FLINT — This evening, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau honored local businesses and hospitality providers for their contributions to the well-being and success of the region in 2018.
A sold-out crowd of nearly 350 people gathered at the Flint Institute of Arts where Master of Ceremonies Steve Landaal presented 18 awards to outstanding businesses, community supporters and hospitality industry professionals.
“The Art of Achievement Awards provide the perfect opportunity to publicly recognize some of the many contributors to our region’s economic growth and strong sense of community,” said Landaal, chairman of Landaal Packaging Systems and chairman of the Chamber’s Operating Board. “The winners that we’ve honored tonight are those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment of our community.”
The gala included the honorees of the Art Hurand, Robert P. Gerholz, C.S. Mott and Claire M. White awards, which recognize exemplary community leadership.
Tonight’s award recipients are companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals who give more than what’s asked,” said Chamber CEO Tim Herman. “They go the extra mile to ensure that their customers and communities have positive experiences.”
The 2018 Art of Achievement Awards honored the following businesses and indi- viduals:
• CEO Business Award – STAT Emergency Medical Services
• Economic Development Project of the Year Award – Magna Electronics
• Small Business Award – Sedgewick & Ferweda Architects
• Minority Owned Business Award – Spectacular Spudz
• Nonprofit Impact Award – Voices for Children Advocacy Center
• Young Professional Award – Elyse Jurvelin, ELGA Credit Union
• Community Champion Award – Adam Collier, Genesee Fieldhouse
• Claire M. White Award – Karen West, Keep Genesee County Beautiful (retired)
• Art Hurand Award – Mike Zelley, The Disability Network (retired)
• Robert P. Gerholz Award – Ed Benning, Mass Transportation Authority
• C.S. Mott Award – Phil Hagerman, Hagerman Foundation & Skypoint Ventures
• Gloria J. DeHart Award – Victoria Leonard, Pinnacle Hospitality
• Hospitality Ambassador Award – John Saites, Churchill’s Food & Spirits
• Frontline Ambassador Award – Diana Phillips, Knob Hill Bed & Breakfast
• Restaurant of the Year – Blondie’s Food & Spirits
• Hotel of the Year – Quality Inn Grand Blanc
• Entertainment Venue of the Year Award – Greater Flint Arts Council
• Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award – Crystal Pepperdine, Flint Handmade
“As we move the region forward, there are many signs of recovery, and reasons for hope and optimism about the future. Through strategic partnerships and clear focus, we are becoming a place where businesses want to locate, grow and expand, and equally important where people want to make a life,” Herman said. “Our forward momentum is real. We’re seeing it in education, retail, R&D, manufacturing, health care and lodging. And not just in downtown Flint but throughout Genesee County.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network of Michigan was the Presenting Sponsor of the 5th Annual Art of Achievement Awards; Ferris Wheel the Dinner Sponsor; Al Serra Auto Plaza the Red Carpet Sponsor; Comcast Business the Program Sponsor; Ferris State University the Dessert Sponsor; and McLaren Flint the Coffee Sponsor.
Individual awards sponsors: Chase; Communities First, Inc.; Community Foundation of Greater Flint; Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.; ELGA Credit Union; Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; HAP; Huntington Bank; Mass Transportation Authority; United Way of Genesee County; and University of Michigan-Flint.
Strolling Sponsors: Genesee Intermediate School District; Mott Community College; and Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants. — G.G.