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Mason Area Award Winner to be Honored February 10

Monday, January 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eric Dimoff
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January 11, 2016

Doug Klein
517-676-1046 or 517-775-8601

Each year, the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes excellence in the Mason area at an annual Awards Dinner. Awards are presented for Citizen of the Year, Excellence in Education, Excellence in Business, President’s Award, and Special Recognition. The Chamber's 2016 Annual Awards Dinner will be held the evening of Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the Eldorado Golf Course Banquet Center at 3750 W. Howell Road. Approximately 185 people will attend the event to honor those awarded.  This year, the following awards will be given to deserving businesses, groups, and individuals:


Elaine Ferris is selected as the recipient of the Mason Area Chamber’s 2016 Citizen of the Year Award.  This award recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the community over several years through their caring and concern.  Besides serving on the Mason City Council, she has been involved for so many years with Kiwanis Club of Mason, Friends of the Mason Library, Mason First United Methodist Church, and many other organizations.  A lifelong resident of Mason, she has established a reputation deserving of the award for Citizen of the Year.  She is the owner of the Artisan Friends, Crafty Threads, Bead and Button Shop in Maple Street Mall.


She has also served as Market Master for the Mason Farmers Market since 2005.  She was an unexpected replacement for the first Market Master in the very first season and has had a replacement Market Master lined up a couple of times, but has had to continue in that capacity when the transitions didn’t work out.


Oracle Financial Solutions is selected for the 2016 Excellence in Business Award. This award is presented to a business for innovation, risk, and growth that represents the entrepreneurial spirit of business development.  Those qualities have certainly been in evidence through their expansion in 2015 and their continuing presenting sponsorship of the annual MACC Golf Classic. 


They have recently completed a renovation of the 124-140 E. Ash properties on Ingham County Courthouse Square in downtown Mason with the assistance and partnership of many entities in the City of Mason, Ingham County, and the State of Michigan.  They have now consolidated their offices there.  Before 2015, they had other offices in both Lansing and Mason.  Their renovated building also has ten apartments on the upper floors, eight of which are accessible by stairs in the front of the building and all ten by both stairs and elevator from the rear of the building.

Mason Public Schools’ Tracy Casali, an art teacher at Alaiedon and North Aurelius elementary schools, is selected as the recipient of the Mason Area Chamber’s 2016 Excellence in Education award.  This award recognizes an educator who best exemplifies the qualities that inspire students to learn and value education. Besides her work in the schools, she has served the community in the recent LEAP public art installation and in displays of student and local art in the community.


Tom Botsford of EAA Chapter 55 is selected for the MACC 2016 President’s Award.  This award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions to the Chamber’s goals over the past year. As a past Chamber Board member and current MACC Ambassador, this longtime Chamber volunteer leader assists in many Chamber events.


However, it is his work as chair of the Ribbon Cutting Committee that is especially being recognized with this award.  This group, led by Tom Botsford. Has conducted between twelve and fifteen ribbon cutting ceremonies each year for local businesses and organizations.


Marty Colburn is selected for the MACC 2015 Special Recognition award for individuals in appreciation for his commitment to the Mason area community and his dedication to helping Mason grow. As a member of the Mason Rotary Club, he participated in many local projects to benefit Mason residents.  City Administrator for the City of Mason for over 16 years, he has recently moved up north to be the City Manager of Traverse City.  Previous to coming to Mason, he was City Manager in Rawlins, WY, Coolidge, AZ, and Kearny, AZ. His work as City Administrator put him at the forefront of many local economic development efforts in the area.


The Mason 150 Committee is selected for the Chamber’s 2016 Special Recognition award for organizations in appreciation for all they have done to enrich the quality of life in our community.  Led by Mayor Pro Tem and Chamber treasurer Marlon Brown, the team includes Marty Colburn, Mike Waltz, Doug Klein, Barb Tornholm, Dewey Longuski, Elaine Ferris, Rodney Jewett, Rita Vogel, Seth Waxman, Becky Clinton, James Mulvaney, and Russ Whipple.


The group met monthly for three years to plan and coordinate events during Mason’s sesquicentennial year of 2015.  While they only did two projects themselves, a historical program book and a grand ball in October, they put into their plans all of the activities of community groups like the Mason Area Historical Society, the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mason, and many more.  They publicized their partners’ 2015 efforts, including the Mason 150 logo contest, March 9 incorporation ceremony, Legacy Tree program, Mason 150 Parade on July 4, sesquicentennial theme song, Mason 150 time capsule, Mason 150 Club, among many other year-long events.


The annual MACC Awards Dinner is generously presented and sponsored by select Chamber members including Sparrow Health System, CP Federal Credit Union, Dart Container Corporation, Independent Bank, Mason Auto Body Repair, Little Creeks Cattle & Grain, Byrum Builders, Mason A&W Restaurant, Oracle Financial Solutions, and T.A. Forsberg Inc.  As part of the event, recognition is also given to retiring Chamber Board members, Chamber leadership, and 2015 volunteers.  Prepaid dinner reservations are $40 per person.  Since only a limited number of seats are available, businesses, organizations and individuals are advised to send in their checks well before 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, the mailed-in prepaid reservation deadline.  Credit card prepaid reservations are also taken in person at the Chamber office and by phone at (517) 676-1046. However, after January 22 the prepaid reservations go up to $50 per person, if any are still available.



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