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Woodbury Chamber’s awards celebration recognizes community contributions

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The 2016 Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Celebration last Friday had a little bit of everything -- balloons, awards, and even a little knife throwing.

An annual program to recognize the businesses, organizations and people who make Woodbury the community it is, the Community Awards Celebration drew a full room of chamber members and guests to the Prom Center in Oakdale.

This year’s event recognized the contributions of: Educator of the Year Christy Moen; Nonprofit of the Year Youth Services Bureau; Citizens of the Year Lisa Engh and Nikki Robbins; and Business of the Year Woodbury Dance Center.

Selecting those recipients was not an easy task, Chamber President Barbara Tuccitto Warren said, because the chamber received 40 nominations this year.

Warren also had some good statistics to share with the audience. For the second year in a row, she said, the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce is one of the fastest-growing chambers in the nation. The organization experienced a 26 percent growth rate in 2015, courtesy of the 134 new members that joined. The retention rate for businesses already in the chamber remained high, and the overall engagement rate for members is 61.9 percent.

“It’s just amazing,” she said. “That word is not even good enough. It just isn’t.”

Outgoing 2015 Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Scott Carlson was honored for his year of service. Carlson also officially passed the gavel to 2016 Board Chairwoman Kathy Bayliss.

Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens gave opening remarks and an invocation. The program was emceed by Eric Rislove.

The evening’s festivities culminated with a performance by the Danger Committee. A popular attraction widely known from the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the trio entertained the audience with their juggling and knife throwing act.

For more photos of the event, visit the Woodbury Bulletin’s website,

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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