Salute to Excellence awarded at annual banquet

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/12/99.

The Salute to Excellence winners were announced and presented by chamber president Rick Paul (far right) on Tuesday evening, Jan. 5, at the annual Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce banquet and annual meeting.

Boss of the Year honors were bestowed upon Bert Stanley (second from right), owner of Corner Drug. His recommendation read: He is an active chamber member. Stanley has chaired Town and Country Days, was a member of the city council and ambulance service. He not only promotes his business but also other businesses in Paynesville. As a boss, he sets a wonderful example of what a person living in a community should be.

Employee of the Year was Ron Mergen (far right), public works director for the city of Paynesville. His recommendation read: This person is dedicated to making sure the city water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, street and park department operate efficiently, so the citizens of Paynesville can enjoy the benefits of these departments without worry. He and the crew he supervises do a superb job of making sure that those services are furnished in a timely, safe, healthy, economical manner.

Outstanding Young Person of the Year honors went to James Gilk (not present), 19, son of Don and Diane Gilk, Paynesville. His recommendation read: He has been involved in Boy Scouting for several years. After turning 18, instead of dropping out of the scouting program, Gilk stayed to take over the position of assistant scoutmaster. He has been involved with taking scouts to various events. He shows great leadership skills and is a great role model for our young people. Gilk plans to stay in the community and we look forward to seeing him as a future leader in the Paynesville community.

The Community Service Award was presented to Otto Naujokas (second from left). His recommendation read: This person has spent many hours to make it possible for a great number of people to enjoy skating and hockey during the months of October through March. It is people like this who work quietly behind the scenes, that deserve to be noticed and honored for a job well done. He has been involved with the planning through the building of the Koronis Civic Center. He is chairperson of the arena board, president of the Paynesville-New London-Spicer Hockey Association, and is also the coach of the Squirts team. Naujokas is an excellent example to our youth that good things happen with hard work and dedication.

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