WAUSAU –The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce will mark the start of a new program year with its 106th annual dinner in September.

The event, with keynote speaker Mike Nichols, president of the Badger Institute in Madison, will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild. This event is open to both chamber members and non-members.

“Looking ahead to 2018-2019, the chamber, along with partner stakeholders, will lead the region forward as a new economic development plan is built and executed, while continuing to serve as the unique connecting piece for the community between business, education, government and nonprofits.” said Dave Eckmann, president/CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, in a chamber news release.

Nichols will discuss the importance of free markets and the state of Wisconsin’s labor force, among other topics. Nichols previously served as a senior fellow at the institute and worked as a syndicated newspaper columnist and communications consultant.

Additionally, the event will include the introduction of the chamber’s new chairperson, Jeannie Worden of Northcentral Technical College, and members of the chamber’s board of directors.

It will recognize the outgoing chairperson, Cory Heckendorf of Wisconsin Kenworth.

It will announce the Ambassador of the Year Award.

And it will include the announcement of the recipient of the Ruder Ware Innovator Award.

The Ruder Ware Innovator Award in Memory of G. Lane Ware was established in 2015 by Ruder Ware. Ware was a distinguished attorney and consummate professional with a sincere drive to make the Wausau community a better place for life and for business.

The cost for the event is $35 for members and $50 for non-members and includes a meal. Reserved tables of eight are available for $280. If you are interested in attending, register online.