Huber honored by chamber for efforts with Mitchell pool project
One person can make a huge difference. And this year, that person is Ryan Huber, according to the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce. The chamber selected Huber as this year's recipient of the community service award -- the organization's highest recog...
One person can make a huge difference.
And this year, that person is Ryan Huber, according to the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber selected Huber as this year's recipient of the community service award - the organization's highest recognition for people committed to making a difference in the Mitchell community.
Huber was one of five individuals, groups and businesses honored Friday at the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation Annual Recognition and Awards Banquet, held at the OverTime Event Center. The event included a social, dinner and live music provided by the Two White Squares.
This is the 60th annual community service award, and every year the Chamber of Commerce presents the honor to an individual who has built the past and will continue to build the future of Mitchell.
According to the chamber, Huber possesses several attributes worthy of the award, such as volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership and public service.
Huber has served on the United Way board as both a past chairman of the fund drive and a past president. He also is active in the Holy Family Church and serves on the finance committee. On top of this, Huber has been a member and former president of the John Paul II Elementary school board.
Huber, who had no idea he would be winning the award, was shocked and honored. But while he said he's not sure if he was the most deserving recipient, he's still proud of what he's accomplished thus far.
"I have a sense of pride of what we've been able to accomplish," Huber said to a crowd of approximately 280 people. "The swimming pool is really the big thing to me and it means a lot to this community. I was pleased to maybe be a small hand in that operation."
Huber recently served as president of the Mitchell Aquatic Club and was a noted advocate for the Dive In Vote Yes campaign to bring an indoor aquatic facility to Mitchell. He also took a leadership role in the Build-A-Pool committee.
Mitchell Prairie Family Business of the Year Award
Honored for their contributions to the Mitchell community both financially and through service to many organizations, this year's Mitchell Prairie Family Business of the Year Award went to the Muth family.
Dick and Darlene Muth founded Muth Electric in 1970 and have grown the two-employee company to more than 350 employees across nine locations in South Dakota, Nebraska and North Dakota.
Organizations impacted by the family's contributions include Mitchell Technical Institute School and Foundation, the United Way of Mitchell, and many faith and civic organizations.
Muth Electric has completed several "large, high profile projects" including the Sanford Underground Laboratory in Lead, Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium at South Dakota State University, Sports Performance Enhancement Complex at the University of South Dakota and the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Tourism Excellence Award
Without even realizing it, this year's winner of the tourism excellence award have made "major contributions" to the visitor industry of Mitchell, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
But it's not just one winner. This year's tourism excellence award goes to L.B. Williams Elementary fifth-grade class of 2015-16, led by teacher Tressa Wede.
With smiles on their faces, several members of the former fifth-grade class, along with Wede, were present for the award Friday night. They were greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.
The class created the Corn Palace Education Center, located in the World's Only Corn Palace. In 85 days that the center was open, more than 76,000 visitors stopped in from 49 states and 16 countries. An average of 896 people visited the center daily.
Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award
For her enthusiasm, dedication and leadership, Pat Sudbeck was being honored with the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year award.
Every year, Sudbeck has been "instrumental" in organizing the Chamber Health Fair, with persistence worthy of the award. Sudbeck has also set an example for future chamber volunteers.
Harold Hagen Award
Gale Walker has made a huge impact on the regional economy, and for these efforts, he was awarded the Harold Hagen award.
"This is humbling," Walker said. "It's not one person, it's the community, but here it's the region. It catches you off guard."
The Mitchell Area Development Corporation created the Harold Hagen Economic Development Award 16 years ago in honor of Harold Hagen, who served on the Mitchell Area Development Board for five years and was the driving force behind the Mitchell Cabela's project.
Walker earned the award through his "long-standing commitment" to his community and to the region.
Raised in Faulk County, Walker began his career as a lab and X-ray technologist. He then earned a degree in health administration.
In 1974, he has hired as an administrator of the St. Michael's Hospital in Tyndall, and began a dedication to the Benedictine Sisters, and the region. In 1978, he joined the staff of Avera St. Benedict in Parkston.
Approximately 10 years ago, Walker helped create the Dakota Heartland Development Association, an economic partnership of communities in the Mitchell area including Parkston, Corsica, White Lake and Armour.
Described as a "community champion," Walker also spearheaded efforts in Hutchinson County community develop a fund supporting small community economic development efforts.
And these efforts, according to Walker, have made some significant progress lately.
"Our regional economic development is critically important," Walker said. "Parkston is very dependent on Mitchell ... and back and forth, the whole regional concept. I'm just humbled."