Nearly 500 of our chamber members joined us at the Manhattan Conference Center Friday night for an evening of celebrations.
In addition to hearing from our outgoing Chair Summer Ott Dierks and our incoming Chair Mark Knackendoffel, we honored three award winners for the Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year, C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year and the Young Professional of the Year.
Mary Vanier was selected at the Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year. Mary moved back to Manhattan in 2000 to lead Grand Mere Development, Inc. the residential and commercial real estate development which surrounds Colbert Hills golf course. Mary has been no stranger to volunteering as she currently serves as the chair of the Kansas State University Foundation Board of Directors, is a founder of Manhattan Community Foundation, past chair of the Homecare and Hospice Foundation in Manhattan, and has served on many local, state, and national philanthropic boards. Mary’s efforts have made a substantial impact in Manhattan and we are honored to present her with this award.
Matt Crocker was named as the C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year. Matt Crocker is CEO of SPS Companies, Inc. Matt has served in numerous roles at the Chamber including chair of the board in 2018, chair of the economic development committee and is currently leading efforts within the organization to address childcare and private sector support for community recreation programs. His involvement doesn’t stop at the Chamber, as he also serves on the foundation boards of the Good Shephard Hospice House and Stormont Vail, the College of Business Graduate Studies Advisory Board, past Board President of the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan, and others. Matt’s dedication to the Manhattan community makes him a very worthy recipient of this award.
Stephanie Pierce was presented with the Young Professional of the Year award. Stephanie is the Economic Development and Entrepreneur Relations Manager at K-State Innovation Partners. She currently serves as the Chair of the Manhattan Chamber’s Hype (Helping Young Professionals Emerge) program. During her time as chair she has made valuable changes and helped grow the organization to over 200 members. Stephanie has served in leadership roles for the Friends of Leadership Manhattan, Manhattan Bridal Show Committee, Relay for Life and Women of K-State. She currently serves on the Membership and Marketing Committee for the University Economic Development Association. Stephanie was an obvious choice for this award that recognizes an outstanding young professional for the variety of professional and philanthropic roles they serve that make a difference throughout our community.
I am thrilled to get the opportunity to honor these three great members. Thanks to all of the attendees. We hope you found the revamped event to be a fulfilling experience.
Jason Smith, CEcD President & CEO