Mitchell’s leaders honored at banquetTerry Sabers named Chamber’s Community Service Award winner.
By: Candy DenOuden, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Chamber and Development annual banquet honored area individuals and businesses for their contributions Friday evening at the Ramada Inn & Suites in Mitchell.
Starting with dinner and “The Late Show with Mitch Ell,” the evening was rounded out by the annual awards presentations.
The Fraser family of JD Concrete received the Family Business of the Year award; Brian Klock of Klock Werks Kustom Cycles received the Tourism Excellence Award; Greg Von Wald, Chris Paustian, Joe Graves and Robert Duffett took home Harold Hagen Awards; and Terry Sabers was named recipient of the Community Service Award.
Beth Adamson with Prairie Family Business presented the Family Business award to John and Kathy Fraser.
“Family businesses tend to be more entrepreneurial … they are the backbone of our local, state and national economy,” she said.
She said the Fraser family has demonstrated resilience, hard work and family unity through difficult financial times. JD Concrete started as a father-son team with Dale and John Fraser in the late 1970s and early 1980s to supplement their farm income.
John Fraser thanked the people who helped his family get started, and credited a good idea, good relationship with finances, good workers and the strong support of family as the key pieces in supporting a business.
“That’s what I feel are the high points,” he said. “This award means a lot to our family.”
Jill Larson presented the Tourism Excellence Award to Klock.
She said the Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board chooses “an individual that has demonstrated excellence and helped to propel our local tourism industry forward,” for the Tourism Excellence Award.
She said Klock has partnered with the board for the last two years to give bikers a custom, destination experience.
Klock said the award is shared by his entire team, and said it is easy to promote tourism in a community that he loves.
“I don’t know that there’s a greater place to be than from Mitchell, South Dakota,” he said. “We should be super, super proud to live here.”
Lance Koth presented the Harold Hagen award, which is in recognition of contributions to the field of economic development in the Mitchell community. The award is named for Harold Hagen, who Koth said was “instrumental” in bringing Cabela’s to town.
In presenting the awards to educators, Koth said the impact is indirect, though just as vital, to economic development through their work with the future generations.
“These individuals are impacting the lives of our children and youth through education,” he said.
Though Koth noted each person’s resume extended beyond his remarks, Von Wald and Paustian were named for their involvement with Mitchell Technical Institute, Graves for the Mitchell School District and Duffett for Dakota Wesleyan University.
Paustian was nominated to speak on behalf of all four award recipients, which he joked was a “triple, double cross,” but thanked the chamber for the recognition.
“Thank you for recognizing education in this community,” he said.
Finally, Jackie Wentworth, who also served as emcee for the evening, presented the Community Service Award to Sabers.
Wentworth said the Community Service Award is “a tribute to the fact that one person can still make a difference. It is an award that recognizes that there are very few things that are as valuable to the future of a community as a single person volunteering their time and money.”
Sabers was recognized for his nearly four decades of community service and involvement, including membership to the Mitchell Technical Institute Board of Directors, MTI Alumni Association, Mitchell Area Development Corporation, United Way, Mitchell Area Credit Union, Mitchell Foundation for Catholic Education, S.D. Governors Workforce Development Council, the Mitchell Rotary and Knights of Columbus.
He said with all the “good things going on in Mitchell,” involvement is the only thing that makes sense.
“Mitchell is a great community to be involved in,” he said. “It is very easy to be involved and volunteer time.”