Banker, businesses honored at dinner
A Leavenworth banker heavily involved in economic development efforts has been honored as the Volunteer of the Year at Leavenworth County Development Corp.'s annual recognition dinner.
Bill Petrie, president of Commerce Bank in Leavenworth and a past president of LCDC, received the honor June 13 during the dinner at Riverfront Community Center in Leavenworth.
Petrie also has chaired Leavenworth County's Strategic Planning Committee, represented the county on a recent lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., and helped hire LCDC's two most recent executive directors.
"He (Petrie) is an extremely humble man," said Steve Jack, LCDC executive director. "He will say there are many others that are crucial to the success of economic development in Leavenworth County ... and he is right. But Bill has gone above and beyond what was asked of him, and we owe him a great deal for his commitment to area business and industry."
Petrie said that he was "surprised and humbled" by the recognition.
"If we look at the past five years at what's happened in Leavenworth County, it's been tremendous," he said. "And looking at the next five to 10 years, we'll continue to grow.
"Just take a look at Hallmark, a staple of the community for the past 60 years ... We make the best products in the world that come out of that plant. And we have the ability to have two or three other companies of that magnitude here. Our challenge -- and goal -- is to welcome everyone possible to Leavenworth County that helps us succeed."
More than 100 people gathered at the dinner to celebrate successful businesses in the county.
Many of the area movers and shakers that came for the annual Business and Industry Recognition and Awards Ceremony received awards recognizing their commitment to Leavenworth County through continued economic growth and the creation of new jobs.
Awards were presented to:
- Eisenhower Medical Plaza, Frontier Community Credit Union, June's Cottage & Cafe, MidAmerican Bank & Trust Co. and Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits, by Leavenworth-Lansing Chamber of Commerce president Greg Madsen.
- Harbor Lights Coffeehouse, Celsius Tannery, Social Suppers, Hazel's Rentals, Davis Funeral Chapel and Collector Bookstore, by Leavenworth Main Street Program executive director Wendy Scheidt.
- Recordnews, First State Bank & Trust and Reece & Nichols Premier Realty, by Basehor Chamber of Commerce Chair Susan Guy.
- Sunflower Broadband and Vintage Soap & Bath, by Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce Co-President Cheryl Hanback.
- Distinctive Media and Peruvian Connection, by LCDC's Jack.
Also receiving special recognition for her efforts to draw the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to Leavenworth was Robyn Stewart, Leavenworth's interim city manager.
"Every economic development project needs a champion, and Robyn became that champion," Jack said of Stewart's work to promote Leavenworth as the site for the biodefense laboratory.