Professionals honored at the 6th Annual Art of Achievement Awards

GENESEE COUNTY — The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and the Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau today presented Art of Achievement Awards to 17 exemplary businesses, community leaders and hospitality professionals for their significant contributions to the region’s success in 2019.

A sold-out crowd of nearly 375 people packed the Flint Institute of Arts where Master of Ceremonies Steve Landaal presented the awards to this year’s honorees. Now in its sixth year, the awards’ gala is a community-wide celebration of the accomplishments that are helping to move Flint & Genesee forward.

In addition, the late William S. White was honored posthumously with the Charles Stewart Mott Award, which recognizes a citizen who has made significant contributions to the advancement and well-being of Flint & Genesee in the tradition the man for whom the award is named. Ridgway White, president and CEO of The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of his father, who died Oct. 9.

“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 past chair of the Chamber’s Operating Board. “The winners are the individuals and hospitality professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.”

The gala included the honorees of the Art Hurand and Claire M. White awards, which recognize exceptional 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 6th Annual Art of Achievement Awards honored the following businesses and individuals:

CEO Business Award – Teachout Security Solutions

Economic Development Project of the Year Award – Peckham, Inc.

Small Business Award – Spud Software

Minority Owned Business Award – Creative Hair School of Cosmetology

Nonprofit Impact Award – Voices for Children Advocacy Center

Young Professional Leader Award – Brian Caine, Miracle League of Greater Flint

Community Champion Award – Bob Nichols, FIRST Robotics, Kettering University

Claire M. White Award – Kathleen “Kitty” Gazall, Gazall, Lewis & Associates Architects

Art Hurand Award – Dr. Bobby Mukkamala

C.S. Mott Award – William S. White (posthumously), The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Gloria J. DeHart Award – Flint Institute of Arts

Hospitality Ambassador Award – James Yates, Ascension Genesys Conference & Banquet Center

Frontline Ambassador Award – Telakia Martin, Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint Fenton

Restaurant of the Year – Blondie’s Food & Spirits

Hotel of the Year – Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint Grand Blanc

Entertainment Venue of the Year Award – Applewood Estate

Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award – David Martin, Genesee County Commissioner

“As we move the region forward, there are signs of recovery and revitalization. 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. And not just in downtown Flint but, in neighborhoods and throughout Genesee County.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network of Michigan was the Presenting Sponsor of the 6th Annual Art of Achievement Awards; Magna the Reception Sponsor; Al Serra Auto Plaza the Red Carpet Sponsor; McLaren Flint the Coffee Sponsor; Skypoint Ventures the Dessert Sponsor; and Brown Consulting Group the Cash Bar Sponsor.

Individual awards sponsors: Chase; Communities First, Inc.; Community Foundation of Greater Flint; ; ELGA Credit Union; Ferris Wheel Flint; Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; Health Alliance Plan (HAP); Huntington; Mass Transportation Authority; United Way of Genesee County; and University of Michigan-Flint.

Strolling Sponsors: Genesee Intermediate School District; Mott Community College; and Republic Services. — G.G.