Approximately 180 people met at Island Resort & Casino in Harris on Feb. 25 for the sixth annual Upper Peninsula Apprentice of the Year recognition banquet. The winner of this year’s award was Kevin Pratt, an apprentice member of IBEW Local 906. The two finalists were Erin Lakenen, IBEW Local 906 and Paul Barna, U.P. Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 111. This event was organized and hosted by the Upper Peninsula Construction Council to recognize outstanding apprentices in the U.P. construction industry. The selection panel was made up of James Ebli, President, Gundlach Champion, Inc.; Deborah Veiht, Superintendent, Marquette Alger RESA; Roxanne Daust, Executive Vice President, Range Bank; Don Maki, Commissioner, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; Mike Fornetti, VERSO Corporatin; and Art Gischia, Sr. Vice President for Administration, Northern Michigan University. Altogether there were 20 apprentices nominated by the construction trades that represent construction workers across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Pictured above: Sam Lakenen, finalist and Erin Lakenen’s brother; Apprentice of the Year Kevin Pratt; and finalist Paul Barna.