The Boyne Area Chamber’s Annual Meeting happens this week and numerous local folks have been nominated for various high honors.
The categories in which awards will be presented during this well-attended community gala include recognition for business leadership, community pride, volunteer of the year, entrepreneur and young entrepreneur of the year and an award for ongoing contributions to the community.
“We just like to recognize people who are successful and who are doing good things for business and the community,” said Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim Baumman. ”
The Thursday Jan. 16 awards banquet at Boyne Mountain Resort generally features community leaders, local and state governmental representatives in addition to the awards ceremony.
• The nominees for the Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award are:
Michelle Cortright—long-time downtown business woman who owns Harbor House Publishers. She serves on the boards of Main Street, EDC/LDFA, Evangeline Township and Charlevoix County Community Foundation.
Jane MacKenzie—executive director of Northern Homes Community Development Corporation, which creates affordable housing. She was asked to help restructure the Boyne City Housing Authority and has done so. She is the chair of the Boyne City Planning Commission past President of the Boyne District Library Board.
Bob Grove—who recently purchased the Dilworth Hotel and plans to make the 101-year-old facility operable again.
• Nominees for the Community Pride Award, which focuses on local organizations or non-profits are:
Charlevoix County 4-H—for their support of local youth. Their programs encourage growth, community involvement, education, and recreational activity. We see it in action as soccer leagues start each year in Rotary Park with hundreds of kids and their families.
Boyne District Library—for its ongoing efforts to provide life-long learning and community involvement.
Boyne City Kiwanis Club—which organizes the Eddie Essay Contest, which promotes civic pride, charitable giving, and public speaking for 5th and 10th-graders. In the last three years, the club has started the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and has taken over the Labor Day Weekend Classic Car Show. Club also organizes 4th of July kids games and assists with the Mushroom Festival.
Boyne Valley Lions Club—nominated due to its generosity in donating to local causes and for providing a concessions trailer at Boyne City High School football games and end-of-year school picnics.
• Nominees for the Volunteer of the Year Award are:
Gordon Lambie—for his unsung and behind-the-scenes efforts and contributions to benefit the community by leading or helping with projects such as: the Performing Arts Center, annual America Sings honoring veterans, the Veterans Memorial, Community Christmas and the Boyne Valley Lions Club.
Scott MacKenzie—executive director of the Charlevoix Area Humane Society. He generously donates his professional services as an auctioneer and master of ceremonies to numerous clubs and organizations. He was also a major force behind many local projects as executive director of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mike Hurchick—has been a board member, program director and volunteer at Challenge Mountain for 25-plus years. Challenge Mountain would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for Mike Hurchick. He has put his heart and soul into this organization dedicated to enriching and improving the lives of mentally and physically challenged through outdoor recreation.
Ruth Witenski—who works year-round to make sure the Boyne Area Community Christmas is successful in its mission to provide food, clothing and gifts to several hundred needy families at Christmastime.
Linn Williams—who is one of the most active volunteers for Boyne City Main Street program, serving on the Promotions Committee, Design Committee and Team Boyne. She single-handedly started and organized Chocolate-Covered Boyne, held every February, and Boyne City Irish Heritage Week, held each year in March.
• Nominees for Entrepreneur of the Year, honored for starting or expanding a business venture this year, are:
Jack Laurent and the Grain Train—after many months of study chose Boyne City as the first location to open a new store organic foods co-op and grocery store.
Steve Bulmann—for expanding his business Bulmann Dock and Lift into a new location on Magnet Drive in Boyne City.
Chris and Sandy Nelson—who took the long-neglected and closed bowling alley and brought it back to life as BC Lanes, located next to B.C. Pizza.
Jonathan and Matt Borisch—for their major investment that has totally transformed Walloon Lake Village with a marina, boat shop, restaurant and new and restored buildings for office and retail shops. They also donated prime lakefront property for use as a public park with a gazebo, trees, benches and in winter and ice rink.
Leslie Neilson—for opening a yoga studio. In a short three months they have also introduced spinning and self-defense classes.
• Nominees for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, honored for starting or expanding a business in 2013, are:
Brandon Ranke—who took over and revived the resale shop The Enchanted Closet on Boyne Avenue in September.
Drake Nagel and Drue Wright—for taking their college dream and their love of portable food and bringing it and their Happy Tacos food truck to Boyne Mountain, Boyne City and beyond.
Samantha Persons—who worked for the Korthase Family at the Boyne City Dairy Queen/Parkside Grill and Treats for many years, and this summer was named manager of the restaurant after it was purchased and reopened after sitting vacant for a number of months.
• Nominees for the Heritage Award, honored for ongoing contributions to the community by a long-time business leader, are:
Ed Barden of F.O. Barden & Sons—his family has been in the lumber business here for more than 90 years and has given much to the community throughout those years.
Bruce Janssen of The Wood Shop—in business since 1974, he has always been generous with his time and resources. Helping anyone new in the community, often at his own expense, he is an ardent and passionate cheerleader for all things Boyne City whether it be convincing new entrepreneurs to give Boyne a try, helping new business owners to connect with the community or just expounding on the merits of Boyne City with his own new customers.
Pat O’Brien—who is an astute and successful businessman and one of the most dedicated Boyne supporters out there. He is a generous contributor of his time, advocacy and financial support for numerous projects. He and all of his real estate agents contribute a percentage of every commission to local charities. So far over $40,000 has been given back to the community.