Concordia Chamber Honors Local Businesses, Individuals at Annual Awards Dinner

By Toby Nosker
KNCK News Director

More than 200 people were in attendance Saturday, May 5th at the 2018 Concordia Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet at the Cloud County Fairgrounds in Concordia. This year's night of dinner, entertainment and celebration also included the presentation of 11 awards.

Funk Pharmacy, owned by Robb and Meredith Rosenbaum, was named the Business of the Year. Funk Pharmacy received the honor for upholding one of the highest standards of service. They offer a wide range of services and are continuously seeking ways to improve and innovate, while always going above and beyond to treat all their customers' individual needs with personal attention. Their commitment to professionalism and best practice is embraced by every staff member, regardless of their position. Their staff is actively involved throughout the community, and their distinguished service, generosity to our community and to the chamber is very much recognized.

LeDuc Memorial, owned by Shirley and Troy LeDuc, was named the Small Business of the Year. LeDuc Memorial's investment in innovative techniques sets them apart and has resulted in annual growth. Their customers praise them for their personal, creative and caring service. As strong supporters of the Concordia community, they give generously, and their presence can be seen around town.

Missy LeDuc with LeDuc Memorial was recognized as the Young Business Leader of the Year. Missy has worked hard establishing and growing the family business. Customers appreciate her compassion, patience, kindness, and her willingness to go above and beyond. In addition to being successful in business, Missy has actively volunteered within the community. She has been a volunteer for NCK CASA for four years, helping with their Men in Tights fundraiser and Christmas Tree Lane. As a part of the Business in Motion committee, she's been part of bringing fantastic events to our town. And as the current Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, Missy is advocating for local businesses and seeking ways to take the chamber to the next level.

Lisa Brewer received the Leon Gennette Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award, given in recognition and appreciation of the many hours given in service to make our community a better place to live and work, today and in the future. Brewer has been an active volunteer, including organizations such as NCK CASA, the National Orphan Train Complex, Business In Motion, and a board member of the Chamber of Commerce. She can be seen all over Concordia making a difference. She gives 110% to everything she does. It might be fundraising, promoting, or planning, but she always has the best interest and so much love for what she does. Brewer also had a hand in planning this year's annual Chamber Dinner.

NCK CASA was named this year's Non-Profit Organization of the Year. NCK CASA has been serving North Central Kansas for over 20 years. This group works tirelessly in their efforts to recruit, train and support community volunteers to give voices to those who need them most. This group has been responsible for such wonderful community events as Men In Tights, Wear Blue Day and Christmas Tree Lane. Thanks to their tremendous efforts, each year they continue to gain more recognition of their cause.

Roy Applequist, Cass Reynolds and Jay T. Reynolds with Concordia Technologies, LLC were recognized as the Business People of the Year. In 2016, after Concordia took a hit with one of the town's leading employers closing, these three recognized the gap that was left by this closing and the ability for our community to fill it. Opening Concordia Technologies in the spring of 2017 with no customers and a fraction of the employees, Roy, Cass and Jay T. saw opportunity and acted on it. The company recently celebrated their first year.

Harley and Johnny Adams with Concordia Tractor, Inc. were recognized with the Business People of the Year -- Lifetime Award. Fifty years ago, Concordia Tractor, Inc. started as a single location dealership. They survived through the farming crisis of the 1980s, and have grown into a regional chain. In addition to Concordia, CTI has locations in Clay Center, Wamego and Abilene. Because of their hard work and dedication, CTI has created jobs for over 120 employees in these rural communities. In addition to CTI's success, they have also been generous supporters to our community.

This year's Ag Business Award was presented to Cloud County Co-op, a company that exemplifies a leading for-profit ag organization whose achievements and impact have significantly contributed to the ag industry. Cloud County Co-op consistently gives back to the North Central Kansas area and has had a positive and lasting impact on our community They are strong examples of what being an advocate for agriculture can accomplish.

Krystal Nelson was named this year's Educator of the Year. Nelson is a valuable and irreplaceable member of the USD 333 Concordia team. She has gone above and beyond, both in and out of the classroom. As the advisor to our local FFA chapter, she is developing life skills in our FFA youth and getting them involved in the community. Her support has created a strong chapter involved in community events such as Fall Fest and the Cloud County Fair, as well as representing Concordia at the National FFA convention.

Todd Robinson with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism received the Salute the Badge honor. Robinson has consistently displayed exceptional performance in all facets of his job, including the pursuit of intentional fish and game violators, public relations, and community involvement. In 2017, he traveled to Houston to assist with Hurricane Harvey rescue and relief efforts. He freely gives of himself and volunteers as a Hunter Education instructor and coordinator of youth hunts. He helped establish the Trap Shooting Club at Concordia Junior/Senior High School, and he serves as their Head Coach.

Robinson, along with John Boden, Matt Farmer, Dan Haist and Cody Russell, were selected as recipients of this year's Kaleidoscope Award, given to individuals who have dedicated their time and resources to a project which improves the community and worked diligently to see this project to completion. The spring of 2018 marks the inaugural season of the Concordia Panthers Trap Shooting Club. This club provides a coed activity for grades 7-12 and introduces them to shooting sports. In addition to working with the school district to organize this club, this group facilitated the construction of a trap shooting range out at the Cloud County Fairgrounds.