Annual Membership Meeting A Success

The Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, November 11 to celebrate their 2015 members and achievements. Lisa Bolen, Chamber Board President welcomed the 85 guests and kicked off the festivities by recognizing the Veterans in attendance in honor of Veteran’s Day.

“In addition to honoring our Veterans this evening, we are pleased to recognize two members who have achieved the Chamber’s vision of Prosperity in Business and Strength in Community,” commented Bolen.

Branham’s Jewelry received the first-ever Business in Prosperity award for their longstanding commitment to business growth and success over their past 56 years in the Tawas area, as well as their recent investment in the purchase and renovation of their new location at the corner of Bay and Newman Street (the former Norman’s building). “The Branhams have been community leaders for decades, and continue to commit themselves and their resources to the long term health and viability of our area,” said Bolen.

The inaugural Strength in Community award was presented to Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing (HCS&R), a local non-profit organization. HCS&R was recognized for their mission of building traditional regional boats while also providing access to our community to learn how to sail and row in the organization’s handcrafted boats. “We’re so impressed with their dedication, to truly enable everyone to experience and enjoy Tawas Bay from the water, not just from the beach,” commented Chamber managing director Shelley Buresh. The group also organized the successful Heritage Coast Grand Prix offshore powerboat races on Tawas Bay in the summers of 2012 and 2013.

The Chamber formally recognized and thanked Board Past President John Brummeler for his many years of service and dedication to the organization and our community; he is retiring after ten years on the Board. Elections were held for three open seats on the Board; Lisa Bolen (Tawas Bay Etchworks) was reelected, and the Chamber welcomes new Board members Dave Celeskey (Huron Community Bank) and Marty Rogers (Mr. Jack’ss Sports Bar & Grill). The 2016 Board also includes Jeremy Broughton (Tendercare), Keith Frank (City of East Tawas), Annge Horning (City of Tawas City), Jeff Hutchison (Tawas Area Schools), Jay Jacobs (Consumers Energy), Ryan Ladley (Tawas Bay Insurance Agency), Scott Mousseau (Walmart) and Jill VanDriessche (Chemical Bank).

The Chamber’s 2015 annual report was distributed, showing growth in membership, an increase in both attendance and net profits for the year’s special events, and many new opportunities that showcased the community over the past year. Guests also enjoyed keynote speaker Jim Dittoe, founder of the Indiana consulting firm Winning Communities.