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Annual Meeting 2024

The Waconia Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau Annual Meeting in January is a chance for membership to hear the State of the Chamber, celebrate the past year, and hear what’s to come. This year, awards were added to the event with the Ambassador of the Year and the return of the Business Excellence Awards. 

Ambassador of the Year

The Ambassador of the Year is nominated by the Waconia Chamber Ambassadors. It is based on overall commitment to the Chamber and the Ambassador program, including attendance at events, volunteer opportunities, and general positive impact on the Chamber and its member businesses.

Gary Fritz, HomeTown Bank & Waconia Lions Club
  • Incredible 23-year commitment to the Ambassador program.

  • Gary’s dedication shines through the positive impact he has made on the chamber and its member businesses.

  • Instrumental in fundraising for the annual 4th of July Lake Waconia Fireworks as a part of the Waconia Lions Club.

Business excellence Awards

The Business Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding individuals and businesses that demonstrated exceptional commitment, innovation, and service in the Waconia Community. These award categories replicate past chamber awards, originating in 1987 and running through 2003 before taking a hiatus. The Business Excellence Awards are nominated by the Waconia Chamber members and the community.

Community Service Impact Award

The Community Service Impact honor is awarded for creating a significant and positive impact on the community through acts of social responsibility and community service.

Angela Cruzen,
Gather and Grow Food Shelf and Connection Center
  • Hosted the inaugural Waconia National Night Out last August.

  • Works to eliminate the stigma associated with accessing the food shelf, and make it a gathering place for shoppers and donors.

  • Oversees a team of 130 volunteers who contribute their time and effort to support the food shelf and its initiatives.

Golden Apple Award

The Golden Apple is awarded for exceptional efforts in promoting and building business and educational partnerships.

Paul Peterson, Sackett-Waconia

Business of the Year

Business of the Year is awarded for leadership, innovation, and commitment to excellence in the business community.

Bode Gray's: Jared DeWolf and Greg James
  • Jared and Greg transformed the previously vacant space at 125 W 1st Street in Waconia into a thriving establishment.

  • An innovative approach goes beyond renovation; it’s an homage to the rich history of Waconia.

  • DeWolf and James have not just created a restaurant, they have woven a tapestry of Waconia’s past into the fabric of Bode Gray’s, making it a place where history and innovation coexist.

Award winner videos

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Annual Meeting 2024 Photo Gallery

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