Chamber Gives Awards, Celebrates 75 Years

Chamber Gives Awards, Celebrates 75 Years

(C. Proxmire from speeches provided by Ferndale Area Chamber, 11/12/2011)

The Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards & Recognition Gala presented by Gage Products Company took place on Nov. 10, 2011 with a diamond-studded event designed to honor the over 200 local businesses that make up the Chamber, and to celebrate their 75th anniversary.

Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg greeted guests and gave a brief history lesson.  “Tonight, we are also honoring each of you, our members, who help contribute to our success and the vitality of our region. This year we have chosen a diamond theme for our 75th anniversary. In 1936, a group of Ferndale businessmen came together to combine resources, to collaborate, and to advocate for a better Ferndale community. Well, as Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.

‘We have come together, we have stayed together, and we have worked together. The results of our teamwork aren’t always apparent, but you catch a glimpse each time we conduct a ribbon cutting for new businesses or businesses expanding; each time we hear a new connection is made at a Coffee Connection; or when a change is made to public policy that improves the ease of doing business in Ferndale,” Roosenberg said.  She and Jerome Raka, co-owner of Blumz…by JRDesigns and Chairman of the Chamber Board, hosted the awards.

The Gala Committee was made up of volunteers Adrianne Greer, Carol Jackson, Jerome Raska, Sharon Stahl, Jay McMillan, Katie Jacobs and Chairperson Aly Darin.  They did much of the planning, and were joined by volunteers Paul Jacobs, Faith Bodde, Gail Wyckhouse and Kathlyn Putnam to make the event memorable for the attendees.  The Chamber thrives on involvement from its members, and volunteers are often thanked at the functions they help make possible.

Forty-one businesses were nominated for various awards.

The Special Service Award is for a business or individual that rises above and beyond the call of duty to the people in need in our community.  This year’s nominees were:

  • ADRIANE GREER, S & G AGENCY
  • ALY DARIN, ALY DARIN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • ANN HELER, FERNCARE
  • CAROL JACKSON, BITS N PIECES
  • FERNCARE FREE CLINIC
  • GAGE PRODUCTS COMPANY
  • JACK ARONSON, GARDEN FRESH GOURMET
  • JODI KNITTEL, TANGERINE ROAD

“Our special service award is always a close race. With so many caring and giving people in our community, it is no surprise,” Raska said as he announced the winner.  “This year’s winner started with a few amazing people recognizing a need in the community and actually doing something about it. And do something about it they did.

‘In a short time, they took the idea to the community and gathered additional support. They raised funds, built an amazing volunteer base, received federal support and secured a location. To begin servicing the community as soon as they could, they have operated a tear-down clinic since last August until finally being able to open its doors at its permanent location this past September

‘Running on a team of nearly all volunteers who have logged thousands of hours; beautifully renovating a mid-century office building graciously donated by Credit Union ONE for only about $30,000 for a $230,000 job; and opening up its doors each Saturday to patients who could otherwise not afford medical care is just a few of the reasons why FERNCARE FREE CLINIC is the winner of this year’s Special Service Award.”  (Ferndale 115 News has written many articles about FernCare, go here for some of them)

 

The New Business of the Year award recognizes a new business, six to 18 months in business in the Ferndale area, who has demonstrated community involvement, innovation, creative promotional techniques, and has brought a unique service to Ferndale.

Nominees for new business of the year were:

  • BITS N PIECES SMALL BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
  • HOLISTIC TECHNIQUES
  • PAINTING WITH A TWIST
  • PETCARE AUPAIR
  • ROUGE MAKEUP & NAIL SALON
  • TREAT DREAMS
  • WOODWARD AVE CANDY SHOP

Roosenberg introduced the winner.  “This year’s New Business of the Year definitely fits the above definition to a tee. Described as personable and sweet, this business owner immediately became active in the community and believes in giving back. As one person wrote this business provides “a unique way for people to get together in an otherwise hectic world and just unwind and release some talents they may not have known they even had.”

‘Through innovative marketing techniques, an incredible staff and passion for their business and its quality, it’s no wonder our winner was an immediate hit and is already looking to open a second location. Although our winner credits some of its success to the support it receives from Ferndale, we know most of it has to do with having a great idea and the fortitude to follow it through. As you walk past their storefront on West Nine Mile in the evening and see a room full of happy faces, you agree that our winner is not only well deserving but also a beautiful addition to our downtown. Please join me in congratulating Michelle Lewis of PAINTING WITH A TWIST, our New Business of the Year.”  (Click to read our Painting with a Twist experience).

The Best Chamber Night Out honors a business that hosted a fun evening networking event.  “Our members are still talking about the fun they had together during the Chamber Night Outs at each of the following nominees,” Raska said.  Nominees were:

  • ANNUAL BBQ AT GRAND CENTRAL SELF STORAGE
  • PAINTING WITH A TWIST
  • TREAT DREAMS
  • UNCORKED IN PLEASANT RIDGE AT CORK, LOLA’S SALON & VOGUE VINTAGE
  • HOLIDAY PARTY AT GO COMEDY
  • OCN MIXER/75TH BIRTHDAY BASH AT FRESARD BUICK GMC

“What set our winner apart by our judges were the comments that this event is an annual one designed to bring members of several different Chambers together to network. Our host has been a long time supporter of not only our Chamber, but of several others in the region,” he said. “What he started has turned into even more collaboration with our neighboring Chambers. Please join me in congratulating our winner of Best Chamber Night Out, GRAND CENTRAL SELF STORAGE.”

The Volunteer of the Year This award is for a member who has dedicated an enormous amount of time to volunteering with the Chamber’s events and assisting the Chamber with its endeavors. The nominees are:

  • ALY DARIN, ALY DARIN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • JAY MCMILLAN, ROYAL SERVICES
  • MARK HILL, ALERT ALARM
  • RYAN MERAY, C! TECH SOLUTIONS

“Each of our nominees are the reason for the Ferndale Area Chamber’s friendly and welcoming reputation, but this year’s recipient is being recognized for their constant assistance to the Chamber since joining in late 2008. If you look back in the programs from the last two Galas, you will see our winner’s name listed as a Volunteer of the Year nominee each time. He actively promotes the Chamber and its benefits, he contacts and welcomes new members and helps them make connections, and he comes to my aid almost anytime I need it,” Roosenberg said.  “He has saved me from hurting my back on more than one occasion by helping me move heavy objects in the office. Lastly, not only does he serve as the Vice-chairman of our Chamber, he has also served on nearly every committee we have had this year and volunteered for our Charity Poker events. Join me in congratulating our Volunteer of the Year – JAY MCMILLAN OF ROYAL SERVICES.” (We don’t have an article about Jay, but he was mentioned in this FernNet article)

The Chamber Philanthropy Award recognizes a member that gifts the chamber with monies through sponsorship, donations and in-kind contributions, as well as, volunteering their time to forward the chamber and its endeavors. The nominees were:

  • ALLIED PRINTING
  • CREDIT UNION ONE
  • GARDEN FRESH GOURMET
  • GAGE PRODUCTS COMPANY
  • LEVEL ONE BANK

modern tax“This year’s recipient has been a cornerstone in the community, as well as, in the Chamber. Whenever the Chamber and our community have been in need, they have stepped up and helped. In many ways, their service to both the Chamber and the community should be no surprise. In addition to serving our local community, their passion for helping children around the world is well-known and infectious. That’s why even a blizzard this past Winter didn’t keep people from turning out for a fundraiser they put on for Haitian relief and why when asked if they would come on as the presenting sponsor of a festival that creates a low-cost opportunity for kids to have an amazingly fun day, they said no problem,” Raska said.   “They were recently recognized by Fox2News viewers as the best local company turned national. It’s not just because they have an amazing product that is loved from east to west coast, but also because they continue to give back to the community where they got started. In appreciation to their dedication and service to Ferndale, we proudly present GARDEN FRESH GOURMET with the Chamber Philanthropy Award for giving beyond measure to our community, our organization and to so many others. Thank you.”

The Business Person of the Year  award recognizes a business person in Ferndale who has demonstrated exemplary service to the Ferndale community. This year’s nominees were:

  • CAROL JACKSON, BITS N PIECES
  • DON HAGLE, J & D AUTO
  • JACK ARONSON, GARDEN FRESH GOURMET
  • JAY MCMILLAN, ROYAL SERVICES
  • JEROME RASKA, BLUMZ…BY JRDESIGNS
  • SCOTT MOLONEY, TREAT DREAMS

“This year’s recipient has once again pointed the spotlight on Ferndale,” Roosenberg said.  “Google the business name and countless articles come up about their unique collaborations, their participation in many fundraising events, and the most unique products I have ever seen…or tasted. A self-described “dreamologist,” Ferndale is lucky he chose our downtown to open; and kids and adults alike are lucky he left the banking industry to unleash his creative side. Daily, using local products whenever he can, he brings us ice cream innovations like Chicken n Waffles, Garden Fresh Peach & Mango Salsa with Avocado; and a popular one among our members, Orange Dreamsicle featuring Valentine Vodka. Join me in congratulating our Business Person of the Year – SCOTT MOLONEY, TREAT DREAMS.”

The Best Coffee Connection award goes to the Coffee Connection host who went above and beyond to welcome their fellow members and showcase their business best. The nominees were:

  • BLUMZ…BY JRDESIGNS
  • D-PAN: DEAF PROFESSIONAL ARTS NETWORK
  • FERNDALE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • ZOYES CREATIVE GROUP & TRI-PUPS, INC

“Our winner this evening surprised everyone. We went with the expectation of enjoying another typical Coffee Connection, and left with prizes and a better understanding and impression of not only their business, but also their cooking skills. From the beautiful office space where it was held to cool giveaways, Chamber members were talking about it for weeks afterward. Please join me in congratulating not one, but two companies who co-hosted this great morning networking event: ZOYES CREATIVE GROUP AND TRI-PUPS, INC.” Raska said.

The Best of Ferndale Award is purely based on how a business, organization or individual has demonstrated outstanding service to enhance the Ferndale community. The nominees for Best of Ferndale were:

  • ALY DARIN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • BITS N PIECES SMALL BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
  • BLUMZ…BY JRDESIGNS
  • DEAN BACH, DINO’S LOUNGE
  • DIY STREET FAIR
  • FERNCARE FREE CLLINIC
  • FERNDALE CAREER CENTER
  • FERNDALE PATCH (OWNED BY AOL)
  • GARDEN FRESH GOURMET
  • GAGE PRODUCTS COMPANY
  • GREENLEAF BODYWORK

“This year’s Best of Ferndale was recognized for their willingness to always lend a hand and their tireless efforts to come up with cool and unique ideas to promote Ferndale,” Roosenberg said.  “Some words used to describe our winner were “hard working, dedicated and creative.” But what set our winner apart among our judges was our winner’s belief that if you want to change and improve something, get involved…don’t just sit on the sidelines. For the first time in three years, our winner is not an event, but our winner certainly has had his share of planning them. He lends his experience with them as head of the Promotions Committee for the Ferndale DDA. Please join me in congratulating DEAN BACH OF DINO’S LOUNGE, our Best of Ferndale winner!” (One of many articles about an event put on by Dino’s can be found here).

Attendees enjoyed dinner and fire performers along with the awards reception.  For more information on the Ferndale Area Chamber, go to http://www.ferndalechamber.com.

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