2019 Leadership Award Winners
The Midway Chamber of Commerce has announced five recipients of its 2019 Leadership Awards. The awards were presented at the chamber’s annual celebration event and recognize leading businesses, non-profits, and individuals, who go above and beyond in their support of the business, not for profit organizations and people of the Midway community through the volunteering of their time, staff, and other resources. The winners this year are Jennings Community School, Urban Growler Brewing Company, Riverland Bank, Warners' Stellian, and Dan Leggett of Avant-Garde Marketing Solutions
“The foundation of any chamber of commerce is the commitment its members make to support the organization and the community it serves,” said Chad Kulas, Executive Director of the Midway Chamber. “The winners of the leadership awards this year demonstrate the strength of the Midway Chamber. They also demonstrate the impact people can have by getting involved. Our community has benefited from their hard work.”
“These awardees represent the best of our community,” said Chris Ferguson, CEO of Bywater Business Solutions and current chair of the Midway Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “They start by being successful businesses. They build on that by engaging in our community to help us all be more successful.”
Jennings Community School – Non-profit of the Year Award
Jennings Community School (JCS) provides learner-directed experiences, educational advisor relationships, and mentoring opportunities for success in school and life. For the past twenty years, Jennings Community School has served 7-12th grade students, providing an innovative education program. Jennings Community School is engaged in project-based learning, work-base learning, and have traveled through the North American continent as well as oversees. Jennings was founded by Wayne Jennings in 1998 as the Minnesota Technology High School and moved into its current location in 2007. Jennings staff attend most Chamber events and partnered with the Midway Chamber on creating calendars to commemorate the 100th anniversary.
Urban Growler Brewing Company – Small Business of the Year Award
Urban Growler Brewing Company opened in 2014 by Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak, and has quickly become a staple in the Midway community. The dream began in 2008, and they were denied funding by 12 banks before they became Minnesota’s first woman-owned brewery. Today, Urban Growler is known both for its beer, including the popular plow-to-pint series, and for its outstanding food and event space. Jill Pavlak currently serves as a board of director at the Midway Chamber of Commerce since 2018.
Riverland Bank - Rookie of the Year Award
Founded in a trailer in Jordan, MN in 2008, Riverland Bank opened their doors in NE Minneapolis in January 2018, and instantly made a splash with the Midway Chamber. In 2018 they were the title sponsor of the annual Midway on the Fairway golf tournament, and continue to be regular attendees to Chamber events.
Warners' Stellian - Large Business of the Year Award
Jim Warner began working at Stellian’s Appliance Store in 1954. He bought the business in 1971; for many years now his nine children have run the company which now has ten locations- with help from many associated including 19 members of the next generation. In 2018, Warners’ Stellian opened up a new location in NE Minneapolis and renovated its original location in Falcon Heights.
Dan Leggett, Avant-Garde Marketing Solutions – Volunteer of the Year award
Dan has been a longtime dedicated volunteer to the Midway Chamber of Commerce. His energy, enthusiasm and strong work ethic have shown with his time as an ambassador, a member of the events and foundation committees and on the board- where he began his duties since 2011 and served as chair in 2014-15. Dan has also been the biggest champion at the Chamber for the Shop with Cops program. When he’s not volunteering with the Midway Chamber, Dan is a Senior Sales Manager at Avant-Garde Marketing Solutions and a volunteer at his church, Central Baptist.