Mecosta County receives Chamber of the Year award

ANN ARBOR — After a month of waiting, the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce was named the best chamber in the state on Thursday evening.

The 2016 Outstanding Chamber of the Year awards in the small, medium and large chamber categories were presented during a ceremony at the University of Michigan “Big House” Stadium in Ann Arbor.

“It was a fun event,” said Megan Eppley, chamber administrative assistant. “It was a dinner with members of the MACP. We got to tour the stadium and go down on the field. The event was a neat opportunity for us. It is a big honor for us to win.”

The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals previously narrowed 300 applicants for the small chamber award down to two finalists, Mecosta and Adrian. A small chamber is categorized as having an annual budget of less than $250,000.

Finalists were required show innovation and effectiveness of programming in leadership and governance, finance, business advocacy, development of programming and membership development, according to a press release from the Mecosta County Chamber.

Months ago, the local chamber official were asked if they wanted to try for this award, Jennifer Heinzman, executive director, said in a previous interview. Heinzman had to send MACP the last three years of financials, projects worked on in the last year, current projects of the chamber, board minutes and the strategic plan.

“It is a pleasure to work in a community with so many active participants,” Heinzman said in the release. “We have an amazing staff, board of directors and countless volunteers. It is because of them that this is possible. It is such an honor. I am proud to accept this award on their behalf.”

The chamber has 388 active members and focuses on helping members of the business and professional community to accomplish more collectively.

“There are a lot of benefits to being a member,” Eppley said. “We help with networking and are a kind of support system to help business.”

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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