Amanda Griesheimer

The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce will announce its second class of Outstanding Young Professionals next month.

New member recognition awards also will be presented at the same time.

The 2014 Class of Outstanding Young Professionals and award recipients will be announced at the annual member luncheon Monday, Sept. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, lower level.

This is the second year for the luncheon, which has been expanded to include the four new member awards, according to Amanda Griesheimer, marketing director.

“This new program serves to highlight members setting a great example, either by their business practices or contributions to the community,” Griesheimer said. “Our hope is that other members will be energized to do the same and new ideas and improvements will continue to emerge.”

The top three entries in each category will be on display at the luncheon, creating a “learning center” for members, she noted.

Four categories will be judged: Best Overall Marketing Campaign, Best Website, Best Special Event, such as a fundraiser or customer appreciation, and the Impact Award for best community service activity/efforts.

Chamber members are encouraged to enter any and all categories, Griesheimer said.

“The idea for the awards came from the international fair convention we attend each year in Las Vegas,” she said. “We decided to do something similar, but on a much smaller scale, for our Chamber members because so many of them are doing great things and we want to recognize them.”

Griesheimer said she expects numerous entries for each category. Various Chamber committees will be involved in selecting the winners.

Entries will be accepted at the Chamber office through Aug. 29, 2014. Nominations for Outstanding Young Professionals also are due by Aug. 29.

Nomination forms and rules for both can be found on the Chamber website.

Young Professionals

Griesheimer said the young professionals awards program is presented by the Chamber and The Missourian.

A selection committee comprised of two Missourian representatives and three from the Chamber’s public relations committee will review the nominations.

Last year, a total of 13 young professionals were honored.

“Initially, we planned to have a class of 10, but then we had 13 entries and all of them were worthy so we decided to recognize all of them,” Griesheimer said. “We haven’t determined how large the class will be this year.”

Griesheimer said the Chamber also formed a young professionals group last year, separate from the awards program. She said many of the honorees were part of the group and she hopes that happens again.

“We would like to do more with the young professionals group in the coming year and give them more opportunities to plan and organize events,” she said.

The Chamber will soon be sending out invitations to the luncheon to all members. Reservations will be due Sept. 12