Friday, September 2, 2016

Ashley Cousens named Boyne Chamber exec director

The Boyne Area Chamber board of directors has hired Ashley Cousens as their next executive director. Her first day in the Chamber office will be Tuesday, Sept. 13th. 

Board President Michael Doumanian noted that Cousens was hired on a Tuesday and she immediately enrolled in Leadership Charlevoix County and attended their orientation two days later. "We had more than 20 applications for this position, we interviewed six finalists, and Ashley was our consensus choice," Doumanian said. "We're confident that she will do a great job and everyone who meets her will be as enthusiastic as we are."

Chamber members are invited to meet Cousens at the Chamber's Business After Hours on Thursday, Sept. 15th. That event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Good Neighbors Food Pantry and Boyne Area Free Clinic, 624 State St.

Cousens will work with outgoing Executive Director Jim Baumann until early November, when Baumann will retire after 8 years in the position.

Cousens has a strong background in community and workforce development. She grew up in New Hampshire, attended college at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where she earned her B.A. in Spanish and revived a Peer Advising program on campus. 

After graduation, she spent the next decade in Plattsburgh, close to the Adirondack Mountains, working in community and workforce development. She specializes in working collaboratively with community partners and developing unique programs to enrich the quality of life for community residents. 

She has worked with high schools to incorporate work training programs, she has counseled youth who have dropped out of school to help them improve their skills and find jobs, and she has worked with employers and community organizations on grants and projects and on all sides of the workforce development relationship. She has also worked for and with non-profit organizations.

Cousens relocated to Northern Michigan in February with her partner, Matthew, when he began working for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. Soon after arriving, Ashley began working for the Friends of the Jordan River Watershed as the Program Director and has spent the spring and summer working to further the mission and goals of that organization. 

In her spare time, Ashley loves to be in the great outdoors; whether she is hiking, kayaking, boating, mountain biking, skiing, or camping. She also enjoys reading, baking, attending community events, volunteering, and meeting new and interesting people. 

Ashley Cousens' LinkedIn profile.

"40 Under 40" article on Cousens from Strictly Business magazine in Plattsburgh NY, 2013.

Officials dedicate first phase of BC-Charlevoix trail

Michael Sheean
Officials from numerous state, county, city and township governments and agencies were on hand Thursday, Sept. 1, for a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting at the new Boyne City to Charlevoix non-motorized trail. The ceremony was held along the trail where it passes through Young State Park. Boyne City trail advocate Mike Sheean was one of the speakers, who commented, “I am very happy that I have lived long enough to see the first phase of this trail completed, after 11 years of effort by many dedicated people here today. This is only the first phase that will make Boyne City the “Trail Town of Northern Michigan” along with the Boyne Valley Trailway, the new mountain bike trails at the Boyne City School Forest Property and the major new mountain bike trail-building project beginning this month at the Avalanche Preserve.”
Boyne City Manager Mike Cain said, “If you ever need an example of what perseverance and cooperation can accomplish, look about you at this beautiful trail. What began as a vision well over a decade ago by people like Michael Sheehan we now come together to dedicate as a reality. But this trail is not the work of any one person, it is the combined effort of many. And while I am proud that Boyne City was the first governmental entity to step forward and commit to this project by agreeing to apply for the first major grant, this was truly a team effort. Partners included the Charlevoix County Planning Dept., the Charlevoix County Parks and Recreation Committee, Evangeline Township, the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners, the Charlevoix County Road Commission, and the State of Michigan through MDOT and the MDNR, whose grants largely made this project possible. And of course the staffs, the property owners and many private donors who all worked so hard. Again a true team effort."
"Even though we are here to officially open the trail today I’m getting reports from local businesses that are already seeing very real positive economic impacts. More customers mean more business and more jobs throughout the region. On so many levels this trail and its future phases will help improve the quality of life in Charlevoix County and beyond.
As I said almost 5 months ago a lot of the credit for this trail becoming the reality that it is goes to Ross Maxwell. Thru seemingly endless challenges, setbacks and distractions Ross calmly worked towards solutions. Ross took what at times seemed like impossibilities and made the trail a reality; it just took a bit longer than some of us might have wanted. Some of them could have driven him literally batty, but Ross persevered and prevailed.
So here it is and soon it will be joined by future phases of this trail and the other trails in and around Boyne City and the County that have the real potential to make this area a nationally recognized hub of quality trails opening the door even wider for continues improvements to our quality of life and economic opportunities. That reality is within our grasp. Let’s takes today's momentum and continue to build on it."
"Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped transform a vision into reality."
Petoskey News-Review story.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jim White honored for 50+ years in hardware business

Jim White receiving
his Golden Hammer award
This past weekend Jim White, owner of Boyne City Hardware, received a Golden Hammer award from Ace Hardware Corp. at the Ace Hardware convention in Chicago. The award celebrates Jim’s 51 years in the hardware industry. Here is the backstory of how Jim and his family got into the hardware business in the first place. Jim grew up in Midland. His father, Fred White, worked at Dow Chemical and his mother, Marge White, was a housewife. When Jim was 16 years old, his mom told him he needed to get a job so he looked through the paper and saw an ad for a stock boy at the 5 and Dime store downtown. He rode his bike 4-5 miles to apply for the job. As Jim says, he was rather puny at age 16 and the owner took one look at him and turned him down flat. Dejected, but still determined to not go home without a job, he was sitting on a bench in downtown Midland looking across the street at the local hardware store. He decided to go in and apply. The owner told him they weren't necessarily hiring at the time and asked Jim why he wanted to work there. He told the owner, "I've been shopping here with my dad and your store is pretty messy. I think I can clean it up." He was hired on the spot. Three years later, his dad ended up BUYING the store and Jim continued working there through high school and college. The Midland Ace Hardware store is still owned and operated by Jim’s brother, Greg White. 
How Jim ended up in Boyne City
In 1975, after graduating from MSU his dad had a proposition for Jim and his then wife Connie (now deceased). He wanted them to move to Boyne City in northern Michigan and temporarily operate a failing hardware store in the area. None of them had ever heard of, yet alone visited, Boyne City. The business was for sale and losing considerable money , and the owner had recently propositioned Jim’s dad to buy it. The plan was for Jim and Connie to operate the business for one year, then close it down, get a large tax write-off, and move back downstate. 
Well… after living in Boyne City and getting to know the customers, the store grew and so did its profitability. They decided to see how long they could keep it going, and now here it is, 42 years later, one of the longest running businesses in town. His current wife Sharon has worked at the store for over 30 years, his daughter Jessica now works there full-time, and you can frequently see his 8-yearold grandson Miles helping out and stocking the shelves just like his grandpa used to.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Registration opens for 8th annual Business Expo & Taste of Boyne

Registration is now open for the Boyne Chamber's 8th Annual Business Expo and Taste of Boyne. The Expo will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at a new location -  the Civic Center at Boyne Mountain Resort. This expo is always one of Northern Michigan's largest business networking events, as 1,300 people come to see 90 local exhibitors, including a dozen Taste of Boyne food booths. The public is welcome to attend for $5 admission, which includes tastings from a dozen food and beverage providers. Exhibitors receive extra admission passes for their employees, friends and clients. A cash bar will be available. Online registration plus pictures and the exhibitor list from last year are at www.boyneexpo.com.
Register early! Sponsors receive top booth location priority, followed by exhibitors in the order that they turn in their registration and payment. Booth space on the Main Level of the Boyne Mountain Civic Center is limited to about 65 exhibitors; additional space is available on the Lower Level, and booth fees are lower for that level. Expo exhibitors are limited to Boyne Area Chamber members. If you're not yet a member, here's how you can join us.
> THANKS TO OUR PRESENTING SPONSOR:
AND GOLD SPONSORS:
Petoskey News-Review * 9 and 10 News * Boyne City Gazette
Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital, Boyne Area Health Center and Boyne Rehab Center
> Email jim@boynechamber.com, for info on how to become a sponsor.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Leadership Charlevoix County Class of 2016-17 starts its journey

Leadership Charlevoix County is excited to announce its newest class for 2016-2017. The program is entering its sixth year as a comprehensive training experience for community members seeking to play a more active role in leadership and their communities. The program creates community awareness, networking opportunities, and focuses on leadership skill development through an educational and hands-on curriculum.
The 21-member class started with an orientation meeting at Boyne Mountain Resort, where they met each other and potential mentors. Their first class session is a two-day overnight retreat to Beaver Island on September 11-12, followed by one all-day class every month until graduation in May 2017. Class topics include Connecting with Your Government; Ethics, Culture & Philanthropy; Building Your Toolbox; Economic Development; Education Today; Health & Human Services; Environmental and Natural Resources; and “Where do we go from here?” Putting newly learned skills to use.
LCC graduate Dan Reynolds highly recommends it to others. "What I expected was a series of lectures and exercises. What I got was a front-row seat to witness and interact with the community's most influential leaders, a network of resources I will depend on throughout my career, and a new perspective on what it means to be a leader."
This year’s class is a diverse group or emerging leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds, locations and industries. LCC welcomes the following participants to the class: Kathleen Adkison of Van Dam Custom Boats, Bettina Baron of Southwest Airlines, Chelsea Biddick of Charlevoix Area Community Pool, Savanah Cool of Charlevoix-Emmet Dept. of Health & Human Services, Ashley Cousens of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce, Heather Diggs of Bear River Health at Walloon Lake, Mark Druesne of Town & Country Cedar Homes, Lisa Dunson of Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Sarah Hescheles of Lake Louise Christian Community, Lauren Ingle of Boyne Mountain Resort.
Also in the class are Jane Korthase of Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Jamie McLane of Hoffman CPA Firm, Renee Nowka of EJ, Anora O’Connor of Castle Farms, Stephanie Olszewski of Mason Kammermann & Rohrback, Emily Selph of Charlevoix County, Melissa Symons of EJ, Erica Tosch of Boyne City Main Street, Tina VanderArk of the City of East Jordan, Katelyn Vincent of Boyne Mountain and Katie Way of Charlevoix State Bank.

Leadership Charlevoix County is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was founded by the Charlevoix, Boyne City and East Jordan Chambers of Commerce. For more information, call any of those chambers or visit www.leadershipcharlevoixcounty.com.

Leadership Charlevoix County Class of 2016-17 starts its journey

Leadership Charlevoix County is excited to announce its newest class for 2016-2017. The program is entering its sixth year as a comprehensive training experience for community members seeking to play a more active role in leadership and their communities. The program creates community awareness, networking opportunities, and focuses on leadership skill development through an educational and hands-on curriculum.
The 21-member class started with an orientation meeting at Boyne Mountain Resort, where they met each other and potential mentors. Their first class session is a two-day overnight retreat to Beaver Island on September 11-12, followed by one all-day class every month until graduation in May 2017. Class topics include Connecting with Your Government; Ethics, Culture & Philanthropy; Building Your Toolbox; Economic Development; Education Today; Health & Human Services; Environmental and Natural Resources; and “Where do we go from here?” Putting newly learned skills to use.
LCC graduate Dan Reynolds highly recommends it to others. "What I expected was a series of lectures and exercises. What I got was a front-row seat to witness and interact with the community's most influential leaders, a network of resources I will depend on throughout my career, and a new perspective on what it means to be a leader."
This year’s class is a diverse group or emerging leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds, locations and industries. LCC welcomes the following participants to the class: Kathleen Adkison of Van Dam Custom Boats, Bettina Baron of Southwest Airlines, Chelsea Biddick of Charlevoix Area Community Pool, Savanah Cool of Charlevoix-Emmet Dept. of Health & Human Services, Ashley Cousens of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce, Heather Diggs of Bear River Health at Walloon Lake, Mark Druesne of Town & Country Cedar Homes, Lisa Dunson of Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Sarah Hescheles of Lake Louise Christian Community, Lauren Ingle of Boyne Mountain Resort.
Also in the class are Jane Korthase of Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Jamie McLane of Hoffman CPA Firm, Renee Nowka of EJ, Anora O’Connor of Castle Farms, Stephanie Olszewski of Mason Kammermann & Rohrback, Emily Selph of Charlevoix County, Melissa Symons of EJ, Erica Tosch of Boyne City Main Street, Tina VanderArk of the City of East Jordan, Katelyn Vincent of Boyne Mountain and Katie Way of Charlevoix State Bank.

Leadership Charlevoix County is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was founded by the Charlevoix, Boyne City and East Jordan Chambers of Commerce. For more information, call any of those chambers or visit www.leadershipcharlevoixcounty.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Birds Nest moves to new location in cottage on Water St.

The Birds Nest has moved to its new location at 230 Water St. in the cottage next to Bob Mathers Ford. Store hours are 10-5 M-TH, 10-9F, 10-4 Sat, 12-4 Sun. Owner Holly Watson posted this message on Facebook: "Thanks to all of you for your kind words of encouragement as we transition to our new Nest. It's been 10 wonderful years of helping you shop for a special gift or outfit and maybe even just having a good ole chat on your visits. Being an up north store gives us the freedom to become more personable with our customers and many of you have become our dear friends. We are grateful to each and every one of you for supporting our store. The changes we are making no doubt have been very stressful and emotional for myself and staff, a few tears and a few laughs as we reminisce over the past years. They say three times is a charm and so we move into our third location, which is a charming little cottage where we will nestle in, in the lovely town of Boyne City."