Chamber banquet 4 (copy)

A crowd of more than 400 people listened as Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford spoke at the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce's annual awards banquet last year. It's time once again for the annual event that recognizes the movers and shakers in the business community.

After showcasing 2019 accomplishments at the annual meeting, the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing to recognize some outstanding leaders in the community at their Annual Banquet.

The banquet is one of the biggest events of the year for the chamber, helping to raise money to sponsor the multitude of events the chamber hosts throughout the year. The banquet takes place at McCody Concrete on Friday, Jan. 17, with a VIP social hour kicking off at 6  p.m., and the public social beginning at 6:30  p.m., with musical entertainment by local musicians Mick Soiseth and Lane Sandstrom and the silent auction opening at that time. Dinner is served around 7:30, with the chamber’s annual awards ceremony following.

The awards are the main highlight of the banquet each year, recognizing the individuals, businesses and organizations throughout Williston who have contributed to the community in some way.

The chamber typically presents six awards at the banquet, each recognizing different aspects of community involvement, but this year the organization has added two additional awards to the mix.

The Chamber Connector Award is given to a recipient who stands out as an ambassador for the chamber and Williston area, participating in chamber events and representing the chamber’s values throughout the community. The Community Engagement Award is given to an individual or organization for outstanding volunteer service and being a positive influence in the Williston community through participation in chamber and non-chamber events throughout the year.

The E. Ward Koeser Advocacy Award recognizes leadership in policy and government issues at local, state and federal levels by supporting the values of the chamber by being involved in advocacy efforts to support Williston’s growing business community. The Williston Leadership Award is given to those who have taken a leadership role within their organization, neighborhood and community by encouraging the growth and development of others to make a positive impact on the community.

The Patriot Award is given to an individual, business or organization that has gone above and beyond to promote the military and related projects, and the highest honor bestowed by the chamber is the Distinguished Western Star award, which is given to an individual who has promoted the city of Williston and its community as a great place to live, and has worked both personally and professionally to make the community a better place and encourage others to do the same.

The Champion of Agriculture Award is one of the new awards, and is given to recognize and individual or business who has demonstrated leadership in the agricultural community and has made significant contributions to the agriculture industry in our region. The other new award is the Generation Next Award, given to a recipient between 21 and 35 years old who represents the future of the Williston business community, and recognizes them as a young professional who has emerged as a business leader who has demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative.

“I think it’s a good idea to recognize people who are really outstanding because it not only give them the credit they deserve, but it encourages people to do the same and get involved to better their community and better themselves, and just be the best they can be for the people around them,” Events Manager Caitlyn Holland told the Williston Herald.

Tickets and tables for the chamber banquet are still available, and anyone interested in attending can contact Holland at 701-577-6000 or by emailing

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