PETOSKEY – Several local people were honored at the 26th annual Breakfast for Champions this morning at the Odawa Casino.
About 500 people attended the event, which used the motto “I Love This Town!” as its theme, said Carlin Smith, president of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce.
One of the event’s most coveted honors, the Chairman’s Award went to Al Hansen, retired parks and recreation director for the city of Petoskey.The award recognizes people or entities that have a significant impact on the local region. Hansen retired in March after nearly three decades of being on Petoskey’s city staff. He was involved with several projects including the Little Traverse Wheelway and Winter Sports Park.
Mary Foster of Fletch’s GMC Buick Audi snagged the high-profile Athena Award, which aims to celebrate the potential of all women. In addition, Jan Davies McDermott, a representative of Athena International, came to the ceremony to honor Petoskey’s longstanding tradition of handing out the award.
This year marked the first time the Thriving Petoskey Award was handed out at the event, which was received by both Stafford’s Hospitality and of Ward and Eis Gallery in Petoskey.
Jeff Neill of OsborneKlein was honored as Ambassador of the Year, which intends to recognize someone who promotes the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Pat Fralick, retired director of family and community health at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, received the Leadership Star Award, which recognizes an exceptional leader in the Little Traverse Bay Region.
Marty Van De Car was honored with the Community Enthusiast Award, which is given to a citizen that’s passionate about the local community.
Two enterprises were selected for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Ben Slocum and Peter Manthei of Beards Brewery along with Brian and Anne Bates of Bear Creek Organic Farm. Petoskey-Bay View Country Club received the Service Excellence Award.
In addition, several community members and entities received architectural and renovation awards.
The design award was given to the Young & Meathe Properties office. An honorable mention went to the new EMS Building constructed by Emmet County on Eppler Road. Abby Kent’s work was honored with the beautification award for the mural on the Grand Traverse Pie Company building in downtown Petoskey. An honorable mention went to the re-designed flower garden along the tunnel at Bayfront Park.
The heritage award went to the work done at the former site of Ben Franklin Crafts, a project overseen by East Jordan based Howard Property Partners. W.W. Fairbairn and Sons in Alanson received an honorable mention, and special commendation was given to the Dark Sky Park building by Emmet County.
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