McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce holds annual awards dinner

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Several individuals and chamber members were recognized for their work in the community during the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner. Terry Sharp (left) received the Lena D. Myers Award, while Gary Howe was honored with the Longevity Award and Duane Boelman the James King Award. Not pictured is Joan Burns, who received the Alexander MacGregor Award. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

The McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner Nov. 4, at Backwoods Bar and Grill, in McGregor. The evening included updates from the chamber’s executive director, Ashley Kishman, as well as chamber board president Audrey Posten, editor of the North Iowa Times, and vice president Katie Ruff, owner of By the Spoonful. 

Several individuals and chamber members were also recognized for their work in the community. Terry Sharp, through his work at the Marquette Depot Museum and Information Center, received the Lena D. Myers award for conserving the historical heritage of the communities of Marquette and McGregor. 

The James King award, for devotion to supporting community efforts, went to Duane Boelman for his role in bringing back the Great River Road, Road Race (GRRRR), as well as his efforts in historic preservation, economic development and the re-designation of Ports of Discovery as an Iowa Great Place.

Joan Burns was honored with the Alexander MacGregor Award for progressive leadership. Burns is active with McGregor's historic preservation commission, the art center and other community groups, and led the efforts to establish the city's new R.D. Witter Memorial Pocket Park, located next to the library.

The Longevity Award was bestowed upon Gary Howe, who will retire next year after a lifetime of dedication to local news. Howe was the publisher of the North Iowa Times and its sister newspapers, Courier Press in Prairie du Chien, Clayton County Register in Elkader and The Guttenberg Press, until last May, when the newspapers were sold to Morris Newspaper Corporation of Wisconsin (a division of Morris Multimedia, headquartered in Savannah, Ga.)

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