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Hoisington Chamber annual banquet showcases improvements at city auditorium
2018 Ambassador Club recognizes community award winners
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2018 Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Scott Fleming was recognized at the annual banquet Saturday night. Pictured here is Fleming, Chamber of Commerce Director Karen Baldyga, and Chamber board member Melissa Hipp. - photo by Veronica Coons

HOISINGTON — A new venue attracted 125 guests to the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet held Saturday night at the Hoisington Municipal Complex auditorium. It was the first time the space had been utilized for the event. Applause from the crowd during Chamber Director Karen Baldyga’s introduction indicated the crowd’s pleasure.  

Outgoing Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Scott Fleming introduced county officials in attendance. They included County Commissioner District 1 Kenny Schremmer, County Treasurer James Jordan, and County Attorney Levi Morris.

Hoisington Mayor Dalton Popp, council members Travis Sinn, Ward 1, Becky Steiner, Ward 1, Carrol Nather, Ward 2, Jim Morris, Ward 3, Chris Smith, Ward 4, Robert Bruce, Ward 4, and City Manager Jonathan Mitchell. 

Fleming also recognized new members to the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, including two new businesses that held ribbon cuttings in 2018, Twisted Fusion and The Farm House. 

Shopping promotions, the annual Christmas lighting, visits with Santa by over 300 children, were recognized as successful events with involvement by a wide range of community members.  Fleming also encouraged members to attend the weekly chamber coffees. 

Highlights also included Sip and Shop, Rock into Summer, USD 431 back to school breakfast, the grocery grab and the 122nd Hoisington Labor Day celebration. 

“It was an event packed four-day weekend we all will never forget,” Fleming said. The theme for the 123rd Hoisington Labor Day Weekend was announced: The Stars of Hoisington. 

Positive economic development realized in 2018

Fleming introduced Mitchell who spoke about economic development. Looking back on 2018, he thanked Manweiler Chevrolet for serving the needs of the Hoisington Community for 90 years. 

He spoke about the Hoisington E-community’s efforts that sent representatives from seven Hoisington businesses for four days to Destination Boot camp in Longmont, Colo., where they attended a learning event with renowned entrepreneurial consultant Jon Schallert, who encouraged them to create plans that would make Hoisington a destination community. 

This year, there was also a youth entrepreneurial challenge for which high school students were encouraged to take part.. 

‘“The kids have some incredible ideas, and I have no doubt that some of them will put them to work around here,’ he said. 

He also shared about the plans to enhance Bicentennial Park in the coming year which will include the creation of a dog park and a redesign of the baseball and softball diamonds to allow the city attract tournaments. Already, the Hoisington Rec, USD 431 and the City have raised $100,000 for that project, with another $120,000 left to meet their goal. 

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Hoisington City Manger Jonathan Mitchell shares economic development highlights of 2018 at the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Saturday night, Jan. 12. - photo by Veronica Coons

Recognition and awards

Outgoing members of the Board of Directors were recognized for their service over the past year, and the 2019 Board of Directors were announced: President Eric Schoendaler, First Kansas Bank, past president Scott Fleming, City of Hoisington, vice president Amber Crawford, Dairy Queen, treasurer Kara Cotten, Superior Essex, and secretary Jessica Baze, Country Place Senior Living, and directors: Brance Barnard, Barnard Tires & Automotive; Jim Blackwell, Clara Barton Hospital; Melissa Hipp, Hoisington Public Library; Joel Mason, Hoisington High School; Jim Meitner, Meitner Cabinet & Home Repair; Kris Schneweis, S&S Reel Welding & Fabrication and Brian Wilborn, Community Bank of the Midwest. Ex-officio board positions included Jonathan Mitchell, City of Hoisington and Karen Baldyga, Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President.  

The Rev. Wayne Baldyga offered the invocation and a catered dinner was provided by Danton Riedl. Following the dinner, the 2018 Ambassador Club presented community awards, individually recognizing winners.


Community Award Winners



The Burkey Family

2018 Ambassador Family

The Kansas Infant Death and SIDS (KIDS)

In recognition for service in the field of health and medicine.



Karisa Cowan’s Class Green House

Hoisington Middle School

In recognition for the promotion of the welfare of our youth. 

Students are Nolan Jacobs, Ellie Crawford, Ashlyn Steiner and Gabby Reif.



Alan Charles

Principal of Lincoln Elementary School

In recognition for excellence of education in the

Hoisington Area.



FCCLA Students & Advisor Karla Reisner

Hoisington High School

In recognition for the betterment of the community

through volunteer service.



Marketing Maven

In recognition for the improvement of the business climate

in the Hoisington Area.



Bill Lowry

Superintendent of USD 431

In recognition for the excellence of education and community involvement in the Hoisington Area.

In related news, on Thursday morning at the Hoisington Chamber Coffee, Mitchell thanked the Chamber for allowing the city to provide the venue for the annual banquet. 

“The We are so glad you chose us for your facility this year,” he said. “We’ve already started making improvements for next year.” 

Already, the city has removed bleachers to make room for more tables and chairs. 

Considerations for bringing in a partition wall with countertops and a sink to better enable caterers to operate. A curtain is also under consideration to hide the exposed batting cage which is currently located on the stage. This would make the auditorium a suitable venue for weddings, class reunions and other special events, Mitchell said.