Archives for 2013

Give them the recognition they deserve!

Hutchinson is full of people doing great things, and these people help make Hutchinson the wonderful community that it is.  The Hutchinson Chamber and the Hutchinson Jaycees want to make sure we recognize those people in our community that are taking their time to make a difference.  Every year at the Chamber’s Annual Banquet we honor a few of these people, but we need you to help make it happen.  You, and other people from the community, have the opportunity to nominate the people that deserve these awards. The awards that will be given this year are: Business Person of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Ag Person of the Year, Teacher of the Year, and Young Leader of the Year (under 35 years of age). This year we have made the nomination form even easier to complete.  The form is available below and can be returned at the Chamber office or emailed to Melissa.

This is a list of the winners from the past 5 years:

Business Person of the Year: 
2012- Dr. David Mach
2011- Renee Hantge
2010- Tiffany Haag
2009- Gus Wurdell
2008- Tom Daggett

Volunteer of the Year:
2012- John & Julie Lofdahl
2011- Jessica & AJ Forcier
2010- Jan Johnson
2009- Betsy Price
2008- Stacey Neuhaus

Ag Person of the Year:
2012- Bob Paulson
2011- Roger Zavoral
2010- Dennis Bergquist
2009- Robert Krcil
2008- Tina Huebner

Teacher of the Year:
2012- Kris Dobratz
2011- Bruce Eckhart
2010- Chad Harlander
2009- Jean Schultz

Young Leader of the Year:
2012- Kyle Wendling
2011 – Megan Peterson
2010- Karen Grasmon
2009- Joe Nagel
2008- Kirsten Grorud

***We have extended the due date deadline to

MONDAY, January 6, 2014

Award Nomination Form


The Season of Giving

HodsonThe season of giving is upon us…. What have you given this year?
Cash donations?
In-Kind donations?
Your time, and the time of your employees, to volunteer within our community?

This time of year highlights many good things in our lives and our businesses. Thank you for going above and beyond to support the community you do business in.

Minnesota Business Gives is a program recognizing businesses that have donated monetarily, in-kind, and through employee volunteer hours to their community. The Governor of Minnesota signs letters for thousands of businesses designating them as a participant.

 Why does this program exist?
Strong businesses build strong communities. Building our businesses and recognition for their work and support is important. You know, as a business owner, how many times you are asked to support, donate and give. We want to thank you for your attention and support of our community’s needs!

Why 2%?
Every business, no matter how small can participate! Businesses make donation decisions monthly, weekly and daily. It can be a fine line for a business to be generous and stay in business. This program also supports businesses as they learn how to make a defined donation policy and make decisions that align with their mission and vision.

Who can be a Hutchinson Area Business Gives Participant?
Businesses based in the Hutchinson area, who donate at least 2% of the pre-tax earnings to the community are eligible.

What does a business need to do to participate?
A very short form needs to be filled out. There is also a simple worksheet to help you and your business determine if you are eligible for the 2% pre- tax earning donation level.

How are businesses in the Hutchinson Area recognized?
Besides the letter from the Governor, each business is listed in our Chamber newsletter, the Minnesota Chamber website, the Hutchinson Chamber website, and are recognized at the Annual Banquet. This year’s banquet is Friday, January 24, 2014.

Business people already know it is better to give than receive, because when you give, the return can be very gratifying. We want to thank our MANY generous businesses who routinely contribute time, talent and money to so many worthwhile programs, projects, and organizations. Please consider participating by contacting our office for more information.




Support Local Businesses

HodsonIt’s November, and yes, it is time to consider your holiday shopping list and who has been naughty, and who has been nice.

Each year, many people go out on the hunt for the great deals, and many people will stand in line, possibly in the cold, or snow, for the chance to get that great deal. These new traditions are great for many, especially if you are having fun and making memories.

Another great way to have fun and make memories is to shop at our locally owned small businesses!

November 30th is Small Business Saturday and I would like to encourage you to consider doing more of your holiday shopping at our many local businesses.

What’s in it for the customer?

  • Fun- a great time connecting with others in our community
  • Experiencing hometown, knowledgeable customer service
  • Unique gift shopping
  • Local Shopping means less gas money spent, which equals money to use for a special shopping lunch or to save for something special
  • Local shopping also saves you time- what could you do with extra time?
  • 42% of the local and state tax burden is paid by businesses- without these businesses, your taxes would be higher
  • Community organizations depend on charitable donations – Hutchinson businesses are known for their generosity. They may have helped a group you work with!

What’s in it for the community?

  • Keeping local businesses open and thriving
  • Every $100 spent at a locally owned and operated business keeps $68 within the local economy
  • Tax revenue pays for many city services, including police and fire services
  • Our businesses are the reason many shoppers come to Hutchinson
  • Successful business climate attracts more businesses

What’s in it for the businesses?

  • Sharing the passion and knowledge they have for their products
  • Satisfaction of providing a desirable commodity
  • Attracting and retaining good employees
  • Making a living
  • Staying open!

There’s something in it for everyone! Small Business Saturday, November 30th is a great day to stretch your dollar and support your local businesses! For more information visit

These flyers, and other marketing pieces, will be all over Hutchinson at our local small businesses.

These flyers, and other marketing pieces, will be all over Hutchinson at our local small businesses.


Hutchinson Sculpture Stroll

The Hutchinson Sculpture Stroll brings art into the public sphere for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike.

Since 2013, the City of Hutchinson Public Arts Commission is credited with bringing the high-quality work of local and regional artists through downtown Hutchinson and along the Luce Line Trail.

The Sculpture Stroll is home to permanent sculptures and temporary sculptures.  The temporary sculptures are on loan from regional artists for one year. The permanent sculptures express important aspects of the Hutchinson story.

Map Of The 2018 Sculpture Stroll (pdf) 

Pieces are submitted to and chosen by the Hutchinson Public Arts Commission Board. To submit your own artwork, please read more on the Submit Art page.

For more information on the Sculpture Stroll visit their Facebook page or their website. Brochures of the Sculpture Stroll are available at the Hutchinson Chamber & Tourism office and the Hutchinson Center for the Arts.

Have you hugged a Manufacturer today?

HodsonWhen you were going through middle school … what were you thinking about?

A ball game? A meet?
Someone of the opposite gender?
What your parents were going to say about your test grade?
Your weekend plans? The Love Boat was on Saturday night, followed by Fantasy Island!

Today’s young people are thinking about what they will do after high school. If you don’t have a student in middle school- let me clue you in…. they are taking personality tests, learning about industries they might be proficient in, learning more in classes about what might be a good secondary option for them. They start earlier, so they can choose classes to more closely relate to their potential field of study.

Now, It’s October! It’s Manufacturing Month! No longer is the manufacturing world filled with dirty, dingy and dangerous workplaces. In fact, if you were to visit a number of manufacturers in Hutchinson today, you would find, clean, well-lit and safe environments, filled with high tech gadgets.

So how did I go from today’s youth to manufacturing?

Right now, in Hutchinson and the state of Minnesota, we need more people skilled in the manufacturing fields. Welders, machine tooling and CAD (Computer Aided Design) to name a few. There is a shortage of college students taking these 1-2 year programs. This isn’t just for those “shop class” kids anymore- employers are looking for the STEM Students, (Science Technology Engineering Math), hands-on learners, and many more!

It isn’t just the need to let students know about these options, frankly, it’s also getting parents to know that these options are lower cost and pay the same or MORE than those students graduating with four year degrees. Lower cost… make more money…. true statement. As the city and state’s unemployment has gone down, so has the number of available people to work these very good, skilled jobs.

Our county has 78 manufacturers. In 2012, manufacturers paid $285,415,000 in payroll to their employees! Of all the industries in our area, manufacturing creates the most jobs, and tax revenue.   Hutchinson’s EDA, has worked to create a welcoming opportunity for more manufacturers to come to Hutchinson. “Minnesota’s Manufacturing City” has shovel-ready land, prepared and tested, so a business can begin building quickly after financing is arranged.

So… If you know someone who is wondering about their next step in life, you can suggest the wildly sought-after, well-paid manufacturing industry. Send them to Ridgewater College, to learn more about the educational opportunities, or direct them to the Chamber and we can provide more resources to learn about the opportunity to stay here in Hutchinson and live the life we all appreciate!

Now I won’t ask you to go out and give someone in manufacturing a hug; but perhaps say thank you, or take the time to learn more about what they are doing in our community.


Welcome to the Hutchinson Chamber & Tourism Blog!

Ah….. Finally, a new blog to match our website and keep us on the information highway!

The website has been designed to be engaging and interesting, we hope you will find it to be just that. A special shout out to Vivid Image, Kori and her team for working WITH us to make the site something we are proud to call ours. A special thanks to the Hutchinson Photography Club for photos used throughout much of our site, and to others who have been kind enough to share!

What’s next? A New Visitor Guide to entice people to come and enjoy our beautiful community. Planning and layout are beginning now that the website is LIVE.

Visitor Guides not only are available at hotels, restaurants and businesses, but we mail out hundreds each month to people who request them from all over the country. People who want information about our Hutchinson!

What goes into the Visitor Guide? That’s a great question! As we look at the space available and ALL the wonderful activities, events and amenities in Hutchinson- How does a person choose? We’re not sure, but we are going to do are best to make it another piece everyone can be proud of.

With many newer attractions, wait- many newer attractions? Like What?

The Fishing Pier at Cedar Park, the sculpture stroll, a new bakery, new stage roof on the “RiverSong” stage. Wait, I’m catching my breath.  The Luce Line being paved, new businesses popping up all over town, biking trails, Heart of Hutch, community running club, Hutchinson Center for the Arts and their 15 (right now) member organizations. And, besides the new things, we have our established businesses, attractions, activities and events- I can’t begin to list them all.

Really? Do you want me to keep going? I could! I won’t. J I bet you can see how the Visitor Guide will be a labor of love for us- it is all about Hutchinson!

Thanks for joining us for this exciting adventure as we continue our progress into the digital age- we hope you stick with us and enjoy the ride!

blogpost July 1 2013