The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood chamber recognizes community figures at annual banquet

 

January 24, 2020

Jacob Vallejo/Daily Globe

Cold Iron Brewing won Business of the Year at the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce's annual awards banquet Tuesday at the Aurora Club. Among those at the banquet from the brewery were, from left: Tony Mukavitz, Andy Warren, Jake Ring, John Garske and Robert Burchell.

By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood - The members of the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Aurora Club Tuesday to celebrate the contributions a chosen few make to the community at the chamber's annual awards banquet.

"The 2020 Ironwood Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet was an outstanding success, both in terms of the number of chamber members that came - we had over 120 - as well for the true worthiness of the award winners," said chamber director Michael Meyer.

The evening featured a dinner, followed by the awards ceremony.

Cold Iron Brewing was named business of the year, while the Historic Ironwood Theatre took home the award for organization of the year.

Meyer said James Decur was honored as the volunteer of the year for his continued efforts helping the Friends of the Miners Memorial Heritage Park, while Ironwood Carnegie Library Director Lynne Wiercinski was honored with the Gus Swanson Educational Award.

Meyer said all the award winners have not only achieved some form of success in their respective areas, but have also come to grips with the concept of change in some way.

He said the group that owns the brewery not only remodeled an existing building to open a new business in the community, it has since grown into a gathering place for the community.

"The theater was also about change - because in 2016 they were broke and going under, so what (they were doing) wasn't working, so how can they start a new path forward? And they did, and that is a very difficult thing to do," Meyer said, adding the effort was made all the more incredible because the theater's success is largely due to the effort of volunteers - which can often present its own challenges.

Meyer said Decur returned to the area in 2012, volunteering with the Sisu before becoming active with the Miners Park.

"He's always out there, constantly brushing and cleaning (trails) - a tremendous energy," Meyer said. Meyer said Wiercinski was chosen for the Gus Swanson Award largely for her many efforts to expand programming for area kids.

"She does so much with the school system, with the kids ... it's exactly what Gus was doing, we just couldn't think of anything better," Meyer said. "It was time to recognize how far she's taken that program."

Meyer said the chamber's board of directors chose the award winners, and noted there were several alternatives discussed this year that may become future selections for the awards.

 
 
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