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Who will be the next NR Citizen of the Year?

Nominations for the 2017 New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year may now be submitted to the Chamber of Commerce through the Chamber's website and Facebook page, as well as in person or by email.

"In the past, the newspaper has done the voting, but this year, we will keep track of the ballots and let the paper make the announcement that nominations and voting are open," said Membership Coordinator and Events Planner Michelle Scanlan.

The Citizen of the Year award recognizes a New Richmond area resident who has made a positive and noteworthy contribution to the community.

Nominations are open and will be accepted until Wednesday, Nov. 15. Nominations can be submitted by going to or by following the link on the Chamber's Facebook page.

"If people do want to drop off handwritten nominations or votes at the Chamber office, they can do that. Or then can email it to as well," said Chamber Director Rob Kreibich.

Voting for the Citizen of the Year will start on Thursday, Nov. 16 and go until Friday, Dec. 1.

"After voting is done, the Citizen of the Year will be announced at the Chamber's annual meeting. All nominees are invited to the dinner, and anyone who is nominated is essentially in for voting," Scanlan said. "In the past, it has just been about four or five names that have ended up being nominated. And no one knows until we announce it at the meeting who is the winner."

The Chamber's annual meeting and awards gala will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at R&D Catering.

Nomination guidelines for Citizen of the Year include:

• The nominee must reside, or have their business, in the New Richmond area;

• The nominee must have assisted in an improvement or program of significant value to the New Richmond community, due to a personal commitment and not substantially as a result of their primary employment of public responsibilities.

• The nominee does not need to be a member of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

Those interested in submitting their nomination by email or by mail must make sure their nomination includes the following information:

• Your name

• Your email

• Name of person you are nominating

• Name of business they work at

• Reason for nomination

Past Citizens of the Year include:

1992: Bob Heebink

1993: Curt Anderson

1994: Irv & Mary Sather

1995: Mayor Billy Smith

1996: Don & Alice Michels

1997: Bob Krueger

1998: Jerry Frey

1999: John Soderberg

2000: Barbara Polfus

2001: Helen Demulling

2002: Jim Counter

2003: Bob Peterson

2004: Bob Peirson

2005: Bill Buell

2006: Bill Derrick

2007: Tim O'brien

2008: Dennis Horner

2009: Mayor David Schnitlzer

2010: Paul Mayer

2011: Jim Zajkowski

2012: Vernon Conrad

2013: Stuart Nelson

2014: Dr. Neal Melby

2015: Patty Berger

2016: Rachel Sauvola

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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