2019 Annual Recognition Award Recipients

We were thrilled to recognize two long-standing area businesses for their contributions to our community at this year’s Annual Meeting, held October 29, 2019.

Prosperity in Business – Awarded to Bolen Asphalt and Paving (pictured below:  Jennifer Bolen)

This award recognizes a business for its commitment to help create an environment of growth and prosperity and to create a better quality of life for all. The criteria for nominations include:

  • Business success and positive impact on the community demonstrated by increased employment, training and educational opportunities for staff and community, investment in new business growth.
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a changing business world; commitment to improving the customer experience.
  • Innovative business strategies (e.g., business expansion, start-up, new services, etc.) that have guided the business to a new level of growth and achievement.

“Bolen Asphalt and Paving have a huge impact on the community in numerous ways and continue to grow with increased employment and investing in the community.”



Strength in Community – Awarded to Friends of the Tawas Lighthouse and State Park (pictured below:  Betty Ehinger and Vicki Seltz-Barnes)

This award recognizes an extraordinary commitment to the community that has a significant positive impact on the image, economy, and vibrancy of the Tawases. The criteria for nominations include:

  • Dedication to the community through contributions of time, talent, and resources.
  • Support of community functions through involvement, leadership, and sponsorship activities.
  • Creating meaningful opportunities for growth in the areas of public image, business activity, tourism and engagement.


The Friends of the Tawas Lighthouse has shown dedication to the community and support for community functions that is demonstrated by many of the members who are also involved in various organizations and community events here in the Tawases. This includes, but is not limited to, Iosco County Historical Museum, NE Michigan Farm Market, St. Joseph Ascension hospital and hospice, Rushman Hall, Perchville, area school, churches, and business events, 4th of July parade, Sunrise Side Master Gardeners, Sunrise Side Life long learning, Quota, birding festival support.

The Friends group also meets the criteria for creating meaningful opportunities for growth by our positive public image, tourism, and community engagement. This has been most evident in our Michigan State Parks Centennial Celebration events during 2019. We started the season with a positive partnership with the birding organizations, with our Native Plant Sale in May, with the first organized Corn Hole Tournament at the State Park, with a continuation of our popular Tuesdays at the lighthouse, where we were visited by 1,692 customers, up 130 from last year, and who would have been disappointed not to be able to visit the lighthouse at all if the Friends organization had not volunteered to have it open on a day off for the visiting Keepers. From May through September, 7,475 people visited our lighthouse, an increase of 9.5% over the same time frame in 2018….and that included Olympic Champion, Peggy Fleming!11 At the State Park, though the Day Use numbers at the State Park were down slightly from last year due to the high water issues, the camping numbers continue to be higher than last year. All those people have a great opportunity to invite people to their campsites, buy groceries in our area, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, visit our many shoreline parks and activities and spread the good news about the Tawas Area. Our Facebook page has been off the charts with over 900 members to date and growing!