Thu. May 23rd, 2024


Numerous People Honored During Annual LORDEC Awards Dinner

Several businesses and individuals are recently recognized during the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council’s 2023 annual dinner.

They include, among others…

  • Brice Lake from Save-A-Lot in Versailles, as the Small Business Partner of the Year;
  • The Central Ozarks Medical Center at the Large Business Partner of the Year;
  • The Lake Space Coworking Lounge as Emerging Venture of the Year;
  • Amanda Hayes as the Business Person of the Year;
  • The Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Government as the Non-Profit Partner of the Year;
  • and KC Cloke as the Employee of the Year.

The 2023 Board of Directors and Officers were also named during the meeting.

LOREDC President K.C. Cloke says the focus for this year is to implement a newly adopted Strategic Plan.

The plan is geared toward retaining and recruiting additional businesses while, at the same time, supporting efforts to extend regional appeal to visitors and tourists who will patronize those businesses.

LOREDC was established 18 years ago.


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The annual meeting of the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council (LOREDC) was held on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at the Inn at Grand Glaize in Osage Beach, MO.  The informative program reviewed the group’s updates from the past year and presented areas of concentration in the coming year for economic development. This year’s focus will be implementing the newly adopted Strategic Plan which encompasses efforts to retain and recruit business, integrate entrepreneurial development, support efforts to extend regional visitor and tourist appeal for new and growing businesses, and support strong post-secondary and special industry trainings to help meet workforce needs.

For 18 years LOREDC has been recognizing outstanding businesses and community leaders in our tri-county region at their annual meeting.  To date LOREDC has had the opportunity to award 66 deserving businesses and persons as well as recognize many additional commendable nominees.

The 2022 LOREDC Award Recipients were presented to the following:

The Small Business Partner of the Year was presented to Brice Lake with Save-A-Lot (Versailles).  Brice Lake’s nomination for Small Business Partner of the Year included details on how he has spearheaded efforts to revitalize the economic development corporation in his hometown as well as highlighted his involvement with LOREDC for the past four years which successfully lead Morgan County to being the first in the tri-county (Camden, Miller, and Morgan) regional efforts of becoming a Certified Work Ready Community.

The Large Business Partner of the Year was presented to Central Ozarks Medical Center (COMC).  In the span of just a few short years, Central Ozarks Medical Center (COMC) has rapidly expanded their footprint in our community through new facility locations,  outreach programs, services, and community involvement.  A few specific commendable efforts noted during the awards ceremony included their effort to combat drug overdoses in the community by providing Narcan dispensers free of charge as well as providing their high-end Mobile Medical Unit free of charge to many lake area events.

The Emerging Venture of the Year was presented to Lake Space Coworking Lounge.  Established in early 2022 by lake locals Mike and Chelsey Cisar (owners of The Exchange Venue in downtown Camdenton), this innovative facility provides members with secure and exclusive access to an open-concept coworking lounge. Members simply walk in, grab a table, log on to their member-only wifi and enjoy lightning-fast internet, use of conference facilities, and unlimited coffee and tea refills. Plus their open concept allows for some great networking and peer based support. Lake Space was not able to attend the January 26th event therefore the Award Presentation took place on February 1st at their facility in downtown Camdenton.

The Business Person of the Year was presented to Amanda Hayes, Hayes Construction  – Community Focused best describes Amanda Hayes with her recognition as Business Person for the Year.  Amanda not only manages the family business (Hayes Construction) but is also heavily involved in a number of organizations including but not limited to the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce (where she serves as Vice President and Chair of the Lake of the Ozarks Air Show) as well as the Boy Scouts of America- Great Rivers Council. Hayes Construction is a recognized  sponsor at various events, but Amanda’s dedication to the community through volunteering for various groups and events is unwavering.

The Non-Profit Partner of the Year was presented to the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Government (LOCLG). The Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Government is the Regional Planning Commission that serves the four counties of Camden, Laclede, Miller, and Morgan. Working with federal and state agencies, LOCLG provides coordination and technical support to local jurisdictions. With a wide variety of projects and support available, they offer our communities the expertise in areas of planning, grant writing, and technical assistance. Their team has experienced numerous changes over the past 2 years and during this time, the employees have continued to provide LOREDC and surrounding communities exceptional service.

The Employee  of the Year was presented to K.C. Cloke. K.C. Cloke is known throughout lake community for her 7+ years serving in the Chamber of Commerce Executive Director capacity (previously at the Lake Area Chamber and currently at the Camdenton Area Chamber). Aside from serving as LOREDC’s Vice President, and Co-Chiar of the Workforce Committee, K.C. also serves on other various organizational boards including the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council, the LCTC Student & Community Partnerships Advisory Board, the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Government, the Camden County Ag & Youth Enrichment Council, and the Camden County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Comments shared during the award ceremony identified K.C. as a “Public Servant” and also shared that she “is always looking out for the best of the whole Lake Region”.

Other business presented at the meeting included the approval of the slate of candidates to fulfill the open Board positions which consisted of LOREDC members K.C. Cloke (elected for another term), LuAnn Lowe (newly elected, replaced outgoing Board Member Erin Rohwer), and Tabitha Thompson (newly elected, replaced outgoing Board Member Amy Jackson). The Board of Directors also met immediately following the annual meeting to establish the new officer positions.

The 2023 Board of Directors and Officers are K.C. Cloke, President (Camdenton Chamber of Commerce); Harrison Fry, Vice-President (City of Lake Ozark); Jeana Woods, Treasurer (City of Osage Beach), Heather Brown, (Lake of the Ozarks CVB); Steven Dust (Waterfront Corporate Services); Mike Koenigsman (Lake West Chamber of Commerce); LuAnn Lowe (Eldon Chamber of Commerce), and Tabitha Thompson (State Fair Community College).

To learn more about the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council (LOREDC) and how to get involved, visit LOREDC.com. The council meets the third Thursday of each month at various locations within the three counties it serves. The next LOREDC meeting will be taking place on Thursday, February 16th at 1pm at Brew Brothers Coffee in Eldon, MO. Subscribe to their mailing list at LOREDC.com to receive future meeting notices. There is currently one vacant Board of Directors seat to which the Board intend to fill within the next program month; any interested members are encouraged to reach out to a current Board Member with interest. There will be abundant opportunities to get further engaged as the Board will be looking to fulfill many committee member positions in the coming months, please connect with a Board Member if you’d like to learn more.


# Photos Provided


Reporter Mike Anthony