Chamber hosts annual meeting
WORTHINGTON -- The crowd at BenLee's Café on Friday night included all the "who's who" among the Worthington business world as the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted their annual meeting.
New Chairperson Amanda Walljasper-Tate spoke about future goals and 2013 plans for the city of Worthington, including additional brand imaging, outdoor recreation activities, community events and the Shop Worthington campaign.
Cindy Penning, a member of the Chamber's Business Education Committee, kicked off the awards by presenting Glenn Thuringer with the Friend of Education Award.
Penning said that for the past 20 years, the award has been presented to an individual or organization that is a volunteer speaker, conducts tours for classes and provides expertise or information to staff or students.
Thuringer has been involved in multiple areas within the sciences taught in Worthington's public schools. Formerly the manager of Worthington Regional Economic Development, he now is president and CEO of Bioverse Inc.
"This individual's vision to make Worthington a bioscience and education hub will allow unlimited educational opportunities for the students of Worthington and our region," Penning said.
"The individual that we are honoring tonight is being recognized for being the resurgence of the science Club at the Worthington Middle School," she added.
Thuringer helped boost the Science Club effort, which has benefited more than 350 students over seven years, and located the funds needed to fund the club for the first two years. He also arranged for the club to take annual trips to the University of Minnesota.
Thuringer has "worked diligently at the state level to make sure Worthington has qualified for thousands of dollars in grants to bring the Biotechnology Advancement Center to Worthington," Penning said.
The Biotechnology Advancement Center offers students a place where they can receive state-of-the art training to prepare them for future careers in the sciences.
Chad Cummings, a member of the Marketing and Visitors Committee of the Worthington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented GuidePoint Pharmacy with the Worthington Hospitality Award.
The Hospitality Award is designed "to recognize and honor a local business that exemplifies the commitment to total quality customer service," and to honor "superior service skills with sincere concern for the customer," Cummings said.
To be nominated for the award, the Convention and Visitors Bureau must receive an unsolicited telephone call or letter praising the service received or witnessed that demonstrated a local businesses willingness to go "the extra mile," said Cummings.
GuidePoint Pharmacy was praised in a Daily Globe letter to the editor.
Cummings said that while visiting her parents in Worthington, Sandy Meyer, Cologne, discovered she had forgotten her insulin pen.
"Mike Ahlers did a wonderful job of obtaining the information needed, and the staff then took the extra steps to see that my insulin was covered by my health insurance carrier," Meyer wrote.
Worthington realize the great service GuidePoint Pharmacy provides and patronizes them. They do go the extra mile to assist you, which in today's world is not a common practice," she continued.
The Community Service award has been presented annually since 1973 and "recognizes someone who has contributed many years of service to the improvement of the Worthington area community," said Gary Hoffmann in his presentation speech before presenting the award to Pat Remme.
"Tonight's award is recognizing such an individual that has contributed time and effort in many business, church, social and civic organizations," Hoffmann said.
During her career in the financial services industry, Remme was also actively involved in the Worthington community.
She has served on the Miss Worthington pageant committee, the Minnesota West Foundation Board, and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Board and various committees through the Chamber of Commerce.
She has also been involved in "many church, school, community and chamber events, boards, and committees," Hoffmann said.
Today, Remme remains as active as she always has been.
"(Remme) is the present treasurer and volunteer for Community Christmas baskets, a new member of the Worthington Hospitality Auxiliary and presently serving as a Board member of the Worthington Area foundation," Hoffmann said.
Remme said she has worked with so many wonderful people in Worthington.
"Everyone that I have worked with had the determination of getting our job done no matter what committee it was on," Remme said. "That's what makes Worthington proud, and I am so happy to be part of this community. I probably will continue to do things as long as I am able. I enjoy it."
G. Willi Myles, Prior Lake, billed as "American's Everyday Comedian," provided the entertainment.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.