The Chamber Celebrates 80 Years

Clear Lake Chamber Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation held at Surf Ballroom


Dignitaries, city officials and chamber members gathered inside the Surf Ballroom on Friday, January 27, to attend the Clear Lake Chamber Annual Meeting.  It was the culmination of a long week at the Lake after being blasted with another round of cold, winter weather.

Inside, however, our hearts were warm as we networked with friends and businesses.  Laughter rang through the air as guests took their turn at the wine & spirit pull.  A collective gasp was heard as the food stations were revealed.  Each one a tribute to a Chamber signature event, they were a highlight of the evening.  Delicious and creative!

The Chamber Annual Meeting officially began with remarks from outgoing Board Chair, Carrie Tysdahl.

She thanked everyone for coming to the 80th Annual Meeting and then passed the gavel on to the 2023 Board Chair, Kent Thoe.

Stacy Doughan, President and CEO of the Clear Lake Chamber, then engaged the crowd with a riveting game of trivia.  Five questions were asked pertaining to members, blog posts, and web visits.  Guests played along on their phones with Amanda Kasten taking the grand prize at the end!

Next up, the Chamber recognized the following retiring Chamber Board members: Natalie Plagge, Clear Lake Bank & Trust and Past Chair; Chelsy Snyder Anderson, Dean Snyder Construction; and Sam Oman, McKesson.  We thank them for their dedication and service to our organization, and to the Clear Lake community.

We then introduced board officers for 2023:  Kent Thoe, MBT Bank and 2023 Board Chair; Sarah Nielsen, First Citizens Bank, Treasurer and Chair Elect; Carrie Tysdahl, American Solutions for Business and Past Chair; Mark Dodd, One Vision and Vice Chair of Legislative Affairs; Robert Barber, Cabin Coffee and Vice Chair of Tourism; Krystal Thoe, Oakwood Care Center; Michael Knorr, Accord Architecture; Carrie Shannon, Hall Realty; Amanda Kasten, Kingland; Aaron Donaldson, Lake Theatre; Denni Sue Erickson, Ward-Van-Slyke Colonial Chapel; Kent Beatty, CL Tel; Lon Gretillat, 1120 Vacation Rentals; Kristie Miles, Pritchard Lake Chevrolet; Liz LeFevre, First Gabrielson Agency; Austin Pehl, ATURA Architecture; and Josh Thompson, Clear Lake Bank & Trust.

These individuals go above and beyond for the greater good of the Chamber of Commerce.  And, in turn, the community.  They are dedicated, driven and compassionate about Clear Lake.  They support our mission: to be a champion for business success and quality of life, creating a thriving destination and driving community prosperity.

In an exciting highlight of the evening, we recognized the following awards for 2022:

First Mate of the Year – Zach Hermanson

Larry Luker Volunteer of the Year – Deb Cash

North Iowa Service Award – City of Clear Lake

Education Partner of the Year – Clear Lake Athletics & Wellness Center

And finally, the 2022 Business of the Year – Pritchard Family Auto

Congratulations to all the Annual Meeting award recipients.  And thank you for being champions of our organization.

Award winners at the 80th Annual Chamber Meeting.

The meeting was adjourned by Kent Thoe and a dueling guitar show took to the iconic Surf stage.  They played and sang, took requests, and provided great entertainment to cap off an already incredible evening.

The Chamber of Commerce team works so hard all year long.  There are few breaks.  Very little downtime.  And no ‘off-season’ for them to slow down and relax.  These ladies truly are champions for business success in Clear Lake.  It’s their dedication and hard work to create a thriving destination which, in turn, drives community prosperity.

Cheers to 80 years, team!  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.