Woodbury Chamber Announces Citizen, Business, Educator of the Year

The winners will be honored at an upcoming gala.

The Woodbury Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday announced its 2012 Educator, Citizen and Business of the year.

The winners will be honored at the chamber’s upcoming gala, set for 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the Prom Center in Oakdale. The event is co-sponsored by HealthEast Care Systems and Summit Orthopedics.


The 2012 Citizen of the Year is Dwight Picha, community development director for the city of Woodbury.

Jan. 1, 2013, will mark 36 years in that capacity for the city, Picha told Patch on Tuesday. When he was first hired, Woodbury had a population of about 8,000; it has since grown to about 64,000.

“It’s been an exciting adventure seeing the city grow and develop as it has,” he said.

Picha is a member of the Woodbury Lions Club and a past president of the civic group. He has also been involved with the Woodbury Athletic Association, coaching soccer and softball.

Picha has lived in Woodbury for the past 36 years, and called the city “a great place to work and live.”

The Woodbury Heritage Society, on its website, notes Picha’s efforts to help establish the Heritage House:

“Woodbury Community Development Director Dwight Picha recognized that one of the farm buildings was a good example of the structures built in the earliest days of Woodbury’s settlement and was worthy of preservation.  He initiated a cooperative effort with the developer, who agreed to donate the building to the city.”

Chamber officials called Picha last week to give him the news.

“I was very excited and humbled by it,” he said.


The 2012 Educator of the Year is Brent Comeau, band director at Woodbury High School.  

       Related: Woodbury High School’s Brent Comeau Named 2012 Educator of the Year

In a release from District 833, teachers who nomiated him noted Comeau’s unique relationships with students: “There is not another course offed at Woodbury High School where a teacher could have the same students every trimester for all four years. A situation like this is very unique with the music classes. This provides a rare opportunity for a teacher, such as Mr. Comeau, to develop a strong relationship with his students, earning their trust and respect for him.”


The 2012 Business of the Year is Express Employment Professionals, which provides “quality staffing services and human resource solutions to medium-sized business around the globe,” according to its website.


People can register for the gala by contacting the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce office at 651-578-0722 or online at its website. Formal invitations will be mailed in early January. 

“The whole community is invited to attend this grand fundraiser that bolsters Chamber program offerings to support business in Woodbury,” reads a release from the chamber.

Organizers are seeking silent auction items from area businesses and residents, including products, themed gift baskets, gift cards, certificates for services, time shares, creative theme parties, etc. All donors will be recognized for their contributions. 

To donate an item, e-mail Lindsay Nelson at chamber@woodburychamber.org.

The event will also feature video from Carlini Entertainment.


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Michele Sullivan Design December 19, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Congratulations to all!!!
Kris Janisch December 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Just so everyone knows, I did put in a call to the owner of Express, but it sounded like she was in and out of the office this week.


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