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Put a pin in it: Humboldt chamber suspends 2022 Mark of Excellence awards

Nominees will still be recognized for their achievement by the chamber in late March
Humboldt Mark of Exellence Nominee
The Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce is suspending the Mark of Excellence for 2022 because of an inadequate number of nominations.

HUMBOLDT — Due to not getting enough nominations, the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce is suspending the Mark of Excellence awards for 2022 and making plans for a revamped 2023 edition.

“We didn't get a robust number of applicants or nominees this year,” said Brent Fitzpatrick, the chamber’s executive director. “Rather than not have it succeed, we would rather just put a pin in it for this year.”

Fitzpatrick said the decision was the result of a great deal of thought and planning from the chamber’s public relations committee.

In 2020, in-person events for the Mark of Excellence were cancelled and it was moved to a digital format. In 2021, the chamber opted to make the event 100 per cent virtual. The goal for 2022 was to return to form with an in-person ceremony. 

Fitzpatrick said there were multiple reasons for the reduced number of nominations, saying it’s been harder to reach out to people and that business owners were focused on other concerns on their plate in the last few years. 

Those that were nominated this year will still be recognized, with the chamber’s board of directors planning to present them custom artwork by Elaina Adams and a gourmet food tray from the Bella Vista in late March. The nominations will be retained for the 2023 event.

“2023 will bring substantive changes to the Mark of Excellence awards and we look forward to sharing those with you,” Fitzpatrick said, adding later that the chamber will look at the event and determine how to make it better.

As an event, the Mark of Excellence hasn’t run its course, Fitzpatrick said. He said that people can look around town and see which businesses have been nominated and have won because they have their plaques displayed where the public can easily see them.

“I've even heard of businesses delaying advertising to make sure that they put in there: ‘we were a winner of the Mark of Excellence,’” he said.

“The Mark of Excellence for the community, for the businesses is a big deal. I still believe that it's a big deal. Our board still believes that it's a big deal. We just have to figure out how to make it a better deal.”