Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau recently announced the winners of the 2018 Community Awards.

Business of the Year: The Y in Hastings

The YMCA in Hastings touches more than 10,000 people each year through programs and memberships. The recent expansion helped the Y continue to reinvest in the services and people that give back to the Hastings community.

The YMCA was chosen as Business of the Year for several reasons. They are a leader in youth development with one of the largest Youth in Government programs in the state and a summer camp that serves 1,700 kids. The Y provides quality of life amenities that contribute to community growth and as one of Hastings larger employers, also collaborates with many local organizations to promote healthy living.

Educator of the Year: Jennifer Herber

Jennifer Herber is a sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Hastings Middle School. Integrity, honesty and ethics are a few of the words used to describe her by people who nominated her for the award.

Herber sets an example by building strong relationships with her students to ensure individual growth. She was recently awarded the Teacher of Excellence award for District 200 at the 2017 TIES Education Technology Conference.

According to the chamber's awards announcement, Herber is a consistent and compassionate educator who is constantly looking for ways to improve her craft for the sake of her students.

Volunteer of the Year: Tatia Nelson

The chamber notes that Tatia Nelson is an expert in bringing visitors to Hastings.

"(She) knows shopping local keeps money local which adds to community growth and overall vibrancy," according to the award announcement in a chamber newsletter.

In addition to running the downtown bar and restaurant, The Busted Nut, Nelson spends many hours volunteering. She volunteers for some of Hastings most popular events including Rivertown Days, the Holiday Hoopla, Downtown Cruise-ins and more. She has also served in leadership roles on the Downtown Business Association and on the Chamber Board of Directors for six years.