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Congressman John Curtis speaks at Payson & Santaquin Area Chamber's Annual Banquet

By Shelly Thompson

Congressman John Curtis had only been serving in Washington D.C. for 10 weeks when he spent the evening with city and business leaders for Payson and Santaquin at the Chamber's annual Installation Banquet. As the keynote speaker, Congressman Curtis gave the participants of the sold-out event a glimpse into the day of a U.S. Congressman noting how busy he has become from voting on key issues just days after arriving in D.C. to the many Town Hall meetings scheduled for every weekend he is home. "I know that sounds like a lot, but I love it." he said of his schedule. He spoke of hope for our democratic system as he has seen much more civility and has heard more prayers in Congress than the media will show.

Following the Congressman's speech, the Chamber presented several awards. Partnering with the local Lions and Kiwanis Clubs as well as the municipalities, the following awards were given. Excellence in Volunteerism awards: Rhett and Jennifer Huff from the Lions Club Richard Porter from the Kiwanis Club Outstanding Community Partner: Arnie B's Chevron from Payson City Santa Queen Drive Inn from Santaquin City The Board of Directors awarded Curt Ripplinger of Leavitt Group Insurance with the Outstanding New Member award, Ronda Hair of the Nebo School District Advance Learning Center (ALC) with the Partner in Education award, and Nick Miller of Santaquin City Council as their Business Champion of the year. Shelly Thompson, the Chamber's Executive Director presented Ty Jones of The Insurance Center with the Director's Choice award and Lorene Moore, Past-President of the Chamber presented Dena Raven of Rustic Styles Salon with the President's Choice award. The most anticipated award of the evening, voted on by the general Chamber membership, went to America First Credit Union as the 2017 Business of the Year.

The last activity of the evening was the "Changing of the Guard" for the Chamber's Board of Directors. Four members of the Board of Directors were honored as their terms of service had come to an end. Nathan Black of Mountain View Hospital was honored for 1 year, Rory Adams of Farmers Insurance was honored for 6 years, Nick Miller of Weed Man was honored for 8 years and Mike Hardy of Central Bank was honored for 13 years of service. Replacing these fine gentlemen on the Board are Loretta Mosier of White Feather Rocks, Ben Glazner of America First Credit Union, Stan Nelson of Bear Bones IT and Joshua Nielsen of Anderson Nielsen Law. Lorene Moore of Nebo Comfort Systems was honored as the 2017 President as she introduced the new 2018 Executive Board for the Payson & Santaquin Area Chamber of Commerce. Jade Walker of America First Credit Union will serve as President, Dena Raven of Rustic Styles Salon will serve as President-Elect and Ty Jones of The Insurance Center will serve as the Treasurer. Congressman John Curtis performed the swearing-in ceremony for the new Board members as well as the 2018 Executive Board.

The event took place at the Clarion Gardens event center in Payson on Friday, February 9th at 7 p.m.