Past Event – BACC Annual Awards 2023

Fernwood Botanical Garden Host for Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

The Sims Education Center at Fernwood Botanical Garden was the location for Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards and Meeting on a chilly spring morning Friday, April 28, 2023 from 7:30am – 9am. A lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, cheesy potatoes, mixed fruit, muffins, coffee and water were enjoyed by the guests.

A short business meeting was led by the chamber’s President, Fran Terry for elections on one director for a 3-year term, the financial report was given, comments were stated from the new Executive Director Brandon DeJaynes, and Fran Terry gave the election results.

Now to the awards presentation where Buchanan Community Schools Superintendent, Patricia Robinson also handed out their Hall of Fame awards with the help of Buchanan Board of Education member Trustee, Jennie Brackett. “Contributions to Society” which is given ten years after graduating from BHS. The award goes to: Dr. Erin McKean from the class of 1994. She attended University of Michigan medical school in 2003 & 2008 and received her MBA in 2013. Her brother Brian McKean accepted her award on his behalf for her.

“Contributions to Buchanan Community Schools” was given to Mr. Bill Weaver. He was a long time Girls Varsity Basketball coach, had nine Conference Championships and one State Championship. Mr. Weaver passed away last November, and his award was accepted by his wife, Pam Weaver.

“Performance in School-Related Activities” is given to alumni ten years after graduating and this award went to: Mr. John Karpinski, class of 1962. He received 12 Varsity letters, attended Michigan State University, Class B Champs 1960 & 1961; Army HS all-American with four Varsity letters in Baseball.

Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Awards were handed out also along with a signed certificate from Michigan State Senator Debbie Stabenow given by a representative from Stabenow’s office: “Dale E. Florey Volunteer of the Year” goes to a person that puts their community’s needs above their own. They have provided extraordinary service and dedication to the greater Buchanan community through their volunteer efforts in 2022. The nominees were: Karol Behrle, Dianne Ross, Elaine Rowland, Ann Tuite and Kyle Zelmer. The award goes to: Dianne Ross as her mom, Esther Florey presented it to her along with Fran Terry.

“Business/Organization of the Year” is presented to a business, nonprofit, club, or organization that has contributed to the community development and quality of life in the greater Buchanan area. The recipient of this award exhibits outstanding commitment to the greater Buchanan community in 2022. The nominees were: Buchanan Lions Club, Edgewater Automation, and Redbud Hardware. The award goes to: Redbud Hardware. Business owner, Joe Krueger of almost one whole year, accepted the award as his wife Jen was home with the kids due to school not being in session, but she really wanted to attend. Joe stated, “I buy tools and sell them.”

“Young Professional of the Year” goes to a Buchanan area young professional who’s between the ages of twenty one and forty and has a positive attitude, has shown professionalism, innovation, and is devoted to their career and community in 2022. The nominees were: Jessica Hendrixson, Patrick Swem, and Kyle Zelmer. And the award goes to: Kyle Zelmer who is a realtor which was nominated by four people, and he steps up to help.

“Lifetime Achievement” this award is presented to an individual that has devoted much of their time and energy throughout their lifetime to the betterment of our community and continues to do so in excellence. The nominees were: Karol Behrle, Cindy Bowerman and Alice Kring. And the award goes to: Karol Behrle, who volunteers, has compassion and unwavering dedication in the chamber for 8 & ½ years. Karol stated, “I am speechless! I was wondering why my family was getting up and ready this morning.” Though everyone who knows her knows that she’s hardly speechless!

At the end of the awards presentation, Michigan State Representative, Republican Brad Paquette said a few congratulations and thanked the chamber and Fernwood. After the ceremony, everyone was able to walk the gardens before it opened up to the public. The Buchanan Chronicle would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated and the winners. Thank you for serving in our community!

About Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce: Since 1960, the Chamber has promoted a spirit of community in order to enhance the growth, prosperity, and quality of life in the Buchanan area. Life truly is better here!

Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Annual Dues:
Citizen Supporter/Individual: $50
Non-Profit Organization: $100
Single Owner Business/Sole Proprietorship: $150
Regular Business: $200; $4/employee

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