A night of honors
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Event Center was filled with all the “who’s-who” among the Worthington business world as the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted its annual meeting.
Amanda Walljasper-Tate, past Chairperson of the Board, reflected on the accomplishments Worthington had in 2013.
“I just look at the new Event Center, Avera Clinic, the brand new small businesses that have opened up, and I can see big things are happening here.”
Peggy Meier, a Business Education Committee member, kicked off the awards by presenting Rick Dalrymple with the 22nd annual Education Appreciation Award.
In 2011, Dalrymple received the Excellence in Teaching Award, given out by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities of Minnesota State College and University Chancellor.
“He has spent countless hours volunteering in District 518 and the Worthington community. He spent 46 years in the classroom with 22 of those years being at Minnesota West Community and Technical College,” said Meier during the presentation.
Dalrymple also committed time to teaching at Kids College at Minnesota West; spent a year volunteering with the after-school science program at Prairie Elementary; and has worked with the National Science Foundation project.
“He also finds time to serve on the Manna Food Pantry Board, Minnesota West Foundation Board and the Community Education Advisory Board, as well as volunteering for Love INC,” Meier added.
Holly Sieve, representing the Convention and Visitors Bureau committee, presented Hy-Vee with the Worthington Hospitality Award.
“This award is designed to recognize and honor a local business that exemplifies the commitment to total quality customer service,” Sieve said.
“To be nominated for this award, the Worthington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau must receive an unsolicited telephone call or letter relating exceptional service they have received or witnessed from a local business,” Sieve added.
“Also, the action must demonstrate the recipient’s willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to achieve complete customer satisfaction.”
Hy-Vee was praised in a Daily Globe letter to the editor. The letter came from Shirley King of Round Lake, who said Hy-Vee employees prevented her parents from being bilked in a scam that claimed their grandson needed money to get out of jail.
“Their caring attitude toward their customers and their alert response to the situation prevented an elderly couple from making a regrettable mistake. They even helped my parents call their grandson to make sure that he hadn’t called them for help, giving them the reassurance they needed at the time,” King wrote.
“My parents thought they were helping a grandson in trouble and did only doing what any loving grandparents would do for their family. Thanks to the women at Hy-Vee, things ended well for them and no money was lost,” she added.
The big presentation of the night — the Community Service Award — has been given annually since 1973 and “recognizes someone who has contributed many years of service to the improvement of the Worthington area community,” explained presenter Gary Hoffmann.
“Tonight’s award is recognizing such an individual that has contributed time and effort in many business, church, social and civic organizations,” Hoffmann said about recipient Elaine Schuster.
Schuster is active in her church, American Lutheran, serves on the Worthington Country Club board of directors and is involved in the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club and Worthington Hospital Auxiliary.
During her time with the State Bank of Worthington and Northwest Bank, she was the recipient of the Athena Award in 2001. That award is given to one who has attained the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession.
“She is also known as the ‘Godmother of Elmwood,” added Hoffmann. “She has generously given her time by being involved with many church, community and chamber events and committees.”
Schuster, whose son traveled from Colorado to surprise her at the event, said when accepting her award, “Thank you all, I’m speechless.”