For decades, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development has been privileged to recognize a Business of the Year and a Citizen of the Year for their impact on the business community over an extended period of time. A new award program, set to be launched at the Chamber’s annual meeting and banquet in early 2013, will aim to recognize a particular individual’s service to the community as an up-and-coming leader. Nominations for the first ever NextGen Leader of the Year are now being accepted."There are so many people doing big things for Great Bend that don’t get recognized publically for their service," says Young Professionals member Matt Hiss, who has driven the idea for the last several months. "This award will hopefully encourage young people to step up and serve on committees and boards, and it will also create an opportunity to recognize those who are already active leaders."One of the criteria for this award is that the recipient must be nominated by someone else – an employer, a coworker, a friend, a spouse, or anyone else who can attest to their commitment to the betterment of the Great Bend community. The other criteria are:• Nominee must be affiliated with a member of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development.• Nominee must have lived in the Great Bend service area for at least three years.• Nominee must be seen as a leader in their work environment, as well as in the community.• Nominee must be creating a meaningful impact in the community and be a rising leader.The simple nomination form has only two questions to be filled out by the person submitting the nomination. "Many of the reasons why someone deserves recognition are subject to interpretation, so we wanted to keep things as simple and flexible as possible," Hiss says. "Anyone can submit their suggestions during the open nomination period, which will end December 1st."All the nominations collected will be reviewed by an anonymous selection committee made up of representatives from local government offices, Young Professionals members, civic clubs, seasoned community leaders, and the Chamber board of directors. Nomination forms are available for download by clicking the PDF icon below. For more information, contact a member of the Chamber staff, 620-792-2401.
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