Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 25

ANNUAL VHEDC DINNER AND BUSINESS AWARDS T he Annual VHEDC Dinner is a culmination of a year’s worth of collaboration, hard work and connecting with area businesses. A sold-out audience filled the Vadnais Heights Commons November 14, 2017 to celebrate the year and honor the Awards’ recipients: Innovize, Fairway Collision and Automotive, MGC Diagnostics, SCHWING America, Mold Craft, Du Fresne Manufacturing and Specialty Mfg. Co. The event included a keynote speech – “What Makes Teams Great” – by Matt Birk, former Minnesota Viking, Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowler. Birk, a St. Paul native, earned a degree in Economics from Harvard University. While playing for the Harvard Crimson football team, he received several football honors. He was selected by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 draft. Birk spent 11 seasons with the Vikings and four more with the Baltimore Ravens; the six-time Pro Bowl Center retired from the NFL in 2013. He speaks to organizations across the country about the value of true inspiration, lasting leadership principles, the dynamics of teamwork and fulfilling potential. Every attendee of the VHEDC Awards Dinner received a copy of Birk’s book, “All-Pro Wisdom: The 7 Choices that Lead to Greatness,” which he autographed afterwards. Ling Becker, VHEDC Executive Director, says, “It was a tremendous night celebrating the vitality of the business community. Our businesses are investing locally; they not only care about their own bottom lines and profits, but they also care about the success of other businesses in the area. This connectivity – this energy – of businesses with the community and with other area partners drives everyone toward success. Our dinner celebrates a year of hard work, and it’s also a warm-hearted ‘thank you’ to our business community for making everyone – including the larger community – better.” 25