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2024 Annual Meeting

Saturday, February 17th, 2024

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Grow Clay County Annual Gala

We want to Recognize the Risk-takers, Problem solvers,  Dreamers and the Doers.

Not for the faint of heart, being a small business owner is a bold feat. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we celebrate those who are up to the challenge. The Business and Best of Awards do just that, by showcasing those that dare to start, sustain, and succeed and the community that supports them.

Nominations Open: December 15th, 2023
Applications Due: January 20th, 2024
Awards Presentation: February 17th, 2024

Members and General Public are asked to nominate businesses and/or individuals for the following categories:
usiness of The Year
Young Entrepreneur of The Year
Community Catalyst of The Year
Employee of The Year

Best Trade Business
Best Retail Business
Best Hospitality Business
Best Non-Profit
Best Store Front
Best Customer Service
Best Professional Business


There is a separate form for Business and Best Of Awards. Please provide a nomination in each category. Reminders to complete nominations and applications are posted on the Grow Clay County Facebook page. Every effort is made to encourage community participation to nominate those businesses, organizations, and individuals working to Grow Clay County. Nominations are submitted through a Google Form and reviewed by Grow Clay County Staff to ensure all criteria are met. Submissions without a reason will not be counted. 

How are winners selected?

The selection process for the prestigious Grow Clay County Annual Awards is a thorough and systematic endeavor, ensuring that the most deserving businesses and individuals receive recognition.

The criteria for determining the winners are twofold, incorporating the number of nominations and a comprehensive scoring rubric that evaluates the reasons behind the nominations and the quality of responses. Nominees can not win more than TWO (2) years in a row.

The nomination period is Thirty-Six (36) days, allowing ample time for the community to nominate businesses and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding achievements and contributions. Following the closure of nominations, nominees will be noticed by the Grow Clay County staff. The winners will be presented at the Grow Clay County Annual Awards Gala on February 17th, 2024.

Awards & Criteria

Business of The Year Award

- Must be an active business located in CLAY COUNTY

- Business has been in operation for at least 1 year and has shown growth in 2023
- Delivers excellent customer service by going above and beyond for their customers/clients
- Contributes to the economic growth and quality of life in Clay County through exceptional business practices and customer service
- Demonstrates a high level of community involvement through participation in civic, community or Grow Clay County projects and initiatives.

Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award

- Must be an active business located in CLAY COUNTY
- Must be 30 years of age or younger
- Business has been in operation for at least 6 months
- Demonstrates strong leadership and entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and
economic growth         

Community Catalyst of The Year Award


- Must be a resident of CLAY COUNTY
- Must be an individual with a record of generosity through financial support, significant volunteer time, or a combination of both.
- Made a positive impact on our communities and its citizens and the overall quality of life in Clay County.
- Plays and active role in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.

Employee of The Year

- Must work for an active business in CLAY COUNTY
- Demonstrates entrepreneurial habits, strong work ethic, and commitment to their workplace and community
- Positively contributes to the overall work environment or customer experience.  Has shown innovation or leadership within their position

Best Trade Business

- Must be an active business in CLAY COUNTY
- Offers a high quality specialized service

- Prioritizes customer service and satisfaction
- Open (but not limited) to Electricians, Plumbers, Manufacturers, Construction, Linemen, etc...

Best Hospitality Business Award

- Must be an active business in CLAY COUNTY
- Prioritizes customer service and customer experience

- Employees have a positive and friendly attitude  
- Open (but not limited) to Restaurants, Hotels/Lodging, Event Venues, Tourism Based Businesses, etc..

Best Non-Profit Award

- Must be an active non-profit organization or government agency located in CLAY COUNTY
- A community organization or government agency that has made a significant contribution to the overall health and quality of life in Clay County 
- Open (but not limited) to Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Management Personnel, any local not-for-profit organizations/businesses etc..

Best Store Front Award

- Must be an active business or location in CLAY COUNTY
- Business has made a significant improvement to the front of their building OR consistently has maintained an aesthetically pleasing store front or entrance  

Best Customer Service Award

- Must be an active business (or work for an active business) in CLAY COUNTY

Can be a business OR an individual who works for a business located in Clay County
- Goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the best service possible

Best Retail Business Award

- Must be an active business located in CLAY COUNTY

- Exemplifies excellence in performance, customer service, leadership, management and marketing
- Open (but not limited) to Clothing Businesses, Drug Stores, Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores, Hardware Stores etc..

Best Professional Business Award

- Must be an active business in CLAY COUNTY
- Business professional that provides customers with a specialized service
- Customer focused atmosphere
- Open (but not limited to) lawyers, physicians, health professionals, veterinarians, accountants, and management consultants etc..

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Thank you to everyone who attended the 2024 Grow Clay County Annual Meeting!

Congratulations to the 2023 Winners!

Business of The Year:

Farm Bureau -Justin Tadtman

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Walleta Bergsten

Young Entrepreneur of The Year:

Sage Steppe

Community Catalyst:

Linda Underwood

Employee of The Year:

Jamie Keeler

Best Trade Business:

Double L Manufacturing

Best Retail Business:

Legacy Outdoors

Best Hospitality Business:

Happy Hippie

Best Non-Profit:


Best Store Front:

Ginger's Uptown

Best Customer Service:

Central Office Service & Supply

Best Professional Business:

Clay Center Family Physicians; Dr. Allie Lohrmeyer

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