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Tea Chamber for Development Meeting: Squealer’s Smoke Shack named 2022 Business of the Year

The Tea Chamber for Development held their 2022 Annual Meeting on January 18 at the Prairie View Events Hall, with guest speaker Holly Hoffman, a motivational speaker from Survivor. The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors Reliabank, I29 RV, Marine & Outdoor, HDR, and NorthWestern Energy.

During the event, the Chamber welcomed two new members to the board of directors, Edward Jones-Financial Advisor Casey Jorgensen and Amy from I29 RV, Marine & Outdoor.

The 2022 Business of the Year award went to Squealer’s Smoke Shack, a restaurant on the Tea corridor that is known for its locally sourced ingredients and strong community involvement. The owners are often seen helping with any job that needs to be done, making Squealer’s a hub for many local events and fundraisers. The nomination stated “Squealers is as local as it gets with their great food, staff, and positive involvement in the Tea community.” The Kuiper family was honored to accept the award.

Former mayor John Lawler was honored with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his 20 years of dedicated service to the community of Tea. As a city councilman and then mayor, Lawler has been instrumental in the growth and development of the community from a small town to a sustainable city. Lawler began serving the community of Tea in 2002 and saw the population grow from 1,800 to over 5,000 and was describ

ed as a leader whose legacy will last forever.

Kristen Daggett was named the 2022 Community Person of the Year. She is described as an “Energizer Bunny” and “longtime community Dynamo,” who has given countless hours of her time and energy to the betterment of the community, serving as the President of the Tea Area School Board, Chair of the Veteran’s Day Committee, organizer of the Turkey Supper, a leader in tLINK, volunteer at Trinity Lutheran Church and also with other various organizations. Daggett helped lead the Tea Area School District in the passing of a $39 million bond, doubling the size of the high school. She has also been a part of boards that have built 78 elementary classrooms in the past ten years. In addition to the bond work with the school district in 2022, Daggett put in countless hours organizing, fundraising, spearheading, and supporting the new Veterans Memorial in Tea.

The Annual Meeting was made even more memorable with the delicious food provided by At the Table Church. Overall, the event was a celebration of the achievements of the Tea community and a tribute to its dedicated leaders and supporters.


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