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Daily News Editorial – Community leaders

By Staff | Jan 23, 2008

Business Person and Citizen of the Year great choices

The choices couldn’t have been better when the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce selected Bill Bumgarner as Business Person of the Year and John Wittneben as Citizen of the Year.

Bumgarner, CEO of Avera Holy Family Health, has overseen the greatest growth for the hospital in living memory. Thanks to his guidance and vision, Avera Holy Family Health now stands at the forefront in technology as part of the Avera hospital network.

One only needs to think of the changes over the past few years to see the improvements to patient care, from the newly remodeled clinic and lobby to the Women’s Center. The eICU unit gives patients instant access to the best specialists in their fields.

Bumgarner’s community service extends far beyond the confines of Avera, though. He has also helped lead the community through his work with Excel! Estherville, the community strategic plan. He has also served on many other committees and organizations throughout the community.

John Wittneben, owner of Wittneben Surveying, was recognized as Citizen for the Year for his tireless service in many organizations — the Estherville Rotary, Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Friends of Fort Defiance, to name a few.

Wittneben has remarked that, as a professional surveyor, he has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States. However, after having seen what it’s like ‘out there’, he returned to his hometown to make it better.

As Rotary president, Wittneben was very instrumental in organizing an auction to help raise funds for worthy causes. As a chamber member, he has worked diligently in the annual Fourth of July Flight Breakfast. And, as a member of the Friends of Fort Defiance, he has lifted more than his share of shovels in building the new Spring Creek trail from the native prairie area to School Creek.

Great choices! These guys would be hard to top!