Business professionals gathered on Wednesday night to honor their peers at the annual Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year awards.
Prior Lake Rental took Business of the Year honors, with owner Matt Underferth accepting the award. The store began as A to Z Rental in Burnsville, operated by Matt’s parents Bob and Susan, in 1979. They opened in Prior Lake in 1987 as a small rental store and lawn and garden retailer. Wedding rentals followed, and the company now has more than 150 tent rentals per year as well as tables, chairs and even moving trailers.
Chamber Director Sandi Fleck said Prior Lake Rental is “a huge part” of the Chamber’s many events, including Lakefront Days, Fall Community Fest, Downtown Dazzle and others. The business also hands out the Dick Underferth Humanitarian scholarship award each year. Matt and sister Debbie operate the business with nine full-time employees and four part-timers.
The award for Business Person of the Year went to Gary Meyer of KleinBank (previously Prior Lake State Bank). Meyer has been on the Chamber board since 2009 and was president in both 2011 and 2014.
Chamber President Ed Speiker praised Meyer’s “caring and tireless effort towards the success of the Prior Lake Chamber.
“He worked with me so I could understand the responsibilities Chamber members, board members and Chamber officers have. He has worked with various Chamber presidents and multiple board members to assist and educate,” Speiker said.
Meyer also was key in boosting Chamber membership to more than 400, he said.