2022 Celebration of Excellence

Thursday, November 17, 2022 (5:00 PM - 9:00 PM) (CST)


'Team Up' for the 2022 Celebration of Excellence presented by Widseth, our largest signature event of the year for our 1,000+ members! Join us as we cheer on our business award champions and their amazing accomplishments. Also receiving recognition will be our Leadership Experience Class of 2022.

Gather your team and celebrate the spirit of the Brainerd Lakes business community at our biggest night of the year! Score your tables and tickets today!

Team Up is a vintage sports theme encapsulating an iconic era of American athletics. We invite attendees to celebrate the nostalgia of team spirit, camaraderie and friendship.

Kavanaugh's Sylvan Lake Resort: The Epitome of 'TEAM'

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber and Cub Foods are excited to present the 4th Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award to Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort! This year’s Celebration of Excellence theme is ‘Team Up’ and the family of Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort are true examples of the definition for the word team. The four Kavanaugh brothers, John, Mark, Dave and Tom, work together daily to ensure business excellence and service to their guests.


LINDAR / Avantech / TRI-VEN: A Family Dynasty

Joining the list of legendary Business Excellence Award winners is LINDAR / Avantech / TRI-VEN! They will be recognized for their leadership, innovation, employee investment and community service. Hy-Tec Construction is proud to sponsor the Business Excellence Award, which will be presented during the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s premier event of the year!


Bob Spizzo: Drive & Determination

The crowning glory for the Celebration of Excellence will be the presentation of the Business Legacy Award by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber and RiverWood Bank to Bob Spizzo! Developer, visionary and owner of Breezy Point Resort, Bob Spizzo began his journey in 1977. Bob joined Whitebirch, Inc. as a sales person to develop and market 3,000 residential acres surrounding Breezy Point Resort. It was his drive, determination and commitment that presented him the opportunity to go from sales to ownership of the resort in 1981.


Graduation of the Blue Ox Business Academy Leadership Experience Class of 2022

Inducted into the Blue Ox Business Academy's Leadership Experience Hall of Fame will be the Class of 2022. The Leadership Experience is a ten month program (11 full days) that is designed for emerging leaders and high-potential employees to develop essential skills and insights into their leadership character. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber is proud to have 498 graduates from the Leadership program that originated in 1999. Several of our alumni have grown and developed into some of our area's most influential leaders!

Drey Loge, co-owner of Waste Partners and spokesperson for the Leadership Experience Class of 2022, invites you to attend the Celebration of Excellence on November 17th! Drey reminds us to strive for excellence and that there's always “hidden” treasures and experiences for us to discover. Rally your team to join Drey and the rest of the Leadership Experience Class as we celebrate their graduation!

Join us in celebrating this year's Leadership Experience Class of 2022: Kate Adornetto, Central Lakes College; Nicole Anderson, Lexington Manufacturing; Sara Armstrong, Deerwood Bank; Amy Baratto, LINDAR Corporation; Jillian Barrett, Avantech; Kevin Bartolic, Hy-Tec Construction; Kevin Bartolic, Hy-Tec Construction; Alex Bitter, Widseth; Leah Boedigheimer, Sourcewell and Averion Insurance; Stephanie Bowen, Brainerd Zip Line Tour; Rebecca Davis, Central Lakes College; Bruce Domino, Hunt Utilities Group; Anthony Giammona, Hunt Utilities Group; Steve Gilbert, CTC; Joby Goerges, Magnum Research; Jon Goerges, Pequot Manufacturing; Liz Gonzalez, Lakeland Veterinary Hospital; Brynn Haglin, Simplified Notions; Mitch Hecker, Nor-Son Construction; Lisa Heittola, CTC; Donna Houchin, Brainerd Lakes Chamber; Peggy Jensen, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union; Drey Loge, Waste Partners; Kaylene Madsen, Lakewood Health System; Laura Moser, Geek2Go; Nathan Noyes, Anderson Brothers Construction; Jackie Paschall, RiverWood Bank; Allison Potvin, CliftonLarsonAllen; James Roepke, RiverWood Bank; Rebecca Rowe, North Central SBDC; BJ Schaumburg, Pequot Manufacturing; Alyssa Sharpe, RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty; Jessica Shea, Crow Wing County; Adam Siemers, Widseth; Dave Thomes, Nor-Son; Mike Tollefson, Clow Stamping Company; Doug Tulenchik, Anderson Brothers Construction; and Mariah White, US Bank.

Sponsor Opportunity
NEW Pre-Game Sponsor ($2,500; Exclusive; SOLD)

  • Increase your brand awareness by greeting and mingling with the award recipients, sponsors and MVP businesses during the Pre-Game that will be held in the Bear Trap Lounge at Cragun’s Resort from 4:00 – 5:00 PM
  • All guests will receive 2 drink tickets courtesy of __________ (Pre-Game Sponsor)
  • Receive a Varsity table that includes reserved seating and plated dinners for 8 ($950 value)

Table & Seating Options


  • Prime seating for 8 at a reserved table up front
  • Plated dinners for 8
  • Funds help support our LakesPROUD regional movement
    • MVP Tables reserved for- Anderson Brothers Construction, Avantech, Borden Steinbauer Krueger and Knudson, Brainerd Lakes Chamber, Breezy Point Resort, Bremer Bank, Clow Stamping, Cub Foods, Hy-Tec Construction, Kavanaugh's Sylvan Lake Resort, Lexington Manufacturing, LINDAR Corporation, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Pequot Manufacturing, RiverWood Bank, Thelen Heating, TRI-VEN, and Widseth


  • Reserved table for 8 in the middle rows
  • Plated dinners for 8
    • Varsity Tables reserved for (to date)- Arnold S. Johnson Enterprises, Boyd Lodge, Central Lakes College, CLC Foundation, CliftonLarsonAllen, Crow Wing Power, CTC, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Essentia Health, Grand View Lodge (2), Just for Kix, Keller Williams Realty Professionals, Nor-Son, Magnum Research, Members Cooperative Credit Union, Stepping Stones Childcare Learning Center, Waste Partners, Widseth


  • Reserved table for 8
  • Plated dinners for 8
    • Spirit Tables reserved for (to date)- 371 Furniture/Party Time Rental, Advantage Seamless Gutters, American National Bank, Brainerd Dispatch, Bridges of Hope-Common Goods, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, Close~Converse (2), Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake (2), Deerwood Bank, Frandsen Bank and Trust, Hubbard Radio, Hunt Utilities Group, Independent School District 181, Lonesome Cottage Furniture, Mid-Minnesota Builders Association, Mills Automotive Group, Woods to Water Real Estate, Revolv Manufacturing, Zierden Contracting; Individuals (127)

INDIVIDUAL SEAT ($85; 2 available) 

  • Reserved seating for 1
  • Plated dinner

Add a Bottle of Wine to Your Table ($50)

What to Wear

Remember the years when it was ‘in’ to have school pride and dress to impress? ‘Team Up’ encapsulates the era of athletics from times gone by of wearing letter sweaters and jackets, preppy school uniforms, khakis and sweater vests, ties or scarfs — all in our school colors. Now put on a 2022 twist with incorporating your business team colors! Put your best foot forward as you represent your corporate uniformity to 550+ members of our local business community. 

What to wear are recommendations not requirements. We want all of our guests to feel welcome and comfortable. Business attire is also acceptable. 

Event Schedule

4:00 - 5:00 PM

  • Pre-Game Social hosted by Grand View Lodge
    • Invitation only for Presenting Sponsor, Award Sponsors, MVP Table Sponsors, Award recipients and their guests
    • Attendees will receive 2 drink tickets
    • Location: Bear Trap Lounge at Cragun's Resort
  • Leadership Alumni Tailgate Party
    • All Celebration of Excellence attendees who have graduated from the Chamber's Leadership program are invited to attend. Alumni can bring a guest with them.
    • Alumni will receive a name badge with 'Class of _______' on it at the entrance to the Sports Centre
    • Location: Cragun's Resort Sports Centre (social area in the back of the room)

5:00 - 6:00 PM

  • Social Hour
    • Cash Bar
    • Appetizers
    • Professional Photos by Carrie Benson-Nichols Photography

6:15 - 8:30 PM

  • National Anthem sung by TBD
  • Welcome by Tim Ramerth, Widseth, Presenting Sponsor 
  • Blue Ox Business Academy Class of 2022 Leadership Experience Graduation
  • Invocation by Kevin Thesing
  • Plated Dinner
    • Garden salad
    • Bruschetta stuffed chicken breast with a lemon basil cream sauce served with roasted potato bell pepper hash and green beans
    • Apple blossom drizzled with spiced caramel and served with whipped cream
    • Vegetarian Option
      • Chef's choice
  • Ready to Rumble!
  • Recognition of volunteers, committees, and retiring board members
  • Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award Presentation, Sponsored by Cub Foods
  • Business Excellence Award Presentation, Sponsored by Hy-Tec Construction
  • Business Legacy Award Presentation, Sponsored by RiverWood Bank
  • Thank you for attending

About the Awards

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber will present three awards at its ninth-annual Celebration of Excellence on November 17th - the traditional Business Excellence Award, which goes to an outstanding local business, the Business Legacy Award, which celebrates individual lifetime achievements as well as community and economic contributions and the Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award which will recognize a small business that personifies the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Brainerd Lakes Area!

For all three awards, a nomination/application process was announced in April 2022. After the deadline passed at the end of May, an eleven-member volunteer selection committee independently scored and discussed each applicant before choosing the recipients.

Photo gallery from the 2021 Celebration of Excellence - 'All that Glitters'





  • Prime seating for 8 at a reserved table up front
  • Plated dinners for 8
  • Funds help support our Lakes Proud regional campaign


  • Reserved table for 8 in the middle rows
  • Plated dinners for 8


  • Reserved table for 8
  • Plated dinners for 8

INDIVIDUAL SEAT: $85 (1 Available)

  • Reserved seating for 1
  • Plated dinner

Add a Bottle of Wine to your Table: $50

Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake
11000 Cragun's Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401 United States
Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake
Sports Centre
11000 Cragun's Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401

Event Contact
Sue Galligan
(218) 822-7119
Send Email
Thursday, November 17, 2022 (5:00 PM - 9:00 PM) (CST)
Brainerd Lakes Chamber Event
Area Events
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