40 Below Marquette County Young Professionals announce recipients of new Tom Baldini Scholarship

MARQUETTE — 40 Below Marquette County Young Professionals is pleased to announce the two 2018 recipients of newly incepted Tom Baldini Scholarship: Anna Dravland and Brice Sturmer.

The Tom Baldini Scholarship was created this year by 40 Below to reward members of the community who have shown a fresh interest in community and civic engagement. Tom Baldini, who passed away in December 2017, was a well-known and active supporter of the 40 Below group. In the spirit of his unwavering commitment to Marquette County, the organization seeks to foster leadership and civic engagement among its membership by awarding this scholarship annually.

Each recipient of the scholarship will receive a one-year 40 Below membership, attendance to the Upper Peninsula Young Professionals Conference, and a ticket to one Economic Club of Marquette County dinner of the recipient’s choosing. The recipients will also take on a leadership role in 40 Below’s annual Bureaucrats and Brews event, which brings together local young professionals with their local incumbent representatives.

“40 Below tries to offer one event annually that highlights opportunities for civic engagement to facilitate a discussion between representatives holding office and young professionals,” said Kate Havel, president of 40 Below. “Tom Baldini always attended these kinds of events as an ‘honorary member’ of our organization. He loved to see young people in our community engaged on civic level, and we wanted to honor that by awarding this scholarship to Anna and Brice.”

Anna Dravland is currently working at Travel Marquette doing community relations and event marketing. A graduate of Northern Michigan University in hospitality management, she did event promotion and sales for the Fox Theatre, City Theatre and Joe Louis Arena in Detroit before moving back to Marquette. She was the general manager of the Up North Lodge before starting her current position. Throughout college, she was an avid supporter of the Marquette County community as a volunteer and passionately raised funds for dozens of local organizations and individuals. She has previously been awarded the Michigan Heart and Soul Award, NMU Volunteer of the Month, and NMU Event of the Year. She has also been recognized as being heavily involved in Spread Goodness Day, which encourages businesses, organizations and individuals to do one act of goodness on the event day. In the inaugural year, over 10,000 acts of goodness were knowingly recorded throughout Marquette County, the U.P., United States and even other countries.

“Anna has been an active member of 40 Below’s Events Committee and has always demonstrated enthusiasm for community engagement. With the success of her recent Spread Goodness Day campaign, she was a no-brainer for this award.” said Havel.

Recently relocated to Marquette, Brice Sturmer and his wife, Teagan, moved back home in the summer of 2017 after spending time in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Nashville, Tennessee. Teagan grew up in the Marquette area and when the time came to start their own business, Brice and Teagan decided to set up in the best community they could think of. Along with founding Velodrome Coffee Company, Brice has worked for a number of other locally minded, independently owned businesses. In Tennessee, Brice became the director of roasting and coffee buying for one of the fastest growing coffee roasters in Tennessee, Honest Coffee Roasters. Through this position, Brice was able to travel abroad extensively to coffee growing countries throughout Latin America. During his time in Tennessee, Brice also developed his coffee roasting consulting business and has maintained several clients since, including some of the largest hospitality groups in Nashville. One of Brice’s biggest passions outside of coffee and biking is fostering community. Recently, Brice was elected to the Marquette Chamber of Commerce board and now serves as the Ampersand Co-working Space liaison to the board. One of Brice’s biggest goals is to have a role in making Marquette a better place for young entrepreneurs to start businesses of many kinds.

“Being only 22 years of age, Brice brings a new and fresh viewpoint to business and to the community,” said Havel. “We’re thrilled to be awarding this scholarship to Brice.”

The Board of 40 Below will continue to honor future recipients of this scholarship annually. 40 Below Marquette County Young Professionals was established in 2010 as a professional development organization designed to introduce and engage young professionals to the county’s business community and help them expand their networking opportunities. The organization hosts events throughout the year involving areas such as: networking, professional development, civic engagement, and recreational opportunities.