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Chamber unveils new logo

The West Fargo Chamber of Commerce has a new logo, vision and mission to lead their 400-plus member strong organization, with the official unveiling ceremony taking place last Thursday at the group's 49th annual Awards Breakfast meeting held at the Best Western Doublewood Inn in Fargo.

"West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce" is the new logo being touted, accented by a graphic of the winding Sheyenne River, also reminiscent of the letter 'w,' that will lead the Chamber staff into its new calendar year with a goal of securing an additional 75 members by annual meeting time next year. The new image was created by Absolute Marketing of Fargo with the assistance of a marketing committee comprised of Chamber members.

West Fargo Chamber Executive Director Chris Barton expressed excitement about the new image and the message that it imparts. "We have a new beginning here today to connect members and deliver value. We felt it was important to include the word area in the logo so it includes all the communities; and the Sheyenne River shows how all these communities are connected by water. We are a rapidly growing area and we all know that when our businesses succeed our community also thrives. I look forward to another great year and I want to thank all of you for being a part of our networking opportunity."

Barton noted the changes in the last year in the Chamber operation citing the addition of John Caron as communication coordinator and the transition of Teresa Blotsky to membership sales coordinator. She also emphasized the implementation of a new and improved Web site at as well as a new monthly newsletter.

Marvin and Janice Leidal were recognized as the 2007 Civic Excellence winners, being introduced by last year's recipient Dr. Robert Geston. The award is presented annually to individuals who have played an active role in and made major contributions to the development of the community.

The Leidals were both longtime educators in the West Fargo School District, Marvin most recently serving as Superintendent of Schools before his retirement in 1996. They continue to make their home in the community.

Marvin said "Janice and I feel blessed to have worked and had the opportunity to live in the West Fargo community. It's been our pleasure to be involved in activities through the years and one of the reasons is because of people like you who guide the community."

Steve Baron was named the 2007 West Fargo Volunteer Firefighter of the Year and Patrol Officer Peter Nielsen, the West Fargo Police Department employee of the Year.

Baron joined the Fire Department in 1997, currently holding the rank of Engineer. He is first aid and CPR certified and has spent numerous hours at regional and state fire training sessions, bringing his knowledge back to share with fellow firefighters.

He and his wife, Sue, make their home in West Fargo, where he owns and operates Baron Handyman Service.

Nielsen is a West Fargo High School graduate, entered Air Force basic training in 1993 as a security forces specialist, received his honorable discharge in 1997 and joined the West Fargo Police Department in 1999 as a patrol officer. His additional duties include acting as a field training officer for new hires for the department.

Nielsen has been recognized each of the last five years by the Safe Communities Coalition of the Red River Valley for excellence in performance relating to traffic safety.

He and his wife, Pam, live in West Fargo with their children, Hailey, Caden and Connor.

Several Business Awards were also presented to West Fargo Chamber members in a variety of categories, including: Out on a Limb- Innovative Business - large, Mid-America Aviation, small, Food Taxi; One for All Commitment to Community or Chamber - large, Alerus Financial, small, EW Web Design; and Over the Top - Customer Service - large, IdeaOne Telcom, small, All Wireless Solution.

Payroll Express, Inc. was the winner of the Beautification Award (see related story on page 5.)

Current board members are: Dorinda Anderson, chair; Todd Zabel, Don Gronke, Carol Stillwell, Darcy Popes-Fuchs, Russ Hanson, Kathy Lewin, Lisa Amann, Paul Orvik, Stacy Wark, and Bryan Schulz.

For more information about the West Fargo Chamber contact Barton at 282-4444 or send an email to