New year, new board

It seems like I just blinked and it was the beginning of 2013. As usual, I am just get used to writing the right year on my checks and I’m thrust into the new year. But 2014 is upon us and with it a new year of adventures.

The new year also brings with it a new Board of Directors for the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce. I’ve spent a decade in nonprofits working with various boards and have sat on a few myself. I will say this about boards; the success of an organization relies on thisgroup of committed individuals that will outlast any Executive Director, any turnover in staff and any changes in the region. They are the ones that keep any nonprofitorganization moving forward. The 2014 Board of Directors sees some familiar faces continuing on, new faces joining, and we also say goodbye to a few.

The new season of board members includes a new Board Chair, Bob Hanson (Fox Negaunee) and new Secretary, Erick Roberts (Grandchamp, McBride & Prophet). Vice Chair Sandra Sundquist (Wilderness Sports) and Treasurer Michelle LaMere(Country Village) continue in their roles. Under their executive leadership we expect to continue with the progress the GINCC has made over the past three years. The board members continue their support to the GINCC include Paul Bonetti (Ishpeming 4th of July Committee), Elaine Racine (Elaine’s Place), Katherine Brady (Bell Hospital), Dane Nelson (Peninsula Bank), Stacey Willey (Globe Printing) and Jamie Thayer (Anytime Fitness).

We welcome four new board members to the mix, Gary Nelson (Northern Michigan Bank & Trust), Lindsay Hemmila (Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice & Private Duty), Matt Teeters (Upper Peninsula Power Company) and Brian Sheridan (Steward & Sheridan). And we bid farewell to two board members and thank them for helping to get the GINCC off the ground, Charlie Anderson and Scott Patrick(Carpet Specialist/Carpet One).

These are the neighbors and business that have shown their devotion to improving our community people who have an already very busy schedule in their day to day livesand still find the time participate in the Chamber. It has been an honor working with this board for the last six months and I look forward to what the next twelve bring with the new board.

Speaking of improving our community: I also want to send another thank you to Central UP Insurance, Bucks Restaurant and Wilderness Sports for their Business After Hours for a Cause. They hosted over 100 people during their combined Business After Hours, raised almost $200 and collected over five boxes of non-perishable food for the Salvation Army. Congratulations on a great event and thank you for using it to help those in need.

Lastly, as we are now officially starting the New Year, don’t forget about another great event: The Arctic Blast Color Dash. The second year of this event is being held on Jan. 18 and the next registration price jump happens on Jan. 1. Register online at or stop into the Chamber. Get in early to save on the registration fee and guarantee your shirt. What a great way to ring in the new year, start the day with the 5K Color Snowshoe Run and finish it with the fireworks over Teal Lake, courtesy of the Irontown Association Heikki LuntaWinter Festival.

Editor’s note: Kori Tossava is director of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce