This year we are adding a new award to our group of awards. It will be A Very Special Award, and I guess that is what we will call it for the moment. The idea is that this will not be given out on an annual basis but on an as-needed basis. Or on an as earned basis. Being a Very Special Award, it will not be given out frequently.
This year our Award is going to a founding member of the Chamber. It has been said before that he is the Founding Member of our Chamber. His wisdom and intellect and dedication to our town and community have helped shape this organization and its members. With his help, we have united and supported many businesses in our community and created a bond with the town. He is a remarkable man. He has traveled a long way to end up in our midst, and it is our good fortune that he made this journey. His journey began as a veterinarian. And then as an administrator and Hospital Director. And then a cook/barista. He still makes a damn good cup of coffee. (And pie!)
In 2005 a handful of us began to discuss and plan the formation of this organization. I can remember sitting across from him in a meeting of another business group and hearing him whisper: “I can fix this.” It took a while, almost a year, and a couple of years more to fine-tune all the processes, but I think his vision has been realized. We have a diverse group of businesses working together for our mutual good and the good of our town and community. We are here today largely because of him. We are his legacy.
He will be retiring from our BOD in a few months. We will miss his wisdom and gentle persuasion. And common sense. But I am sure that he will always be available for a chat and cup of coffee or perhaps a gentile kick when we need it. He is no less than the Father of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce. We are so fortunate to know him and call him our good friend.
Another friend said it so well, “What I love about Wendell is "wherever the Chamber is-- Wendell is there"! This highly educated talented man gives of himself with such selfless dedication that it is only right that we honor him and his legacy with this Very Special Award which we name after him. -The Nelson Award.