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The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce will honor nine local businesses at their 138th Annual Banquet in February.

The banquet is set for Friday, February 9th at the Fremont Golf Club beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and continuing at 7 p.m. with dinner and the award program.

The nine businesses are finalists for business of the year across three categories including Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and Workforce Game Changer. The overall winner in each category will be revealed at the banquet.

“The Chamber is excited to have a new approach to the banquet this year. Rather than highlighting just the award winner in each category, we have narrowed it down to three finalists,” Tara Lea, executive director of the chamber, said. “A video of all nine finalists will be created and shown at the banquet, then the winner will be revealed. Only the Executive Board will know who won prior to the announcement at the banquet. We feel this is a wonderful way to shed light on the amazing things our members are doing and add suspense to the evening.”

The businesses were nominated by other Chamber members and nominations were sorted and chosen by the Chamber’s Executive Board, according to Director of Communications and Marketing Hope Pierce.

“We sent out an email blast to all of our members and asked them for nominations, and after that closed we compiled all of the nominations and brought that forth to our executive board,” she said. “They sorted through all of the nominations and chose three finalists in each category as well as the winners.”

The finalists for Large Business of the Year are Don Peterson & Associates, Waste Connections, and PROMEDCARE.

The Large Business of the Year Award is dedicated to recognizing businesses with greater than 25 employees that provide innovative products and services, continued growth and economic support of the Fremont community.

“All the agents and staff here at Don Peterson & Associates are excited and honored to be recognized as one of the finalists in the Chamber’s Large Business of the Year award,” Jennifer Bixby, president of Don Peterson & Associates, said. “We always pay special attention to the quality of service provided to our clients and it’s nice to be recognized for that commitment. Don Peterson & Associates has always been dedicated to the growth of Fremont and will continue that work with our newest subdivision, SunRidge Place with infrastructure construction beginning spring 2018.”

The finalists for the Small Business of the Year are Dugan Funeral Chapel, Premier Staffing and D&T Shirtified. The Small Business of the Year Award is dedicated to recognizing businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

“We have just been really fortunate with the community around here, they have been really loyal as far as buying locally with their shirt orders with all the online stuff you can do now,” Tim Francis, owner of D&T Shirtified said. “As far as the community goes I have just been really appreciative of the way Fremont and all the small towns around have been good to us and continued to come to us for their shirt printing needs.”

Francis started the business with his high school friend Dusty Reynolds in November of 2004 and after Reynolds moved out of the country, Francis took over full ownership in 2008.

“When we started we were right out of college and it was kind of a gamble,” Francis said. “We were young and dumb out of college and didn’t have anything holding us down, so it was kind of a crazy idea but our folks saw there wasn’t a whole lot of risk so we just went for it.”

The finalists for the Workforce Game Changer Award are Wiese Plumbing & Excavating, Nye Health Services and RTG Medical. The award is dedicated to recognizing businesses that provide an innovative and supportive work environment and involvement in the engagement, development and growth of employees.

Tickets to the banquet cost $60 for a single ticket and $600 for a table and can be purchased online at www.fremontne.org or by calling the Chamber at 402-721-2641.

“It’s going to be a great banquet and we are really looking forward to rolling out the red carpet and doing something a little bit different and really focusing on the achievements of our members,” Pierce said.

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