The Nixa Chamber of Commerce recognized some of its most dedicated members and the rising stars of the business community with "the Nixies."

The chamber presented its yearly awards Jan. 17, at the 2020 Nixa Chamber of Commerce Gala at Greenhouse Two Rivers in Highlandville. The city of Nixa sponsored the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award, which went to Insight Design Architects (IDeA).

“This gives us the opportunity to recognize a business that has done great things for the chamber and for the entire community,” Nixa City Administrator Jimmy Liles said. “Partners Nate Rapp and Eric Albers have built Insight Design Architects into a successful business that has become an integral part of our community.”

Liles notes that IDeA’s work can be seen around Nixa and around the country. The firm’s most famous project is the refurbishing of the Bass Pro Shops pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. Once a multi-purpose arena, the pyramid reopened in 2015 as a “megastore” with a hotel, restaurants, entertainment and more than 600,000 gallons of water features and aquariums inside.

Albers is also a key player in the Nixa Downtown Revitalization Committee, a group that organizes special events such as Creepin’ at the Crossroads at Halloween, and helps put on Nixa Sucker Days.

“I’m from this area and I used to come to some of the events in the downtown area of Nixa when I was younger. I would love to see the vitality of that area be brought back up to where it used to be,” Albers said in a prior interview.

Nixa Chamber Board of Directors member Tony Manasseri of Prudential Financial presented the Large Business of the Year Award, which went to Air Services Heating and Cooling and All Services Plumbing.

Manasseri explained that a business needed to have 20 or more employees to be considered for the large business category.

“We don’t have many large businesses in Nixa,” Manasseri said. “The chamber is working hard with the city of Nixa and the county development program to grow our small businesses and to hold new large businesses in the future, so maybe in a few years we’re going to have a few more nominations for this award.”

Air Services staff members have been active regularly at monthly chamber meetings and events and at special events like the chamber golf tournament and the Nixa luncheon for new teachers at Nixa Public Schools.

“This business has brought their A-game and has helped our chamber and its members,” Manasseri said. “I’m also impressed by their commitment to creating valuable jobs in the Nixa area, their training laboratory that will help give classroom and practical education for their tradesmen and -women that need to succeed, and their ongoing exemplary customer service.”

The Nixa chamber’s Individual Member of the Year Award winner is Summer Lampe of Xtreme Exteriors. Lampe has been a mainstay in the Nixa business community for several years and volunteers at almost all of the organization’s events.

Xtreme Exteriors had an employee recognized with the Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award, which went to Christine Ferguson.

The chamber also named an Ambassador of the Year Award winner, Delores “Dee” Albers of Delores Albers Photography.

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