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The 2021 Annual Meeting commenced on February 1st, 2021 after a one week delay due to winter weather.

Despite the challenges of 2020, our Pre-Show kicked off the event at 6 PM by highlighting why 2020 was actually a great year! The Marketing Team (Megan and Stacey) hosted the pre-show and led interviews with Congressman Adrian Smith, Membership Director Shanna Schulte, and Finance Director Julie Calahan. We showcased our outgoing board members with a few questions honoring their work on the board - with some silly stories tucked in for laughter and fun! The pre-show wrapped up with a dance montage by members of the Chamber team.

The Main Event focused on the normal Annual Meeting schedule. Our Keynote Speaker was one for the record books! We welcomed Will Shields, NFL Hall of Famer, to our Annual Meeting. Will brought a message of hope and inspiration while encouraging a work-together mindset to help everyone succeed and RISE AS ONE.

As with every year, we are proud to announce our seven award winners who have brought positive change and development to the Kearney area. Each business and individual exemplified what it means to be a leader in our community.

Our awards are as follows:

  • Friend of Kearney

  • Youth Friend of Kearney

  • Young Professional of the Year

  • Leadership Kearney Distinguished Alumni

  • New Business of the Year

  • Small Business of the Year

  • Outstanding Business of the Year.

To read about each of the winners and their accolades, please visit our blog.

The final slide of our Annual Meeting was in celebration of the life of Bruce Blankenship. Bruce held many important roles in the Kearney community-- such as Chamber president, City of Kearney mayor, businessman, husband, father, and friend. Our hearts and the community are aching at the loss of such a wonderful man. We ask that each individual be like Bruce, a man of integrity, commitment, and love.

Of course we couldn't end a virtual Annual Meeting without a few bloopers, and man were they good! We want to thank every person who spoke on behalf of our award recipients and worked with us to provide the first VIRTUAL Annual Meeting - it was PERFECT.

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