Chamber of Commerce hands out annual awards

Posted 6/2/15

2014 was a milestone year for the Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce. The organization celebrated its 75th anniversary and laid the groundwork for continued growth. Chamber officials reviewed …

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Chamber of Commerce hands out annual awards

2014 was a milestone year for the Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce.The organization celebrated its 75th anniversary and laid the groundwork for continued growth.Chamber officials reviewed accomplishments from the past year and also presented some plans for 2015 during Friday’s annual awards and installation banquet. The event was held at the Wil Heiliger Activity Building. This year’s theme was Wright (City) Place to Be.”“We learned a lot of history of Wright City,” said Karen Girondo, 2014 Chamber president. Again, we had a very successful Strassenbash. None of this happens without the help of everyone in this room.”“It’s been a great year.Girondo said she appreciated all the support that was offered by Chamber members. In the past year, the Chamber hosted its annual business breakfast and Strassenbash, a two-day festival held the third weekend of September.“First off, I could not do this alone,” Girondo said. “So many people have helped me. It has been a lot of fun.”At Friday’s banquet, Kathy Kehoe was honored as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year, while the Warren County Record was named the Business of the Year. Also recognized at Friday’s banquet was 2014 Person of the Year Ralph Hellebusch. He was presented the award at Strassenbash in September.Girondo will be replaced in 2015 by Tim Schmidt, managing editor of the Warren County Record.Schmidt urged Chamber members to continue the momentum that has been established over the past 75 years.“Wright City has a lot going for itself right now,” he said. “State test scores have shown us in the past couple of years that the school district is one of the best and most improved in the state. We have strong, stable government that has an open-door policy. We have a business community that always is willing to help out, whether it be for a school fundraiser or community event.”Schmidt noted that Wright City is poised for continued growth and success. Some new events, like a job fair/ business showcase and golf tournament, are being planned.“Sometimes it’s easy to forgot all the good things that are happening around us,” he said. “Wright City is truly the right place to be right now.”Officers and members of the 2015 board of directors are Ruth Walters, vice president (Warren County Health Department), Jackie Stewart, treasurer (Warren County Ambulance District), Jill Smoot, secretary (Wright City R-II School District), Curt Kehoe (Wright City Parks Department), Phil Reid (Westbound Real Estate), Brad Schuster (First State Community Bank), Michelle Smith (RE/MAX Edge), Jack Groeper (Economy Supermarket) and Girondo (city of Wright City).The Chamber meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Wil Heiliger Activity Building. Meetings begin at noon.For more information, call 636-745-7855 or visit

2015 Wright City Chamber President Tim Schmidt presented a gavel to Karen Girondo in appreciation of her dedication and time spent as 2014 president. Record photos.

Kathy Kehoe, right, received the Volunteer of the Year award from Wright City Chamber President Karen Girondo.

The Warren County Record was named the Business of the Year by the Wright City Chamber. Accepting the plaque from Chamber President Karen Girondo, from left, are Tim Schmidt, Jana Todd, Amber Grant and Derrick Forsythe.

Members of the 2015 Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are, from left, Karen Girondo, past president, city of Wright City; Tim Schmidt, president, Warren County Record; Jackie Stewart, treasurer, Warren County Ambulance District; Jack Groeper, Economy Supermarket, Ruth Walters, vice president, Warren County Health Department; Jill Smoot, secretary, Wright City R-II School District; Phil Reid, Westbound Real Estate; Curt Kehoe, Wright City Parks Department; Michelle Smith, Re/Max Edge; and Brad Schuster, First State Community Bank.