The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce honored two local business leaders during its annual Chamber Banquet and Hall of Fame Gala at the Fremont Golf Club on Friday.
The Chamber inducted Marv Welstead and the late James Moore Jr. in the Business Hall of Fame for their many years of leadership and business success in the Fremont community.
Moore was posthumously inducted for his work at First State Bank throughout his life, as well as his extensive involvement in a variety of local community organizations.
Moore moved to Fremont as the first employee of the newly chartered First State Bank in 1956 and was promoted to President in 1968. He became chairman of the board in 1987 when he and 10 Fremont businessmen purchased the bank.
Moore was extensively involved in the community and served as chairman of the YMCA Foundation, Fremont Area United Way and Fremont Industrial Foundation (now known as the Greater Fremont Development Council). He served on numerous other boards over the years and encouraged his employees to be involved as well.
Moore’s daughter Maggie Peters spoke on behalf of the Moore family including her mother Maria and her five sisters.
“It is overwhelmingly heartwarming that he was nominated and inducted into the Business Hall of Fame along with so many of Fremont’s finest business leaders to who dad called friends,” she said. “Dad was not a man of many words—probably because he was at home surrounded by seven women—but his work and commitment to the Fremont community, to his family, and to First State Bank and Trust means so much.”
The award ceremony and gala then turned to honor retired banker and founder of the Fremont Area Alzheimer’s Collaboration Marv Welstead.
Welstead is known for his dedicated service to helping those impacted by Alzheimer’s and to furthering research in order to find a cure.
Welstead has also been heavily involved in numerous organizations throughout the years, including serving on Fremont Area Community Foundation board of directors since its beginning, serving as President of the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce and also President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He was a member Midland University Board of Trustees, and was a charter member and president of the Fremont Industrial Foundation. He was also a charter member and treasurer of the Community Chest (now called the Fremont Area United Way), co-chair of the Fremont Area Art Association’s building campaign, and is a life member of the Shriners.
“I consider it an honor and a privilege that I have been blessed to live, work and raise my family here in Fremont,” he said following a standing ovation from the crowd on Friday. “The people here stand ready willing and capable of solving problems and working together. It’s a city where people recognize the need for others and as a result they devote their time, energy, and their resources to serve the community.”
The Chamber banquet also honored nine local businesses as finalists for Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and Workforce Game Changer.
The finalists for the Large Business of the Year included Cargill Premix & Nutrition, Gene Steffy Auto Group, and Royal Canin. The finalists for the Small Business of the Year were Allied Appliance, Moser Memorial Chapel and Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. The finalists for the Workforce Game Changer were Butler Ag Equipment, Nye Health Services and Rosenbauer Aerials.
The winners of each Business of the Year award were yet to be named at press time.