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Larned Employee, Business of the Year named
Schwartzkopf honored
larned chamber 021
Photo by Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Chamber board member Tama Hanson presents the Employee of the Year to Richard Schwartzkopf of The Larned Tiller and Toiler at the Larned Chamber of Commerce banquet.

LARNED — The Larned Chamber of Commerce and Pawnee County Economic Development Commission celebrated a year of success at its annual banquet Thursday at the Larned Community Center. Voting for the Employee and Business of the Year was done by Chamber members.
Earning the Employee of the Year Award was Richard Schwartzkopf of The Larned Tiller and Toiler.
Other finalists were Kevin Holt, Tabler Furniture; and Kevyn Soupiset, Progressive Therapy & Sports Medicine.
Country Seasons Flower Shop, under co-owners Dawn and Lori Skelton, was named Business of the Year.
Other finalists were Country Place Senior Living and First State Bank and Trust.
Holt recognized Kelsi Williamson of Beckwith Mortuary as Chamber Ambassador of the Year.
Chamber director Courtland Holman delivered a state of the Chamber address that painted a positive picture for Larned and Pawnee County. Holman said that Larned and Pawnee County has established a belief that growth is a good step for the area. Many rural areas of the state are losing businesses and population.
“To make Pawnee County and Larned as an attractive place to live and work, it takes everyone working together,” Holman said. “We are a city that is learning to work together to enable the city and county to grow.”
Matt Watkins, First State Bank & Trust, is outgoing Chamber president. Laura Smith, Country Place Senior Living, is incoming Chamber president.
Dinner was provided by Sweet Traditions of Rozel and catered by Chamber Ambassadors. Entertainment was provided by ventriloquist Nick Levendofsky of Republic, Kan.
Tama Hanson, Chamber board member, served as emcee of the banquet and recognized several businesses that were new or had changes during the past year.
New Businesses
• Dress It Up, co-managers Barbara Bennett, Carol Wilson, 511 Broadway, (620) 285-6886
• Delicious Creations Boutique, co-owner Mandi Solko, Bernie Notovny, 418 Broadway, (620) 804-9263
• Kris’ Diner, owner Kris Akers; 1309 Broadway, (620) 285-3663
• Regalos, co-owners Isaac and Sherry Lemuz, 215 W. 14th, (620) 285-6092
• Central Signs & Graphics, owner Kevin Wilson, 1317 Kansas Street, (620) 285-1431
Business name changes, new owners 
• Rendezvous, owner Brittany Haney, 508 Broadway, (620) 804-6225
• Napa Auto, owner Steve Erb, 211 W. 4th Street, (620) 285-3195
• Barker Kwiker Liquor, owner Duane Barker, 414 W. 14th, (620) 285-6331
• Farmers Bank & Trust, president Tyson Steffan, 102 W. 6th Street, (620) 285-3177
• Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, administrator Matt Heyn, 923 Carroll, (620) 285-3161
• Larned Splash Pad, Doerr-Vernon Park