By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
The Boyne Area Chamber ofCommerce honored the area’s best and brightest in business and beyond duringits annual awards banquet.
The big event, which was heldon Thursday Jan. 19 at Boyne Mountain, was kicked off with a few words by presenting sponsor Randy Flinn of Korthase-Flinn Insurance.
“I get an opportunity becauseof our multiple offices to participate in events, boards and functions in manyof the communities around here and in November, as a part of the PetoskeyChamber of Commerce Board, I was part of the strategic planning and one of thethings that we chose to do as part of that strategic planning process wassurvey our members and survey the business community in Petoskey in terms ofour planning,” Flinn said. “One of the questions was what can the PetoskeyChamber of Commerce do differently. And, out of the 10 people that I was incharge of calling and surveying, three of them said – unbeknownst to myinvolvement with the Boyne City Chamber – ‘You know, I’d like to see thePetoskey chamber be more like the Boyne City chamber.’”
He added, “I quizzed them alittle bit and they said, ‘You guys at the Petoskey Chamber seem to be focusedon the tourist industry at the exclusion of everything else and you seem to befocused on the gas light district – why didn’t we get Precision Edge? Why don’twe have Kirtland Products? Why don’t we have more going on in Petoskey thanjust tourism and downtown?’ And it just brought home to me the whole communityin Boyne City and how everybody pulls together, whether the focus is ontourism, whether the focus is on growth in some other area, whether it’seducation, whether it’s manufacturing.” Flinn said there always seems to be interest and involvement and an overallopenness to other people’s ideas and opinions.
“It’s just such a warmcommunity and such a well-rounded community, and I know that comes back to notjust the chamber director and the chamber board members, it’s the entirecommunity and the way people look at themselves and the community they’re apart of and how progressive people are,” he said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed andit doesn’t happen by accident. It happens through a lot of hard work by a lotof people and I’m just happy to be here and proud to be a part of it.”
Volunteer of the Year Awardhonorable mentions were Chuck Vondra, Gail Fox, Linn Williams and ScottMacKenzie with this year’s award winner being Cindi Malin of CindiFranco’s CoolStuff.
“I just have an idea buteveryone helps make it happen,” Malin said.
The Community Pride Award wentto The 4th of July Festival Committee. Accepting the award was Liz Kroondyk,the committee’s co-chair.
Honorable mentions includedBoyne Valley Lions, Morel Mushroom Festival Committee and the Fraternal Orderof Eagles.
“Behind this committee areabout a hundred other people who volunteer to make this festival work,” shesaid. “Without them we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
The Boyne City 4th of July Paradeis rated as one of the top five in the state.
Entrepreneur of the Year wasawarded to Todd Wright and Andy Poineau for starting Wildwood Rush Canopy Tours.
Honorable mentions were PaulNicholls of Michigan Mountain Mayhem, Leon Tupper of Kirtland Products, MichaelSehr of Dunagain’s Antiques and Collectibles and the John and Shari ThompsonFamily of Shaggy’s Skis and Thompson Home Construction.
“The help we got and theencouragement we received from everybody in the Boyne business community wasoutstanding,” Wright said.
Poineau thanked EvangelineTownship for their help in making the business a possibility.
The duo said business wentgreat in their first year and they are looking to double their staff in theupcoming season.
Young Entrepreneur of the Yearwas awarded to Kelly Woodard and Ryan Houghton of Bella Vita restaurant.Honorable mentions included Karen Wright of Elite Energetics Massage, RyanMoskal, Moskal Chiropractic and Bethany Revoir of Logo Pros and Northern EagleClothier.
The Heritage Award went to Ray andKaren Guzniczak, Country Now & Then/Up the Lazy River for their ongoingcontributions to the community.
Honorable mentions includedLynda Christensen of Lynda’s Real Estate Service, Bruce Janssen of The WoodShop, Ed Barden of F.O. Barden & Son Lumber, Betty Korthase of ParksideGrill & Treats and Pat O’Brien of Pat O’Brien & Associates Real Estate.
The Sally Roselli BusinessLeadership Award went to Mary Palmer, Fred Moore and Jim Cartright of MagnumHospitality, the parent company of Cafe Sante and Red Mesa Grill.
Honorable mentions includedRandy Flinn of Korthase Flinn Insurance and Financial Services, MichelleCortright of Harbor House Publishers and Tom Veryser of Michigan CommunityDental Clinics.
“Cafe Sante opened ayear-and-a-half ago and it has rose to the top of our sales for all four of ourrestaurants and I’ve got to thank the community who supports us,” said Palmer.