Two local community organizations are planning alternative annual meetings due to COVID-19 concerns.

Typically the Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau, along with the Hiawatha Foundation for Economic Development hold annual meetings in the month of January or early February to celebrate a successful year and toast in the new year, along with new board members.

Due to concerns over gatherings, both entities have announced changes to this year’s meetings.

Sarah Kleopfer, administrator of the HCVB, said the board decided to postpone the Annual Meeting until late spring or early summer – when the weather is better for an outdoors open house-mixer.

The HCVB also awards the Business, Organization and Volunteer of the Year.

Nominations for this are taken by community members and voted on by Chamber members on their social media platforms. Typically, the winners are recognized at the Annual Meeting and Dinner. This year, the awards will still be given out this month, and the recipients honored at the event later in the year.

Watch the HCVB Facebook page for upcoming information on nominating a business, organization or volunteer for this award.

As usual, this is also the time membership renewals go out and Kleopfer said she is busy working on those. Anyone interested in obtaining membership information can contact the Chamber at hiawathachamber@rainbowtel.net or call 742-7136.

HFED Director Mikaela Moore said the organization is planning a brief annual meeting, via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 for conducting annual business only.

She said there will not be any featured speaker this year, due to the change.

“Prior to the annual meeting, we will be asking membership to vote on 2021 new board members electronically, as well as vote whether or not to approve the 2020 minutes electronically,” she said.

New board members will be announced at the meeting in order to record for the minutes. There will also be a presentation of the annual report, along with a brief update on 2020 accomplishments. We will provide the zoom link to membership prior and Moore said if anyone else is interested in a Zoom link to contact her.

Membership letters and invoices will be mailed out, Moore said. Anyone interested in joining can contact her.

Contact Moore at the HFED office at hfedoffice1@gmail.com or call 740-4333 for information about the Hiawatha Foundation for Economic Development.

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