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Dec. 11th, 2012-Vol 2012 No. 12.2
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At the beginning, I was a little skeptical about this program. I couldn't define it or place it in a category from previous academic experiences. Delta Force was not academia; or instruction classes. I didn't know who or what to expect. I didn't even know how to dress for our first meeting.

So I did what I have done most of my life, I proceeded with caution into the unknown. And I am glad, I did.

It didn't take me long to understand the meaning of Delta Force. It is an introduction to a community most of the participants have lived in for many years. Though for me, it was a little different. 2012 marks my first year living in this community. I chose to come live in Delta County, but I was not sure if this tranquil community thousands of miles away from my family would suit me. You can say, Delta Force served as an interactive introduction to my new home.

After the first few classes, I noticed a pattern of comments from the group. "I have lived here all my life, and I didn't know this organization was here," or "I didn't know this program worked this way." You could hear their stereotypes about their community being challenged. I really can't describe specifically how this happens, but I can simply say that being exposed to the BDD's social explanations, or experiencing Hannahville's progress as a community and economic force, or touring New Page, or spending 1 day a month with your professional, knowledgeable fellow participants definitely makes you reconsider any underachieving preconceived notions about this community; or reaffirms any strong positive ones.

For me, Delta Force exposed the intricate moving parts of what I thought was a sleepy community; parts that I slowly started picturing myself being part of. What is great about this leadership program is it doesn't stop at making leaders; Delta Force introduces already made leaders to their community and allows them to find their own niche.

Overall, every facilitator, participant, and sponsor helped disrupt any of the stereotypes we had all come in about Delta County. But I do want to emphasize: The power of Delta Force is not in single cells of facilitators, organizations, or participants. The power of Delta Force comes from the organic collaboration that formulates every year through their participation. I leave this program with a better understanding of MY community, of how I fit in, and how rich in culture it is.

As an extra I take the good relationships I made with fellow participants thanks to a year of networking opportunities.

It is an honor to live in such an involved community.

Suani I. Nieto
Delta Force Graduate 2012
Delta County Economic Development Alliance

* * Registration Fee is $399 ~ Application Deadline is December 31st, 2012 * *For more information please call the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, 786-2192.

UP Ice Masters 300Nascar Style Snowmobile Racing

The Midwest Ice Racing Association, TLR Cup Championship Ice Racing Series, and the United States Snowmobile Assocation Prostar Oval Ice Racing Series all slide into the UP State Fair Grounds January 12-13 for the second annual UP Ice Masters 300. The racing is like NASCAR on ice as the sleds reach speeds in excess of 100 miles on the 3/8 mile oval ice track in front of the grandstands.

The Ruth Butler Exhibition Building will be open for spectators to warm up and enjoy food and beverages from the concession stand. Adults 21 and over, with an ID, can enjoy a cool adult beverage.

The TLR Cup is a six race competition across multiple snowmobile racing associations for the Pro Champ class at oval races. Tickets will be available at the gate on race days. Admission is $10 for a 1-day ticket or $15 for a weekend pass. Children 12 years old and under get in free with a paid adult admission.

Peterson Appointed President & CEO at First Bank

First Bank, Upper Michigan announced the appointment of Randall J. Peterson as President & CEO.

Peterson has over 35 years in commercial banking management positions, with extensive experience at regional and community banks, including retail, commercial lending and operations. Prior to his position of Executive Vice President and Senior Lender at Investors Community Bank in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, he was the Regional Chairman for Citizens Republic Bank in Wisconsin and surrounding states and Executive Vice President of Citizens Republic Corporation. His background includes 20 years with Associated Bank in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was President & CEO. Peterson also held the position of Vice President at Old Kent Bank in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and began his career at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, Illinois.

A Vietnam Veteran, Peterson was a Lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard where he received his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and after earned his MBA from the University of Michigan.

In Green Bay, he was active in the community, serving on such Boards as the YMCA, Bellin College of Nursing, Downtown Green Bay Inc., the Wisconsin Bankers Association, and the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Peterson stated, "having grown up in lower Michigan, I am delighted to be back in the wolverine state, particularly in the wonderful upper peninsula. I'm excited to be joining First Bank, Upper Michigan and proud to be part of the outstanding First Bank team."

First Bank continues to rank in the upper quartile of peer group banks and has offices in Gladstone, Escanaba and Garden. Approaching their 100-year anniversary, First Bank is a full-service financial institution, offering a full complement of retail banking products and services, along with trust and investment services through their Investment Management Group. The recipient of the Shining Star Award for community service in 2011 by the Michigan Community Bankers, First Bank is proud to take an active role in the community.

Peterson and his wife, Bonnie, are the parents of two sons, Jim who is a Vice President of Corporate Banking at Wells Fargo in Wausau, and Nathaniel, a pilot for Delta Airlines based out of Detroit.

Welcome to East Ludington Gallery:
Julie Covert.

Julie McKay Covert is a published author, photographer, therapist and teacher. Her passion for nature is seen in her photographs and expressed in her writing.

She lives with her husband in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Lake Huron where she fell in love with winter. They live off-the-grid using solar energy for electricity and wood and propane for heating and cooking.

When Julie McKay Covert began studying photography 14 years ago, she used it as an excuse to go for a hike or spend a leisurely day at a botanical garden. She found photography was her creative way to express her love for nature. Julie now carries a camera with her where ever she goes, as she never knows when the next great image will present itself.

Her latest accomplishment is having published Art of Winter: A Photographic Essay, a full-color professionally designed and printed coffee table book, which shows the beauty that winter creates with snow and ice. This book shows her love of winter through the lens of her camera - in this way she gets to share with others two of her passions - nature and winter.

Student financial need is up and state aid is down again at Bay College and Bay College West. This creates a gap the annual campaign for Bay scholarships and programs targets to fill with its annual community campaign DREAMS TO DEGREES. This year, in addition to student scholarships, the College's year-end appeal is focused on advancing the future 50 years as well as supporting student hardship with assistance. Bay's Foundation board and volunteers are asking for your support to financially help students overcome the obstacles in turning their education into degrees and viable careers. A college degree or credential is a requirement to succeed in today's competitive marketplace.

Last year, the annual campaign together with endowments yielded over $320,000 in scholarship awards to just over 300 students. "Scholarships help ease the financial burden, allowing students to focus on studies. Many students work 2-3 jobs for survival while obtaining a degree. Students face many real obstacles as they pursue an education. Cost should not be one of them" indicated Kim Carne, Foundation Executive Director. "Giving to Bay College is not just another donation. It is an investment in the future of our students, and the future of our community."

This year, Bay College is celebrating 50 years. Even after a half of century, the work at Bay College is just beginning. Education is a lifelong process. Bay College is more than an educational provider that offers a set of classes leading to a certificate, degree or transfer credits. With the help of many, Bay College is a place where learning takes on a new form, where students collaborate to launch the next great business ideas. Bay is where students advance their life to the next level and where employers train their workforce. Additionally, it is a public conference center, testing center and cultural arts center.

Both campuses, in Delta and Dickinson Counties, were fortunate over the past years to receive major private gifts to add human simulation equipment to our allied health and nursing programs, advancing allied health and nursing training. We have also added support programs to ensure the resources are available for students to achieve success. Tutoring services is just one example of the many fine support services. Without added support, some students may be forced to drop out, and opportunities lost.

Dream of the impact your gifts will make today. The Bay College Foundation through its appeals has contributed millions of dollars to the College over the past years, changing the landscape of learning. The Bay College Foundation was established in 1972 to provide a vehicle through which family, friends, employees, businesses and sponsors may give private tax wise gifts to support student success.

"The college is blessed with so many great supporters and generous donors sharing the gift of education," explained Kim Carne, Executive Director of Advancement and the Foundation. "We at Bay are committed to offer accessible, education excellence to all. This is only possible through dedicated employees, community supporters and collaborative partners. We welcome your investment in education, the need is great and the opportunities are endless!"

Gifts of all sizes to the college make a difference, and change lives! All forms of gifts are accepted including cash, check, credit card, bank withdrawals, pledges, investment assets, IRA transfers, and property to name a few. And when you share with Bay, you also save on taxes. Charitable gifts, including appreciated investment assets and IRA account transfers, to the college qualify for tax benefits. In fact, current tax laws encourage giving the gift of education. Don't miss out generously donating this year as the State and Federal laws are potentially changing! Tax advantages still exist for personal and business donations.

"Gifts to the college make a difference right here right now. They change lives forever! And, 100% of your gift goes towards your area of preference" said Carne. Giving the gift of education for the holidays is a gesture that will make an impact on a person for the rest of their life. May Bay College count on YOU this year to remove barriers and turn dreams into degrees? Together, we can make education a viable option for all, enriching lives and advancing our local communities.

Carne indicates that donations are accepted by phone (906.217.1700), online at, by mail or in person.

The Chamber will provide you with a number of ideas for 20 days. Our 20 under $20 program will give you choices that you can find here in our community. We hope this makes it easy for you, and also encourages you to visit one of your local businesses. Find these choices on your E-mail and Facebook.

If you have a gift idea from your business, contact or call 906 786 2192.

OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group has been named a Top Hospital by the "Leapfrog Group," an independent, national nonprofit organization that rates hospitals based on safety and quality efforts. OSF was the only hospital in the Upper Peninsula and the only rural hospital in the state of Michigan to achieve this recognition, which included an "A" rating for its safety score, designating it one of the safest hospitals in the United States.

"We are honored to have been named among this elite group of hospitals," said Peter Jennings, president and CEO at OSF. "Being named a Top Hospital is a rewarding reflection of the work our physicians and staff do and the exceptional care they provide for those we serve."

Nearly 1,200 hospitals across the country participated in the annual survey. The list of top hospitals was announced December 4 at an awards ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland, and includes 13 Top Rural Hospitals, 67 Top Urban Hospitals and 12 Top Children's Hospitals.

Top Hospital designation recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures and reducing hospital readmissions for patients being treated for conditions like pneumonia and heart attack.

"By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high quality care," stated Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, in a prepared media release.

The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is considered within the industry to be the toughest standard-bearer, providing the most complete picture of a hospital's safety, quality and resource use performance, noted Jennings. The survey focuses on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resources used to care for patients and the management practices that promote safety and quality.

"Leapfrog holds hospitals to a fixed set of defined and transparent standards that are extremely high, and only the hospitals that meet those standards earn distinction," said Binder.

The Top Hospitals announcement came on the heels of the Leapfrog Group's recent release of updated Hospital Safety Scores. The Hospital Safety Score - an A, B, C, D or F score assigned to a hospital based on expert analysis of infections, injuries and medical and medication errors that frequently cause harm or death during a hospital stay - looks closely at how safe hospitals are for patients. Hospitals receiving the Top Hospital acknowledgement also had to receive an A on the Hospital Safety Score if they were eligible to be scored. Beyond showing excellence in patient safety reflected in the A, Top Hospitals have demonstrated the highest standards in quality of care and resource use. Top Hospitals have lower infection rates, higher survival rates for high-risk procedures, decreased length of stay and fewer readmissions.

Survey results and a list of Top Hospitals are available on the Leapfrog Group's website at

OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group was also recognized for its quality efforts earlier this year, when it received the Michigan Center for Rural Health's 2012 "Spirit of Quality Award" in November for its efforts with administration and management of specific intravenous antibiotics used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

"We strive to provide the very best in medical care in our pursuit of perfection," said Jennings. "We appreciate these awards as recognition of everyone's efforts and dedication."

OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is a Medicare designated critical access hospital and the only Catholic hospital in the Upper Peninsula, providing care for more than 55,000 patients and their families in Delta County and surrounding communities. As a part of OSF HealthCare based in Peoria, Ill., OSF St. Francis employs more than 700 individuals, with more than 100 physicians and advanced practice providers on its active and consulting medical staff. It offers hospital, physician and home care services.

Delta County Jaycees Past, Present and Future Night
Date: 12/12/2012
Time: 4:30-6:30pm
Place: Ernie's Irish Pub
An evening to give out year end donations to community organizations and also honor a past jaycee who has continued to support our organization.

Dessert & Discussion: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Date: 12/12/2012
Time: 1:00pm
Place: Bay College Besse Center
Sponsor: Delta Chamber, Bay Area Econ Club Contact: 906-786-2192

Nemanja Boqunovic
Date: 12/13/2012
Time: 7pm
Price: $12 / $5 for students
Place: Willam Bonifas Fine Arts Center
Sponsor: William Bonifas Fine Arts Center Contact: 906-786-3833
Nemanja Bogunovic is a Serbian classical guitarist. He has appeared at venues such as the United Nations, The Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl. He has performed for people like president Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Barbara Streisand and Roger More. This is a concert you wont want to miss!

Island Resort and Casino Holiday Party
Date: 12/14/2012
Place: Island Resort and Casino
Contact: 1-877-ISL-Show
Social Hour 5pm, Dinner 6pm, Entertainment by The White Ties 7pm-Midnight. $40 per person. Tickets are available at the Ticket Office or by calling 1-877-ISL-SHOW

Altrusa Club of Escanaba Gift Wrap Fundraiser
Date: 12/14/2012
Time: Hours Vary
Place: Delta Plaza
Sponsor: Altrusa Club of Escanaba

Broadway's Spirit of ChristmasAltrusa Club of Escanaba Gift Wrap Fundraiser
Date: 12/14/2012
Time: 8:00 PM
Price: $28
Place: Island Resort & Casino
Contact: 877-ISL-SHOW

Escanaba Gift Wrap Fundraiser
Date: 12/16/2012
Time: 8:00 PM
Price: $28
Place: Island Resort & Casino
Contact: 877-ISL-SHOW

Altrusa Club of Escanaba Gift Wrap Fundraiser
Date: 12/20/2012
Time: Hours Vary
Place: Delta Plaza
Sponsor: Altrusa Club of Escanaba
YMCA Welcomes a New Addition to Their Training Team

Justin D. Ogren has had a passion for health and wellness his entire life and is now using this passion to help others as a personal trainer at the Northern Lights YMCA.

He is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist through ASFA and also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor through the IFA. Additionally, he is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association, IDEA Health & Fitness Association, and the National Association for Health and Fitness. He specializes in sports nutrition, program design, circuit training, and weight management.

"I know what it takes to introduce anyone to a new exercise program. I understand the challenges that a beginner can face, and I focus on encouraging my clients as much as I can. This is about them and their health; that is the most important part of my job. For those who just need a little push to a next level of their exercise routines, I can develop challenging workouts."

Ogren is also involved in the community as a volunteer tutor for the Delta County Area Literacy Council and a Co-Director of the Heritage Half-Marathon.

Meet him at the Northern Lights YMCA where he can help you to achieve your health and wellness goals. You can also contact Justin at
Today, go to a block party in downtown Escanaba and check out our members: Positively! The Center for Success, Lisa Ann, and Sayklly's.

For other participating businesses, discounts and offers, check out the flyer. Have fun, party hard, and shop local!

We are here to promote your business and our community.


Vickie Micheau
Delta County Chamber of Commerce

phone: (906) 786-2192