Chamber made the most out of difficult situation


It would have been easy to cancel.

Event after event in 2020, and even those in early 2021, have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But last week, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce held its 2020-21 annual banquet, albeit virtually.

While it wasn't the typical 250 people in attendance, viewers still enjoyed a catered meal, drinks and a social half hour before hearing a report from Executive Director Jordan Rishel on those goals met in 2020 and those set for 2021.

Chamber board president Ryan Palmer acknowledged the challenging year that the chamber and its membership faced amid the pandemic.

“It was obviously a challenging year and many of our members were slowed down or even stopped for a portion of the year,” Palmer said. “I was and continue to be impressed by the ingenuity amongst our membership to (revamp) and change how they deliver their services to our county and to our neighbors through this pandemic.”

Outgoing board members Palmer, Danielle Ladwig, Bradley Swartwood and Jane Ferneding were honored and incoming board members Annie Tighe, Darren Rogers, Kim Rasmussen and Melanie Kaeding were recognized.

State Sen. Ben Hansen also spoke, offering insights to the current Nebraska Legislature session.

Despite the changes and what will hopefully be the only virtual banquet, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and its board should be commended for making the most out of a difficult situation.


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