Prior Lake Chamber business and businessperson of the year 2019

Dr. Suzan Ekim (left), Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce President Sandi Fleck (center) and chamber board member Bill Corby (right) pose for a photo during the chamber’s Jan. 16 member meeting. Ekim Orthodontics and Corby were named the chamber’s 2019 business and businessperson of the year.

An orthodontics practice and an integral volunteer at Lakefront Days are the Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 business and businessperson of the year.

The chamber recognized Ekim Orthodontics and Prior Lake resident Bill Corby during the annual chamber membership meeting Jan. 16.

Dr. Suzan Ekim heads a team of orthodontic and dental assistants at the practice’s two offices in Prior Lake and Burnsville.

“Honestly these people show up everyday with the culture in mind of caring for the patient as a whole and the team as a whole, and that’s why we do what we do so well,” Ekim said. “I’m so grateful that it gets recognized in this manner.”

Ekim Orthodonics joined the chamber in July 2009. Chamber Chairwoman Christy McCoy said the entire office is always quick to show their community support.

When Lakefront Days was canceled for inclement weather in 2018, Ekim staff marched through the lightning and rain as a parade of one in the practice’s parking lot on the corner of Dakota Street and Erie Avenue downtown, for example.

“Making lemonade out of lemons, as people would say,” McCoy said.

Corby is also a constant of Lakefront Days, serving as both the 2018 and 2019 co-chairman. Chamber members said Corby worked tirelessly last year to figure out how to make a stationary parade work, spray painting dozens of space sticks as guidelines for participants.

McCoy said Corby was someone she could always count on, dependable no matter the job.

“If there was a position that no one wanted, Bill Corby would do it,” McCoy said.

Corby joined the chamber in October 2015 as the branch manager of the Prior Lake office of Tri County Water Conditioning. He was also a member of the 2019 Chamber Board of Directors.

Before coming to Prior Lake, Corby was president of both the Burnsville and Hutchinson chambers of commerce.

As he stood before more than 100 attendees, Corby talked about how the award is a reflection on the community, not his work alone. He called up the year’s other 11 nominees and said he refused to say he had beaten the others in some way.

“I’m fortunate to receive this recognition,” Corby said. “If I wanted a team behind me, these are the kind of people I would want to have.”

The annual meeting also marked the beginning of the chamber’s 50th year, a milestone chamber members plan to commemorate throughout 2020. The meeting’s “dessert dash” fundraiser raised $1,200 for the chamber’s semicentennial fund.


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