The 2018 Awards were presented at the Annual Meeting on February 4th, 2019.
Business of the Year
Coach’s Bar and Grill
Megan Yore, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Dinner Sponsor Spectrum/Lakeland Health, presented the 2018 Business of the Year award.
The Business of the Year showcases the impact and vital role that small to midsize businesses play in the overall economic development of Southwest Michigan. Each year, businesses are recognized for their creativity, vitality, stability, and relevance. Winners are nominated by their peers in the business community.
The Award was presented to Coach’s Bar and Grill. Coach’s received the award based on several criteria including, but not limited to:
- Their incredible Customer Service,
- Their constant commitment to making the Lakeshore community an outstanding place to live and work,
- Increasing their to-go business by implementing a new app that enables customers to order online,
- Purchasing and developing property at 4123 Red Arrow Highway to expand their parking lot,
- Continually holding Tap Takeovers to support local breweries, and
- At least once a month, hosting Give Back nights to benefit local, community-based non-profits and local schools.
Community Spirit Award
Chas Potts – Anytime Fitness, Stevensville
Chamber Board member, Sandi Kopach from Edgewater Bank, presented the 2018 Community Spirit Award.
The Community Spirit Award is presented to a business or individual who has shown exemplary leadership in the civic community and demonstrated a positive social or economic impact on Southwest Michigan. Each year, individuals are recognized for their passion for the betterment of our community. Winners are nominated by their peers in the business community.
Sandy read the nomination letter for the winner, Chas Potts of Anytime Fitness in Stevensville:
In February 2016, on the heels of hard news learning that our son with Down syndrome lost his coach and best friend, a new friendship was forged. Chas Potts, manager of Anytime Fitness in Stevensville called to say he had been watching the special relationship my son had with his trainer, and knew it was going to be devastating for Connor. Chas expressed his condolences and without skipping a beat, he said, “I don’t want to let Connor’s dreams die too. Would you mind if I worked with him?”
Chas knew how much his former coach and the Special Olympics meant to Connor. First, Chas honored the man and gave respect to Connor’s first trainer by collecting donations, cards, posted pictures, had t-shirts made, and reached out to his family. Simultaneously he picked up the baton, set up a schedule and we watched a new, beautiful friendship emerge. Chas trained on his own and became a certified Special Olympics coach, then began training another young man, Adam, also with special needs. He trains each individually to compete in weightlifting in Special Olympics on his own time. Going far above simply training, he cares deeply about both of them.
Chas has rallied both the Anytime Fitness Stevensville and Mattawan members and staff to raise funds for Special Olympics by participating in the Polar Plunge and other events, and many people have supported Special Olympics through Anytime Fitness. We are so grateful. With profound impact, Chas has embraced Connor not only as a trainer, but friend too and provided Connor with 20-something ‘typical’ lifetime experiences he may never have had without Chas…like, competing side by side in a body building competition (and coached him through the spray tan!)
This past February was a true testament to his heart, when Chas married his beautiful bride Lauren. Amid the handsome wedding party, both Connor and Adam stood tall among the groomsmen with big smiles and bigger hearts for the love of their buddy.
Business of the Year
2016 Net Designs
2015 Lakeshore Excellence Foundation
2014 Round Barn Public House
2013 Honor Credit Union
2012 Martin’s Supermarket, Stevensville
2011 Grande Mere Inn
2010 United Sports Apparel
2009 Big Boy Restaurant – Stevensville
2008 Brunke-Geiger Heating and Cooling
2007 Nature’s Way Landscaping
2006 Nye’s Autotechs & Tire
Ott’s Insurance Agency, Inc.
2005 Bit of Swiss Pastry Shop
2004 Village of Stevensville
2003 Dairy Queen
2002 Wash Station Car Wash
2001 H & J Florist
1999 Lighthouse Colorprint
1998 Midwest Glass & Mirror
1997 Thomson Architectural
1996 Boelcke Hardware/Heating
1995 D & W Food Center
1994 Stevensville Pizza Hut
1993 Quality Mold & Engineering
1992 Lakeshore Public Schools
1991 Lake Company
1990 Villa Santaniello’s
1989 Colonial Tool & Die
1988 Meredith & Kamp
1987 Metal Processors
1986 Lakeshore Looseleaf
1985 Custom Products
1984 Lakeside Manufacturing
Bella Villa Motel (Park Inn)
Community Spirit Award
2017 Lisa Micunek, Martin’s Supermarket
2016 Representative Al Pscholka
2015 Heart of the Beaches Café
2014 Lakeshore Band – Eric Banchet
2013 Community Fun Day Committee
2012 Lincoln Township Library
2011 Meijer, Stevensville