Kalispell Chamber taking nominations for business awards

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The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 46th Great Chief, Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year awards.

All nominations submitted to the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce by Monday, Oct. 2 will be considered for recognition and all awards will be presented during the Kalispell Chamber’s 113th annual banquet Nov. 9 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The Great Chief Award is the oldest and most prestigious award given by the Chamber, dating back to the early 1970s. The award honors an individual who has continued to create a legacy for the Flathead Valley through their civic and volunteer spirit.

In 2016, the 45th Great Chief Award was presented to B.J. Lupton, owner of Snappy Sport Senter since 1978 and avid community volunteer. Lupton’s dedication to more than 80 different community service organizations, including volunteer fire departments, Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s A.L.E.R.T program, and the Glacier Symphony and Chorale, in addition to the youth development programs he created through Snappy’s, qualified him as the perfect recipient for last year’s honor.

The two other awards, Businessman of the Year and Businesswoman of the Year, recognize owners or managers of Kalispell Chamber member businesses who are outstanding leaders and whose businesses have made positive contributions to our local economy. Additionally, businessman and businesswoman nominees should utilize good management practices with their customers, employees, and vendors, and be well respected by their peers.

The Businessman of the Year award last year was presented to Mark Pirrie, owner of one of the most iconic businesses in the Flathead Valley, Western Outdoor. In addition to sound business practices and glowing testimonials of superior leadership, Pirrie continues to keep Western Outdoor involved in the community, most recently through the 4-H/FFA Market Livestock Sale.

Also in 2016, Holly Jean Larson, manager of the First and Main Building in downtown Kalispell, was named Businesswoman of the Year and recognized for her additional community contributions through the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation, A.L.E.R.T., Alpine Theatre Project and United Way.

The community is welcome to nominate individuals that represent these characteristics that will lay the foundation for success in the valley for years to come. Nomination forms can be found at https://kalispellchamber.com/programs/annual-banquet, at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, or by e-mailing info@kalispellchamber.com.

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