Chamber celebrates success, including Skol event

Staff photo by Fritz Busch New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce Directors who were honored at the annual meeting Jan. 19 include, from left, Heather Braimbridge-Cox, of Windings; 2017-18 Board chairman Mike Wise, Thriveon; Brian Shropshire, Citizens Bank, and Chamber CEO Audra Shaneman. Not pictured, Eric Bode, BoCo Real Estate and Candas Schouvieller, Oak Hills Living Center.

NEW ULM — Hermann was the talk of the evening Friday at the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Banquet Friday night at the Best Western Plus in New Ulm.

In the video, Hermann (Bryce Boelter) loudly shouts “New Ulm loves the Minnesota Vikings,” at the base of the Hermann Monument at a community Skol Chant Friday.

More than 300 people dressed in purple and white Viking gear cheer and chant “Skol” in unison as Boelter pounds on a large base drum.

The raucous crowd continues to shout “Skol” as Boelter pounds on the drum. Then Boelter and the crowd cheer loudly as a drone rises above the Hermann Monument, creating the video recording that hit the Internet late in the afternoon.

The video quickly had more than 30,000 views from feeds on Facebook, YouTube and several Minnesota television stations. It was the talk of the Chamber banquet that evening.

“Less than two days ago, a person called us about creating the video. We quickly met, talked about it and thanks to a lot of partnerships and volunteer help, we did an amazing video at Hermann Heights Park,” said New Ulm Area Commerce CEO Audra Shaneman. “We pulled it off in less than 48 hours.”

Shaneman said the Skol Chant event could not have happened without help from The Journal, KNUJ Radio, the bass drum from Cathedral High School, the New Ulm Park & Recreation Dept., Martin Luther College and other volunteers.

Shaneman said the Internet has been a boon for the Chamber with more than 500,000 online views and more than 10,000 Facebook views of the Chamber website over the past year.

“Social media has been big for us,” Shaneman said.

Bryce Boelter said he felt fortunate to be able to be part of the Skol Chant in New Ulm.

“We’ve so fortunate to be in New Ulm where so many people are willing to volunteer to make things happen,” Boelter said. “Everybody wants to help out here. This is such a positive thing at a time when so many things are not always positive right now. I’m so proud to be a part of this wonderful thing.”

Incoming Chamber Board Chairman Mike Wise of Thriveon thanked Chamber members, volunteers and his family for their support including allowing him to accept the new chamber position.

“My family may get tired at times of my attention to detail,” Wise said. “Why does the Chamber exist? To help organizations grow and solve common problems. When we collaborate resources for the greater good, we can accomplish many great things.”

Wise said developing leadership assures the business community that there is a voice that will be heard.

“We already have more than 100 people doing lots of volunteer work for the Chamber,” Wise said. “I encourage you to get involved.”