For Karla and Chad Munns, running a business is a family affair.
As the recipients of the Box Elder Chamber of Commerce’s Medium-sized Business of the Year Award for 2019, the owners of Bear River Bowling Center and The Grille restaurant in Tremonton were the ones to stand and receive the award at a ceremony last week. But much like the others who received awards, Karla and Chad deflected the credit from themselves.
“All six of our kids and their spouses over the years have stepped up and helped build it,” Karla Munns said.
When Karla and Chad accepted a call two years ago to serve an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, their youngest son, Jordan, then just 20 years old, stepped up to take the reins in their absence.
“He learned how to cook and how to manage, and how to do all sorts of things,” Karla said. “He went through the school of hard knocks while we were gone, and we appreciate him doing a great job.”
The Chamber held its 2019 awards banquet last Friday, Jan. 24 at the county fairgrounds event center. The annual banquet featured silent and live auctions, a catered dinner, and a chance for the organization to celebrate its growth and success over the years.
Of course, the main event was to recognize individuals and businesses throughout the county who were voted by other Chamber members to receive the various awards given out.
“Sometimes we wonder why we do certain things, and I think that right there is exactly why we do this,” outgoing Chamber President Brandon Broadhead said in front of a packed house on Friday night. “It’s why we put forth the effort and organize these great events to recognize these people so the community knows. I think it makes us all want to do a little better every time we hear about these businesses and people who try to make this community better.”
The Businessperson of the Year award went to Micah Capener, a Tremonton real estate developer and longtime member of the Chamber, going back to when it was split into two groups covering the northern and southern parts of the county.
Like the others, Capener thanked his family and staff as he received the award.
“It feels like my staff and all the people who I work with should be getting this award, not me,” he said. “I’m so grateful for my wife and my family for their support.”
Capener said it was fitting for him that the awards ceremony was held at the fairgrounds, as he traces his start as a businessman to when he was a kid selling a bucket calf at the county fair.
“This is kind of where my entrepreneurial spirit was born,” he said.
Zach LeFevre, Tremonton City’s recreation coordinator, received the Board Member of the Year Award.
“He’s a man of many talents and a great asset for us to have,” Broadhead said.
LeFevre didn’t give a speech, as he was busy coordinating the music for the evening. He chose songs specific to each award winner as they were introduced, playing The Cowsills’ “The Rain, the Park & Other Things” (commonly known as “Flower Girl”) when Drewes Floral & Gift was announced, and “Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovic when Kent’s Market stepped up for its award, drawing laughs from the crowd with each turn.
Kent’s Market’s Tremonton store received the Large Business of the Year Award, and store director Layne Julander was on hand to receive the honor, again deflecting credit away from himself.
“It really is an award for our entire company and the things they do in the community,” Julander said. “I’ve had the good fortune of working with some great managers that just make my job look easy. They step up, and I just have to walk around and take some of the pats on the back that they don’t always get for the things they do. I tried to get a few of them to come tonight, and true to what their form is, they just wanted to kind of stay out of the limelight and just do their jobs.”
The Chamber’s highest individual honor, the Total Citizen of the Year award, went to Susan Poulsen, who runs Six Acts Soup Kitchen in Brigham City.
Poulsen used her time at the podium to encourage those in attendance to help organize a community-wide Thanksgiving dinner for everyone.
“We would like to call upon you, the members of our loving community, to make this possible,” she said. “Compassion and gratitude have no limits, and with your help, we can make sure it reaches everyone.”
Others receiving awards at the banquet included Ross Stanton of Zions Bank, Ambassador of the Year; Witt’s Water Works, Home-based Business of the Year; and Drewe’s Floral and Gift, Small Business of the Year.
Kelly Driscoll, owner of Drewe’s Floral & Gift, said he’s seen a lot of growth in his 30-plus years of involvement with the Chamber, as evidenced by the crowd at the banquet.
“I’ve seen it grow from 10 tables to now we’re at 37 or more tables, so thank you everybody for supporting the Chamber over these many years,” Driscoll said.