LaMotte named Chamber Member of the Year

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Tom LaMotte was named 2014 Chamber Member of the Year at the 88th annual meeting of the Devils Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

It's an exciting time in Devils Lake. That was one of the constant themes of the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce 88th Annual Meeting held on the campus of Lake Region State College Wednesday afternoon.

"Looking around and seeing the number of current businesses expanding and re-modeling, it's very exciting," Paula Vistad, Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce executive director, said at the event. "I can't say enough about our members. They all work very hard and have helped create a positive business environment here in Devils Lake."

Craig Whitney, president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber, discussed the positives as well as the challenges of communities in North Dakota. One commonality between most cities in the state is its workforce and recruiting new employees.

"It's being felt all over the state. I hear it all the time from our members, business is going well, but we are having a hard time finding employees," Whitney stated.

The positives, however, outweigh the challenges, he said.

"Devils Lake is a great example," Whitney told a crowd. With a membership of 275 for the Chamber of Commerce, it is obvious that there is a thriving business community here. I applaud your efforts."

One of the highlights of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce's top award. The winner of the 2014 Chamber Member of the Year is Tom LaMotte.

The Devils Lake businessman was extremely humbled to learn that he received the recognition.

"There are a lot of other individuals that deserve this award before me," he told the Journal. "It means a lot. I have been a member of the Chamber for years and it's just a tremendous organization."

The annual meeting again with the passing of the gavel for leadership of the Chamber's board of directors. Outgoing president Peter Jerome, Jerome Wholesale, handed over the reins to Jackie Dvorak of Simmons Broadcasting.

The 2014-2015 board of directors are Dvorak, Jerome, Mike Dunn, Terry Estvold, Kale Stromme, Erin Wood, Anna Walters, Brian Quam, Bob Morando, Lisa Webster, Aimee Larson and Skip Longie.