Chamber to hold 142nd annual meeting and membership celebration 

Published 5:18 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022

The 142nd annual meeting and membership celebration of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce is set for Oct. 27.

This year’s event will be at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club in Albert Lea. The evening is slated to begin with a social hour and opening of a silent auction at 5:15 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 6:15 p.m. 

The chamber’s annual awards will be presented, including, Volunteer of the Year, Ambassador of  the Year, and, of course, the Small, Medium and Large Businesses of the Year.  

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The featured speaker this year is Doug Loon. Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since Sept. 8, 2015. The Minnesota Chamber represents  more than 2,300 Minnesota companies, 130 local chambers and 65 business trade associations at the  Minnesota Legislature on a variety of issues that impact Minnesota’s economy. Prior to assuming leadership of the Minnesota Chamber, he spent 20 years at the U.S. Chamber of  Commerce, 17 of those in Minnesota. As the vice president for regional affairs and advocacy, he  managed the seven regional offices that provide political and grassroots outreach across the nation. He also managed the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest region that includes Minnesota. He was intimately  involved in supporting state and local chambers and businesses to move public policy in a direction  that helps them be successful. 

Previously, Loon served as director of congressional and public affairs at U.S. Chamber headquarters  in Washington, D.C. There, he served as one of the organization’s chief lobbyists before Congress on  issues critical to the American business community. 

Before joining the U.S. Chamber staff in 1995, Loon was legislative director to Sen. Arlen Specter of  Pennsylvania. In his 10 years on Capitol Hill, Loon also served as acting staff director for the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and on the Senate Commerce Committee. In addition, he worked  for Sen. Larry Pressler of South Dakota. 

Loon received his bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana  College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He is a graduate of the Congressional Research Service’s Institute for Legislative Staff as well as the Federal Election Commission’s program on campaign finance laws for  incorporated trade associations and membership organizations. He also graduated from Leadership Minnesota, an exclusive program of the Minnesota Chamber addressing the economic and public  policy issues of Minnesota businesses. He is past chair of the Eden Prairie Foundation Board of  Directors.

The chamber will also be presenting Worksite Wellness Awards to member businesses. The awards were created as a way to recognize employers who have invested in and are excelling at offering  varying levels of worksite wellness services. The awards are designed to provide a framework for  businesses to benchmark and improve wellness efforts. There are three levels of the award. The bronze, silver and gold award criteria can be found on the chamber’s website for those who might  be interested in submitting an application in 2023. 

A press release stated the Chamber of Commerce appreciates all of its members and is pleased to be able to recognize some of them for their outstanding contributions to the chamber and to Freeborn County.  

Make reservations by calling the chamber office at 373-3938. More information is available at  www.albertlea.org