners include Sarah Hamilton for her Camp Chow business, Sid Backlund for his regional, frozen Sven & Ole’s pizza marketing effort, and Kim and Chuck Corliss for developing the new North Shore Winery in Lutsen.
 
Business of the Year:  Winner:  Lutsen Mountains
This award goes to a business, not an individual, that has made large contributions over time to the prosperity and comfort of the Cook County community. Previous recipients include Hedstrom Lumber Company, G&G Septic for their critically important work any time of day and any season of the year to keep our community safe and sanitary, Johnson Foods for decades of dedicated service to and investment in the community, and North Shore Waste for clearing away our waste and ensuring we have a healthy,  clean community.

Community Business Leader of the Year:  Winner:  Buck Benson (formerly of Buck's Hardware)
This award goes to the business leader who has made noteworthy contributions to the community by sitting on boards, serving as a volunteer and generally supporting efforts that make Cook County the great community it is. Previous recipients include Howard Hedstrom, Norman Deschampe, Sue and Bruce Kerfoot, Beth Kennedy, and Jan Sivertson.

In addition, Visit Cook County highlighted the year's accomplishments in attracting tourism visits and revenues in 2019.  Visit Cook County also accepted nominations for the Heart of Hospitality Award.   The winners of this award were:
  • Dan Hinton of Bluefin Bay
  • Nicole Robert Tate of East Bay Suites
  • Mandy Husky of Gunflint Lodge
  • Julisa Swader of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino 
These employees met the following Heart of Hospitality criteria that made them stand out as winners:
  • Attention to detail or going the extra mile
  • The customer is always right
  • Positive disposition/good humor
  • Calm under pressure
A special Norman Deschampe Community Service Award went to One Roof Housing for its role in helping with the housing crisis in Cook County.  This award was presented by the family of the late Norman Deschampe.  

The evening concluded with a  celebration in earnest with dance music by DJ Beavstar and more socializing!
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