Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
December 23, 2015
Chuck Judson

Chuck Judson Honored with Distinguished Service Award
The Traverse City Area Chamber knows first-hand of the knowledge, passion and dedication of Charles B. "Chuck" Judson - as do the numerous community institutions in the Grand Traverse region that have benefitted from his extensive community involvement and vast legal expertise.

The Chamber is proud to present its 2015 Distinguished Service Award to Judson, an attorney and shareholder with the Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge law office in Traverse City. Judson hit the ground running with his community service when he arrived in Traverse City from his native Big Rapids 35 years ago - and never slowed down. Learn more about this most-deserving DSA recipient.

Join us as we present the 2015 Distinguished Service Award to Judson as part of the Chamber's Annual Celebration on Friday, January 15 from 6:30 - 10 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Corporate tables are sold out but individual tickets are still available. Register today!

The Chamber's Annual Celebration is presented by:

IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Cherry Capital Airport

Chambers Help Generate New Airport Funds
The Chamber and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance joined local airport leaders and the airline industry to reform Michigan's funding mechanism for airports that will generate approximately $7 - 8 million annually to the state's aeronautics fund. The fund is used to support airport infrastructure improvements around the state. State lawmakers recently approved changes to the state funding formula on aviation fuel sales and sent them to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

"This was an important issue for our Chamber and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance to continue to build our air service infrastructure which is so critical to growing Northern Michigan's economy," said Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations for the Traverse City Area Chamber and the Alliance.

Click here for a letter sent by the Alliance this to state Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) backing these important changes.

'Dark Store' Issue on Chamber Radar
Business taxation is always an important issue for the Chamber. Our Government Relations Committee is presently studying the "Dark Store" debate in the state Legislature over property assessments, mainly involving big-box retailers whose property assessments are being impacted by assessing measures based on building costs and deed restrictions over more traditional assessing methods involving comparable sales and/or property incomes. Click here to learn more.

CONNECT | Events and Programs
Welcome New Chamber Members
The Chamber wrapped up its 100th year of operations in 2015 on a super high note - bringing more than 240 additional businesses into the Chamber family during this month's Membership Event. We're so thankful to these companies for investing in their local Chamber of Commerce, and grateful for the nearly 150 volunteers who stepped up to help recruit these businesses and spread the word of the important work being done by their organization.

But that's just the beginning. Mark your calendars for a special Prime Time event coming up March 1 at Northwestern Michigan College's Hagerty Center where all of our new members will be invited to showcase their businesses to fellow Chamber members and the community. Follow the Chamber Bulletin for details on this exciting event.

Here's a list
of our new Chamber members. Join us in thanking them for their support and patronize these companies whenever possible.

INSPIRE | Leadership Development
Meet our New Chamber Directors
The Chamber kicks off 2016 with a dynamic infusion of leadership talent on its Board of Directors. Pictured above are our new board members for next year including (from left):
  • Lauren Harris (Young Professionals Chair) - Priority Health
  • Brenda McLellan - (Ambassadors Chair) ISC
  • Beth Holmes-Bozung - Safety Net
  • Steve Nance - Oryana Natural Foods Market
  • Marie-Chantal Dalese - Chateau Chantal
  • Russ Knopp - Comfort Keepers
New directors not pictured include Bill Golden of Golden Shoes, who chaired the Chamber's Government Relations Committee in 2015, and Al Pilong, President of Munson Medical Center.

Mike Meindertsma and Jeff Connolly

Chamber Officers Seated for 2016
The gavel was passed this month to the new Chamber Board Chairman Mike Meindertsma (Northwestern Mutual), who takes over next year replacing Jeff Connolly (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan), who remains on the Chamber Board as the Immediate Past Chair. The Chamber thanks Connolly for his service as board chair and looks forward to working with Meindertsma toward a productive year in 2016.
Other Chamber officers for 2016 include:
  • Vice Chair - Bonnie Alfonso (Alfie)
  • Treasurer - Tammy Tarsa (Integrity Home Health Care)
  • Secretary - Kevin Schlueter (Kalkaska Screw Products)
Also special thanks to outgoing Immediate Past Chair Mark Eckhoff (Three West Properties) who steps down from the board after eight years of tremendous service and leadership at the Chamber.

Partner News
Auto Makers Seek Suppliers
Northern Michigan companies are invited to participate in the next Pure Michigan Business Connect event, in partnership with Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, at the 2016 Pure Michigan Automotive Matchmaking Summit coming up March 2 at Cobo Center in Downtown Detroit. In the past, this summit has produced millions of dollars in new contracts for Michigan suppliers. To have your companies considered for a chance to attend and receive private buyer meetings, please have them click the link below and complete the summit application by January 15. Link here for the application and the direct and indirect procurement needs provided by the participants.
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