Petoskey's 'champions' celebrated
Dianne Litzenburger (center), director of communication services with Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, displays the Athena Award she received for 2012 at Petoskey's Breakfast for Champions. Presenting the award to Litzenburger were the 2011 Athena winner, the Rev. Sherry McGuffin (left) and award sponsor and local auto dealership owner Dave Kring. (G. Randall Goss/News-Review / December 4, 2012)
And along the way, the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce and numerous award sponsors paid tribute to people and organizations that help form the community character.
More than 400 area business people attended the awards breakfast today at the Odawa Casino Resort, which included a keynote address by Caroline Kennedy, field operations manager with the Michigan Municipal League.
Mitchell Street Pub owner Larry Rochon, who has been active in downtown Petoskey leadership for many years, received this year's Chairman's Award, an honor recognizing long-standing accomplishments, significant investment and extraordinary efforts that help shape the community.
"Our 2012 recipient has contributed in so many ways -- including taking to the rooftops of downtown merchants' buildings in 1991 and '92 to string holiday lights," said Petoskey chamber board chairwoman Cindy Dickson.
Before acquiring the Mitchell Street Pub in 2005, Rochon owned downtown's Record World store for about 26 years. He has served on the Petoskey Downtown Management Board since 1997, and has been part of a downtown parking committee for more than 10 years. Rochon serves as president of the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, and also has been part of the Harbor Hall substance abuse treatment organization's board of directors.
Another high-profile honor, the Athena Award, went to Dianne Litzenburger, director of communication services with Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District. The Rev. Sherry McGuffin, recipient of the 2011 Athena Award, joined award sponsor and auto dealership owner Dave Kring in presenting this year's award.
The Athena honor is intended for recipients who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.
McGuffin noted that Litzenburger has been a leader in her professional field. She is a past president of the Michigan School Public Relations Association and has been nominated for the board of the National School Public Relations Association.
In addition, McGuffin said Litzenburger has been active in a local Rotary club and its service efforts for youth and the community, and played key roles in developing the Leadership Charlevoix County program. At the intermediate school district, Litzenburger has served as a marketing mentor while hosting interns.
"As she works in marketing, she remains aware of women in advertising and she continues to lift the status of women," McGuffin said. "She has served on the board of the Women's Resource Center, serving on the Women Can Women Do committee for several years providing equal opportunities for all women and continues to be driven to work to help all girls and women have equality in this world."
See Wednesday's Petoskey News-Review or petoskeynews.com for details about other awards presented today.
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