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West End Update – GINCC

Annual GINCC celebration a success

Bob Hendrickson, executive director, GINCC

By Bob Hendrickson

GINCC

ISHPEMING — Overall, this year’s annual gala felt “normal.” The event took place on Wednesday, October 26 at the Upper Peninsula Brewing Company and drew 139 people to celebrate the accomplishments and growth of the West End of Marquette County.

A lot of people don’t realize that chamber of commences are non-profit organizations, doing business under a 501(c)6 designation. This restricts the GINCC to raising operational money through memberships and related fundraising events that align with our mission to supporting business, community and showcase experiences on the West End of Marquette County.

The annual gala not only is the chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year, but also recognizes community businesses, organizations and people who make the GINCC area a great place to do business and live.

As a chamber of commerce, we are doing well and have a growing membership of 210 members. The businesses, organizations and people chosen to receive the awards this year have shown great commitment to the communities they serve. The winners are selected by the GINCC board of directors in a blind vote where they rank the nominations in numerical order. The nomination with the lowest total score is selected as the winner. Although no award system is perfect, we feel this year’s winners are well deserving.

Business Person of the Year: May Tsupros, director of programs and partnerships for Partridge Creek Farm, earned this award for her leadership and organizational vision. Partridge Creek Farm is a community gardening program focused on building a healthy, prosperous, and empowered local community through food and wellness education.

Their Intergenerational Generational Farm will be the next step in bring the community to sustainable food sources and help supplement their farm to school program.

Business of the Year: West End Ski & Trail opened in the summer of 2019 in a small shop on Pearl Street in Ishpeming. With uncertainty going into the 2020 pandemic shutdown, bicycles became the hot ticket item which gave the shop enough momentum to purchase the old Merricks building on Main Street. After dividing and conquering, the buildout of the new facility was accomplished with their neighboring business Velodrome Coffee. The new shop opened in the fall of 2021.

Organization of the Year: Superior Rehabilitation & Professional Services, based out of Negaunee, provides an array of professional and contractual service throughout the central & southern U.P. While normally the Organization of the Year is a non-profit, this year we’re honoring an organization that gives back through many different avenues which includes their affiliated non-profit U.P. Children’s Therapy.

Volunteer of the Year: Anthony Bertucci, of Ishpeming, works tirelessly to bring community projects to fruition with a great attitude.

He is a great organizer, and knows the correct people to work with in order to make any project a success. His most recent involvement is the Ishpeming Kiwanis Ray Leverton playground project, which is in process.

Chamber Member of the Year: Honor Credit Union was selected for their support and volunteerism at several GINCC events including the GINCC Children’s Carnival and several Business After Hours. Their support given to the GINCC to host events and support the mission enable us to build community.

To learn more about the GINCC, visit our website at www.gincc.org, give us a call or stop in. Our hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We are at times out of office on Chamber business. Please call ahead to confirm we’ll be in office, 906-486-1111.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.

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