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Recipients to be Honored at the LRCC Annual Dinner on June 16

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has announced the recipients of four major awards, which will be presented at the LRCC’s upcoming Annual Dinner on Thursday, June 16.

The award recipients include:

  • Carmen Turner, Boys & Girls Club of Lansing, Community Service Award
  • The Rathbun Agency, Outstanding Small Business Award
  • Peckham, Diversity Star Award
  • A. Dean Watkins, Legacy Award

Community Service: Carmen Turner, Boys & Girls Club of Lansing
Carmen Turner has served as president & CEO of the Boys and Girls Club for more than 20 years. In that time, she has increased membership, established a meaningful endowment, and taken action to ensure the Club’s sustainability. She has built a diverse team, award-winning programming for youth, paid off their building and pivoted to a remote learning lab for Lansing School District students during the pandemic. Carmen has been a dedicated community servant, actively involved in her church and a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority member. She serves as a commissioner for the Delta Township Parks & Recreation Department and has also served numerous other community organizations during her distinguished career. Carmen says she was humbled, honored, elated, and shocked when informed about this prestigious award.

“I was shocked because Lansing is a community full of deserving people and I was humbled because I was even thought of for the award,” said Turner. “I was honored to have been nominated by Danielle Robinson from Jackson National.”

Outstanding Small Business: The Rathbun Agency
A well-known name in the region’s insurance industry and serving customers for more than 66 years, the Rathbun Agency has successfully transitioned to its third generation of family leadership. The agency was founded in 1956 by two Rathbun brothers, Jack and Jim. The agency began with no customers and one company contract but steadily grew through referrals due to their exceptional customer service. Paul Rathbun joined the company in 1983 and served as president until his untimely death in 2021. Ben Rathbun, who joined the firm in 2014 and became a partner in 2019, took over as company president after his father passed away. The Rathbun Agency has continued to grow and currently employs four producers and 15 staff members. Rathbun and all the agency employees have been involved on local boards and support many worthwhile organizations and projects in the community.

“I am very blessed and grateful. The community is the backbone of everything we do at the agency,” said Rathbun. “My father always said he wanted to go out into the community and help people – that was his mantra his entire life. Even though we are now the recipients of this award, so much of it is due to the foundation my grandfather laid and that my father continued to lay during his 39 years with the agency.”

Diversity Star Award: Peckham
The LRCC and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) have joined forces to create a new award honoring organizations that champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and the Lansing regional community.

Peckham is a large nonprofit vocational rehabilitation organization that provides jobs and training opportunities annually to more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Its mission is to provide a wide range of opportunities to maximize human potential for persons striving for independence and self-sufficiency, including more than 30 rehabilitation and human services programs from art creation, career planning, pre-employment screening, facility-based training, youth programs, and organizational employment to residential services.

Minorities represent 48% of their workforce, with 52% of their team members being women, and some lines of business having a 60% female population. Nearly 55% of their team members are non-English speakers in their manufacturing division.

“Peckham is honored and excited to be named the first organization to receive this new Diversity Star Award,“ said Jo Sinha, president and CEO. “This award is a direct result of the positive impact made when organizations invest in creating work environments that are diverse, and inclusive of people with all kinds of abilities.”

Legacy Award: A. Dean Watkins
A. Dean Watkins East, Inc. has been a family-owned, Lansing-based company since its opening in 1952. On June 16, A. Dean Watkins will be honored for its 66 years as a loyal LRCC member.

Over the years, Lansing organizations, political leaders, banking institutions, universities and schools, hospitals and event promoters have trusted A. Dean Watkins to help spread their identity. The company has developed a reputation as mid-Michigan’s leader in promotional products for businesses or organizations. 

“All of us at A. Dean Watkins Company were very surprised and honored for being selected for the Legacy award,” said Bob Watkins, owner, A. Dean Watkins. “When I see some of the names of past award winners, I feel elated to be recognized and in that special group of businesses.”

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner takes place on Thursday, June 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Eye Golf & Banquet Center in Bath Township. Questions can be directed to Ashlee Willis at Tickets are $95 for LRCC members and $140for future members. Registration and additional information can be found at