HARRIS – Members of the Delta Chamber of Commerce met last night to install new board members, graduate the newest class of Delta Force, the Chamber’s leadership development program, and recognize the achievements of area businesses.
With a backdrop of celebrating a new year, Anytime Fitness in Escanaba was named Business of the Year at the Delta Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. The business provides 24-hour access to exercise equipment with the philosophy that everyone is welcome.
Manager Jayne Szukalowski says it was an honor to be recognized for their commitment to the community.
“We’re just humbled to be recognized, humbled to be a part of this community where we really feel like we’ve seen an impact of so many wonderful success stories. We often remind folks it’s not about dropping a bazillion pounds it’s about getting to a healthier place,” she said.
Dan Young of Escanaba is a customer at Anytime Fitness. He says he likes the positive attitude that the staff has.
“If you miss a couple of weeks or a couple of days depending on your own personal habitats are for your fitness, Jayne will call you up and say, ‘hey, where have you been?'” said Young.
Anytime Fitness has also been involved in Business After Hours events and opened their doors during the LPGA Symetra Tour and Bassmaster Championship.
Northern Motors was presented the Century Award. A new dealership facility is being built on Ludington Street and will be called Riverside Ford.
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Maria Maniaci. Maniaci serves as a deacon in her church, helped to found the Alliance Against Violence and Abuse, now known as Tri-County Safe Harbor and helped to establish a food pantry with the Trades and labor Council when Harnischfeger closed in the 1980s. She dedicates time in a reading program at the Gladstone schools, is involved in Rotary programs and collects pop cans at the paper mill to support adopting families during Christmas.
The Philanthropy Award was given to Johnson Brothers Livestock. Gary Johnson was instrumental in helping a young girl at the U.P. State Fair to sell her pig after going through an operation. He helped to encourage business to donate to the purchase at the fair auction.
Wayne and Deborah Springinsguth were presented the Community Ambassador Award for their role in bring the Newmar International Rally to Escanaba in July.
Devin Olson received a Bay Scholarship. He is a welding student at Bay. And Lynn Soderberg was presented with the Educational Excellence Award. Soderberg retired in June. She spent many years helping students in the drama department at the Escanaba High School.
Paula Jacobs received the Athena Award. The award recognizes the efforts of women in the community. She was the founder of the Care Free Dental Clinic in Delta County. The clinic has provided more than $1 million in dental care to needy people since it was founded in 2011.