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Skoglund honored as 'Woman of the Year'

New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Woletz (left) presents Linda Skoglund with the 2013 "Woman of the Year" award during last Wednesday's luncheon and expo.1 / 3
Attendees were able to browse various booths during the expo portion of the event.2 / 3
Tasha Schuh inspired the crowd with her own personal story of having an attitude of gratitude.3 / 3

Linda Skoglund, owner of JA Counter in New Richmond, was honored as the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce "Woman of the Year" Wednesday, May 1.

Skoglund was one of six nominees for this second annual honor. The other nominees were Bev Langenback, treasurer for the city of New Richmond; Nancy Petersen, city utility and finance manager; Gina Knutson, with WESTconsin Realty; Heather McAbee, market manager for Bremer Bank in New Richmond; and Jill Foster, with First National Community Bank in New Richmond.

According to Skoglund's nomination letter, the local volunteer and business owner is passionate about making the lives of local residents better, both "physically and mentally."

"Businesses and community members alike are lucky to have her and her company here to assist," the nomination states.

Skoglund has been involved in various ways throughout the community, including her efforts with the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, Leadership Trust Initiative and the Vitality Initiative, among other things.

When she was announced as the winner, Skoglund said she was shocked.

"I'm so honored," she said. "I'm blessed to be part of this community."

Skoglund thanked the staff at JA Counter for their efforts to improve people's health and boost the community's strength.

"I work with some pretty amazing women ... and one man," she said. "They are absolutely passionate about making a difference every day."

Skoglund was presented the award by Chamber Director Lisa Woletz and past Chamber President Angela Olson. She also received a substantial gift basket as part of the honor.

Apart from the "Woman of the Year" announcement, a huge crowd of women attended a special expo ahead of the luncheon. Various vendors set up booths to provide information to those in attendance.

Keynote speaker during the luncheon was Tasha Schuh, an Ellsworth native who has lived as a quadriplegic for the past 15 years.

Despite the challenges she's faced, Schuh implored the audience to develop an "attitude of gratitude" in their lives.

"I'm honestly the most blessed person in the world," she said. "My life is amazing."