The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 19, at the Hormel Historic Home. As a celebration of our members, the Annual Meeting took the place of the two separate Chamber events: The Fall Meeting, previously held in October; and The Annual Winter Meeting, previously held in February. Awards were given out for Lifetime Achievement, Volunteer of the Year, Ambassador of the Year and Ambassador Team of the Year, as well as recognition for Founding Members.


Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet

Dale Wicks was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Dale is serving his second term on the Board of Directors and is also a member of the Executive, Agri-Business, Government Affairs, Grow Minnesota, and Human Resources Committees, the Workforce Development Taskforce and a year leader for Leadership Austin. Dale demonstrates his commitment to the success of the Chamber through his formal service on the board and these committees. He also goes above and beyond and answers the call for many special projects. We also want to recognize the support of Dale’s employer, Quality Pork Processors, who share Dale with the Chamber and community.


Joe Fuhrman, former realtor, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by Amy Cooper.
Joe has been a realtor since 1976, starting at Brill Real Estate. In 1980 Joe opened Fuhrman Real Estate in Austin. In 2017, he joined forces with Re/Max Results until his retirement in October 2019. Joe has been a very active member of the Austin community, having served on the Chamber of Commerce board of directors and several committees. He is active with St. Edwards Catholic Church as board member and on church council. Joe has also served on the Welcome Center and Salvation Army boards. The Chamber and many other organizations in Austin have greatly benefitted through Joe’s involvement and leadership. Thank you, Joe, for your tremendous contributions!

Lisa Gresham was awarded with the Ambassador of the Year Award, presented by current Ambassador President, Jaclyn Bird. The Ambassador Team of the Year Award went to Justin Bickler, Brandon Duclos, Shannon Elkin, Lisa Gresham, Tasha Kroneman, Brenda Landherr, Molly Lanke, Alissa Penkava and Tim Ross.


The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce 

supports our members by promoting local

commerce, advocating business perspectives
and establishing relationships for ​business

and community success.

Jana Norman, incoming chamber board chair and publisher for the Austin Daily Herald, presented Bill Budion, Austin Country Club Manager, with the Past President Award for his service in 2018 and the Board Chair ward for his continued leadership in 2019. Norman acknowledged Budion’s tremendous leadership through the transition of chamber staff and programming.

May 10, 2020, will mark our 80th anniversary as the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce. Since the incorporation of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, these founding members have had continuous membership. Founding Member Awards went to Adams, Rizzi & Sween P.A., Austin Daily Herald, Austin Veterinary Clinic, Credit Bureau, Home Federal Savings Bank and US Bank.