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Sue Engel, left, representing First National Bank Bemidji presented employees from Pinnacle Publishing with the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce 2010 Awards of Excellence Business of the Year Award Thursday afternoon at the Hampton Inn & Suites. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Chamber recognizes businesses with Awards of Excellence

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The 1,200 small businesses in the Bemidji area generate much of the community's economic energy.

In recognition of the contributions small businesses - defined as employing fewer than 500 people - the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fourth annual Awards of Excellence Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

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The Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Lowell "Ted" Gillett to honor his living by the values of hard work and self-reliance Naylor encouraged in the business community. Gillett, who came to Bemidji in 1982 as president of Bemidji State University, has served in various capacities to improve Bemidji's quality of place. Among other contributions, he has served on the Joint Economic Development Commission, North Country Health Services board, United Way of Bemidji Area and the Neilson Foundation.

Gillett said he first was introduced to Bemidji in 1937 by his parents, who wanted him to see Paul Bunyan.

"I always had a passion for Bemidji," he said. And when BSU offered him a position, "I jumped at it. This is a special, special honor for me. The association with Charlie Naylor means a lot to me."

Bemidji Chamber President Lori Paris explained that the nominees were entered by their peers and colleagues. The selection committee received the names of the nine individuals and 12 businesses in February and went through an extensive interview process before making their selections.

E Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Applebee's - Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor for Paul Bunyan Telephone.

E Wellness in the Workplace sponsored by North Country Health Services - First National Bank Bemidji.

E New Business of the Year sponsored by the Minnesota Small Business Development Center for businesses with a start up of two years or less - Red Zest Design.

E Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by North Country Business Products - Kristi and Royce Southerland, owners of Bemidji Design Center.

E Business of the Year sponsored by First National Bank Bemidji - Pinnacle Publishing.

Y mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

The 1,200 small businesses in the Bemidji area generate much of the community's economic energy.

In recognition of the contributions small businesses - defined as employing fewer than 500 people - the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fourth annual Awards of Excellence Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

The Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Lowell "Ted" Gillett to honor his living by the values of hard work and self-reliance Naylor encouraged in the business community. Gillett, who came to Bemidji in 1982 as president of Bemidji State University, has served in various capacities to improve Bemidji's quality of place. Among other contributions, he has served on the Joint Economic Development Commission, North Country Health Services board, United Way of Bemidji Area and the Neilson Foundation.

Gillett said he first was introduced to Bemidji in 1937 by his parents, who wanted him to see Paul Bunyan.

"I always had a passion for Bemidji," he said. And when BSU offered him a position, "I jumped at it. This is a special, special honor for me. The association with Charlie Naylor means a lot to me."

Bemidji Chamber President Lori Paris explained that the nominees were entered by their peers and colleagues. The selection committee received the names of the nine individuals and 12 businesses in February and went through an extensive interview process before making their selections.

E Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Applebee's - Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor for Paul Bunyan Telephone.

E Wellness in the Workplace sponsored by North Country Health Services - First National Bank Bemidji.

E New Business of the Year sponsored by the Minnesota Small Business Development Center for businesses with a start up of two years or less - Red Zest Design.

E Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by North Country Business Products - Kristi and Royce Southerland, owners of Bemidji Design Center.

E Business of the Year sponsored by First National Bank Bemidji - Pinnacle Publishing.

mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

The 1,200 small businesses in the Bemidji area generate much of the community's economic energy.

In recognition of the contributions small businesses - defined as employing fewer than 500 people - the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fourth annual Awards of Excellence Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

The Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Lowell "Ted" Gillett to honor his living by the values of hard work and self-reliance Naylor encouraged in the business community. Gillett, who came to Bemidji in 1982 as president of Bemidji State University, has served in various capacities to improve Bemidji's quality of place. Among other contributions, he has served on the Joint Economic Development Commission, North Country Health Services board, United Way of Bemidji Area and the Neilson Foundation.

Gillett said he first was introduced to Bemidji in 1937 by his parents, who wanted him to see Paul Bunyan.

"I always had a passion for Bemidji," he said. And when BSU offered him a position, "I jumped at it. This is a special, special honor for me. The association with Charlie Naylor means a lot to me."

Bemidji Chamber President Lori Paris explained that the nominees were entered by their peers and colleagues. The selection committee received the names of the nine individuals and 12 businesses in February and went through an extensive interview process before making their selections.

- Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Applebee's - Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor for Paul Bunyan Telephone.

- Wellness in the Workplace sponsored by North Country Health Services - First National Bank Bemidji.

- New Business of the Year sponsored by the Minnesota Small Business Development Center for businesses with a start up of two years or less - Red Zest Design.

- Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by North Country Business Products - Kristi and Royce Southerland, owners of Bemidji Design Center.

- Business of the Year sponsored by First National Bank Bemidji - Pinnacle Publishing.

Y mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

The 1,200 small businesses in the Bemidji area generate much of the community's economic energy.

In recognition of the contributions small businesses - defined as employing fewer than 500 people - the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fourth annual Awards of Excellence Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

The Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Lowell "Ted" Gillett to honor his living by the values of hard work and self-reliance Naylor encouraged in the business community. Gillett, who came to Bemidji in 1982 as president of Bemidji State University, has served in various capacities to improve Bemidji's quality of place. Among other contributions, he has served on the Joint Economic Development Commission, North Country Health Services board, United Way of Bemidji Area and the Neilson Foundation.

Gillett said he first was introduced to Bemidji in 1937 by his parents, who wanted him to see Paul Bunyan.

"I always had a passion for Bemidji," he said. And when BSU offered him a position, "I jumped at it. This is a special, special honor for me. The association with Charlie Naylor means a lot to me."

Bemidji Chamber President Lori Paris explained that the nominees were entered by their peers and colleagues. The selection committee received the names of the nine individuals and 12 businesses in February and went through an extensive interview process before making their selections.

- Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Applebee's - Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor for Paul Bunyan Telephone.

- Wellness in the Workplace sponsored by North Country Health Services - First National Bank Bemidji.

- New Business of the Year sponsored by the Minnesota Small Business Development Center for businesses with a start up of two years or less - Red Zest Design.

- Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by North Country Business Products - Kristi and Royce Southerland, owners of Bemidji Design Center.

- Business of the Year sponsored by First National Bank Bemidji - Pinnacle Publishing.

mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

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