MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — Greenville-area business leaders enjoyed a night in the limelight Thursday.
The annual Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce dinner at Camp Anna Behrens was a celebration of businesses and citizens that have made a positive influence in the community. Among the awards handed out was the Coalition of Greater Greenville (COGG) Spirit of Collaboration Award, the Small Business Person of the Year, the Marian Kemp Outstanding Citizen of the Year and six refurbishing awards.
All of the awards given came with recognition from the governor’s office with representation of Sen. Judy Emmons and Rep. Rick Outman. The three individual awards were presented by last year’s winners.
Deb Huch, co-owner of Huch’s Jewelry Store in Greenville, introduced Kim Singh, director for Mid-Michigan District Health Department, as the recipient of the COGG Spirit of Collaboration Award.
“(Singh) understands better than most the importance of a healthy community,” Huch said. “Often working outside of Greenville’s borders, her collaborative spirit along with her sincere passion for her work has had a significant impact on our town.”
While accepting her award, Singh talked about her campaign about Healthy Montcalm, which is working toward making Montcalm County a better, healthier place.
“It starts with us as leaders,” she said. “Thank you. I am very honored and can’t believe it. I am very appreciative.”
Al Guilfoyle, co-owner of Club Fitness in Greenville, presented Mike and Kathy Kohley, owners of Culligan Sales and Services, with the Small Business Person of the Year award.
“(Culligan Sales and Services) has been a member of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce since its humble beginnings in 1957, making it not only the longest-standing family-owned business in Greenville, but also the longest-standing chamber member,” Guilfoyle said.
The company has also donated to numerous organizations around the area, Guilfoyle said.
Mike Kohley said they enjoyed working in such in a great community.
Bill Braman was awarded the Marian Kemp Outstanding Citizen of the Year by Rich Jones, president of Aggressive Tooling.
“(Braman) is a fine person who meets the extraordinary criteria this award requires,” Jones said. “The list of people, organizations and causes he has supported is very lengthy.”
Jones said Braman is very understanding of other’s opinions and compared Braman to Marian Kemp saying he has his own opinions and will happily share them with others.
Braman’s volunteering, understanding of programs, leadership in the “Building a Healthy Future Together” at United Hospital and supporting “United for Health” were among his qualities recognized at the dinner.
“No doubt he will be humbled by this honor and certainly will protest that there are many others that are more deserving then he,” Jones said. “But that’s exactly how Marian Kemp would have felt too.”
Just as Jones said, Braman humbly accepted the award making jokes and laughing with the attendees. Braman said he knew opportunity knocks lightly, but he said it almost knocked him down before he noticed it.
“Thank you very much,” Braman said. “I have to live up to the words given (about me).”