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Uncle Ducky Outdoors receives multiple accolades

MARQUETTE — Uncle Ducky Outdoors of Munising has recently been named as one of the 2021 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch and one of 12 Michigan Small Business Development Center Best Small Businesses presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

MCSB is a nonprofit organization that is composed of statewide founding organizations that provide small businesses with resources to help companies grow.

Nominees of the awards are evaluated based on intent and capacity to grow such as employees or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, sustainable competitive advantage or other notable factors that showcase the company’s success, according to a news release from MCSB.

Uncle Ducky Outdoors fit the criteria, and won an award in two different categories.

“It’s an honor, it’s an honor to be recognized for the work that we’ve done and the work that we’ve put into it,” General Manager Greg Scott said. “We really appreciate even a nomination is an honor, that means somebody’s recognizing you for the effort that you put in.”

Scott made it an emphasis to point out how his staff’s efforts were what contributed to Uncle Ducky receiving those honors. At the end of the day, it all falls on their shoulders, he added.

“It’s really an honor, it goes to show the dedication and the hard work that our employees have put in to make this all possible because without the hard work from every single member of our staff, it wouldn’t be possible at all,” Scott said. “It makes me really proud, (I’m) really proud of the hard work and dedication that everybody puts in, and it really warms my heart to show that this recognition was bestowed on us.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Uncle Ducky staff was safely able to work seven days a week in the summer and had thousands of people in their facilities, Scott said.

Early on, the company established that things would continue to change and be based off of new stipulations at any given time, he added.

Uncle Ducky Outdoors started by trying to make their employees comfortable, and Scott felt that it trickled down to guests. Once everyone had the mindset of feeling safe in that environment it made everything easier.

With a strong plan to combat COVID-19, he said that was something that helped Uncle Ducky Outdoors achieve the two awards.

“I think it had a lot to do with the success (of the COVID-19 plan), we were the first kayak guide service in the National Park system to be approved in the entire country to operate under our COVID-19 operations plan,’ Scott said. “We tried to get that information to our guests as best we could, there’s a lot of detail to those operation plans.”

Uncle Ducky Outdoors will be honored at an awards ceremony during the 17th annual MCSB gala event at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on July 20, the news release said. MCSB is planning for a hybrid approach, offering a virtual and in-person experience.

Travis Nelson can be reached at tranelso@nmu.edu

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