MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — The Minot Area Chamber EDC (MACEDC) had a chance to look back at the events of 2022 while looking ahead to what’s next in 2023 at its annual meeting on Monday.

According to a news release, Governor Doug Burgum delivered a keynote speech to those attending at the Grand Hotel.

During Gov. Burgum’s presentation, he highlighted the efforts to bolster the state’s business climate and celebrated what makes Minot special, including the Logistics Park of North Dakota.

“When you talk about engaged communities, Minot is always at the forefront,” Governor Burgum said. “The Intermodal facility at the Logistics Park of North Dakota gives our region a port that can reach the whole world. That’s fantastic.”

“With all this,” he continued, “our economic outlook is really bright.”

The Chair of the MACEDC Board of Directors for 2023, Kevin Black, shared that he was optimistic for the years to come, citing the organization’s new five-year strategic plan.

“By clearly defining our organization’s five key pillars — Economic Development, Community Development, Workforce Development, Member-Investor Services, and Military Support — we are in a better position than ever to fulfill our mission,” Black said. “We strive to improve quality of life for all, and our team is well equipped to achieve its goals.”

Randy Hauck, the outgoing board chair, identified several highlights from 2022, including work done to expand rail access and the hiring of Brekka Kramer as president and CEO of MACEDC.

“The number one responsibility of a Board of Directors is to make sure we have the right person in charge of the organization,” Hauck said. “Brekka has hit the ground running and has already proven that she is the right person for the job.”

MACEDC President and CEO, Brekka Kramer, expressed her gratitude for the support of the community during her first year at the helm of the organization.

“It truly is Magic in Minot!” Kramer said. “On behalf of the team and board of directors, we are grateful to all who support and invest in the Minot Area Chamber EDC, so that we can, in turn, advocate for and invest in business activity by being a collaborative partner in our community.”

As part of the annual meeting, the Minot Area Chamber EDC presented its first-ever Impact Awards to four recipients. MACEDC had gotten multiple nominations from the community in February and March.

Impact Award for Outstanding Military Support

This was presented to Verendrye Electric Cooperative.

“Verendrye Electric Cooperative has had ties to the military for decades,” Kramer said. “From maintaining and operating electrical infrastructure at Minot Air Force Base after its construction in 1955 to volunteering and serving food at countless military appreciation events in Minot. Verendrye has gone above and beyond in supporting our military.”

Impact Award for Outstanding Small Business

This was presented to Prairie Sky Breads.

“Small businesses are a vital part of any community’s identity,” Black said. “Prairie Sky Breads has created a friendly environment in downtown Minot, support initiatives that keep our downtown and small business communities connected.”

Impact Award for Outstanding Leadership

This was presented to Ron Merritt, the executive director of the Minot Park District.

“Ron has humbly led the Minot Part District since 2005,” Kramer said. “He has been a steadfast leader — a calm presence in the face of enormous challenges like the 2011 Mouse River Flood. He has done so much to Minot a better place to live, work, and play.”

Impact Award for Outstanding Community Impact

This was presented to Hess Corporation for its effort to shore up workforce shortages by creating a partnership with the North Dakota Tribal College system.

“Over the next four years, Hess Corporation is investing millions of dollars to provide tuition assistance and other support to establish apprenticeship programs for Native American students in a variety of fields,” Black said. “They are great corporate citizens making a significant positive impact on North Dakota.”

You can view the full 2022 annual report here.