December 2019 - Issue #88
Karin Vandyke & Brian Donnelly

Farewell from Karin Van Dyke -
Happy Holiday to All!
For those of you who were unable to attend Wednesday's Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce Annual meeting, we had over thirty members gather for a great lunch buffet put on by the Bonfire Restaurant, attendees heard several updates, voted on new members, visited with old friends, and made new ones.
For both Brian Donnelly and myself, it was our last Annual meeting, as both of our terms of office - six years - have expired. Both of us have served in various roles on the Chamber Board, including stints as President. We have been part of many exciting changes - a renewed Bridgefest, Leadership Keweenaw, new events, increased membership and new staff. As they say with departures, it is good to leave on a high note, and we are.
Tara Arens, Chamber Manager, and Katie Schlief, Support Specialist, have been very busy creating energetic new programs that involve the Chamber in the City of Houghton's annual Halloween Treat Street, and the Small Business Saturday held throughout the Keweenaw. We continue to reach out and respond in ways that best serve our members - YOU!
Thank you for all of your hard work and best wishes for a safe and memorable Holiday Season.


Farewell from Brian Donnelly -
“It has been a great honor to serve our business community through the
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce over the past 6 years. We accomplished a lot of things over that time, but I am most proud of the deeper collaboration of our economic development agencies. In particular, I view the co-location and resource sharing with KEDA as a great success, and a win for all stakeholders. We are a small community, a peninsula on a peninsula. It is imperative that we all band together and push in the same direction. Our chamber today is strong and relevant, and I have great respect for all of the board members, past and current, who lend their time to the cause of supporting our local economy.”
Top Chamber Supporters
Welcome New Members
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
We're excited to welcome Sturos, CPA as a new member of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce!

For more than four decades, Sturos CPA staff has been helping clients achieve their financial goals by providing smart financial planning, advising, and money-saving strategies. 

Visit their website to learn more!
Help us welcome Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as a new member of the Chamber!

Thinking about buying a home or refinancing your mortgage? As a local home mortgage consultant, I can help you find financing that meets your needs. I'll work with you throughout the process, guiding you every step of the way.

Tina Lynn Puska, your local Home Mortgage Consultant is located at 517 Shelden Avenue, Suite F, Houghton. Stop in or call 906-487-5842 for more information, or visit their website.
Thank you for RENEWING your membership
41 Lumber - Houghton
5th and Elm Coffee House
Advance-Tec Body Repair
Bonfire Steakhouse Bar & Grill
Canal Run
Downtowner Lounge & Motel
Keweenaw County
Sherwin Williams Company
We're happy to announce a new partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). Current Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce members are eligible to these benefits below under this partnership agreement.

We encourage you to reach out and take advantage of these great benefits, or let us know if you have any questions, call 482-5240 or email
Like us on Facebook
We like to share news, updates, and events of our membership on Facebook. If you have a post that you would like us to share please share it with us and we would love to help spread the word!
Event Recaps
November 13th | Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast | Enbridge {Line 5}
November 19th | Lunch & Learn | Marketing Department Inc.
November 21st | Business After Hours | GrandBridge Business Center
November 29th | Hancock Polar Express | Christmas Walk
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce & Keweenaw Chevrolet | BUICK | GMC
November 30th | Small Business Saturday | Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Mark Your Calendars!
Upcoming Chamber Events
Member Spotlight:
Q: Give us some background on yourself/your business.
A: Stang Decision Systems is opened its doors in 2001 in Marquette, MI. Our first remote office in the Houghton area opened in 2015 through the initial and continued support of the MTEC SmartZone. Myself, I work with some fascinating entrepreneurs and start-ups with their hiring and HR needs. In addition, I have several local and national clients I work with to develop their open positions, write HR compliant and customized employment applications that identify what they seek in an ideal applicant, create a unique online hiring site for applicants to apply, and then promote and advertise open positions in key, strategic areas of effectiveness. From there, clients can decide to have our team conduct interviews, perform job specific testing assessments, make recommendations for hiring, and conduct background screenings, reference checks and drug testing. 

I’ve been with Stang Decision Systems for nearly 5 years. The area had a definite need for HR and hiring support and SDS is honored to be able to provide this to clients locally and nationally. Although some of Stang’s largest clients reside in the oil refinery business (Marathon, BP and Citgo to name a few) in various locations throughout the country, we also hire for clients in positions such as: 
• CEOs, CFOs, Executive Directors
• City/County Managers, Administrators
• Marketing Directors, Administrative & support staff, graphic design
• Refinery, manufacturing, production, mechanics, skilled trade
• Engineers, Architects
• Surgeons, nurses, pharmacy staff
• Opticians, eye care, patient care, lab technicians
• Inside & Outside Sales Representatives, Account Managers
• Bankers, Tellers, Accountants, CPAs, Bookkeepers, financial analysts
• Software, IT, Data Integration, Web Developers, Programmers, Helpdesk, interns
• Nannies, daycare providers & everything in between

Q: How many years have you been in business? 
A: My background---I started in banking and have a combined 19 years’ experience in wealth management, shareholder relations, HR and marketing. Of this, I’ve been in the world of HR for 11 years covering a broad landscape–employee relations, strategy, system development, talent acquisition, recruiting consulting, job posting specialist, benefits and best practices. 

Q: What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
A: We started our business in 2001 first with the NFL to help professional sports teams select better players. We identified that our advanced analytics could be used to predict – with incredible accuracy – how well a newly-drafted football player would perform.
The technology we built for the NFL also worked exceptionally well in helping companies hire and develop better employees. So we converted the technology to specifically address employee hiring and development challenges . . . and Stang Decision Systems was born.
◦What is one thing you're most proud of so far?
Several of my clients are small businesses with no HR departments. They rely on me for results and solid advice on best hiring practices. Since opening in 2015, I’ve helped my clients to hire more than 850 people. Clients report back they would rehire more than 95% of Stang process hires.  

Q: Do you have a personal or professional motto?
A: “There is nothing more interesting than people.”

Q: Who are the people in the background of your organization?
A: We have an entire professional support system of PhD Industrial Organizational Psychologists, Project Managers, Testing Administrators, HR Advisor, Writers, Sales, IT/programming experts and interns.

Q: Do you have any advice for new business owners?
A: It is all about the people. I will share a statement made by the owner and founder of Stang Decision Systems, Spencer Stang. During a conversation in which he asked me to come onboard, he stated “If you decide to join my company, I will make sure you know every day how valued you are.” 

Be thoughtful when you’re considering a new hire. From the president of the company to the janitor and truck drivers, to the customer that buys your product or service---everyone plays an important role in your success. When hiring, spend the time to identify what is needed to perform well in the position, be sure your application process captures these key areas, and act quickly with applicants. These are people that have chosen to consider a role in your company. Make sure they feel valued. 

Q: What are your business's goals?
A: To continue doing what I do best---put great people with great companies.

Q: How can people keep up to date on what's happening at your organization?
A: To learn more about Stang Decision Systems, visit us at
To find great careers with our clients, visit

Q: Anything else you want the community to know about your business?
A: To further discuss your hiring needs and how Stang can help, contact me, Jody Johnson, at Conversations are always confidential and at no charge. 
Member Spotlight:
Miller’s Recreation (aka Miller’s Lanes) opened in 1946. Margaret and Bill Miller Sr. founded the bowling center, restaurant and bar. The center originally contained six bowling lanes, but was expanded in the late 50’s to include eight lanes of bowling and a concourse area. In recent years the restaurant has expanded and features daily and monthly specials. One of the customer’s favorite specials is Sunday Chicken wings, all the sauces are made in house. The current owner is Loralee Miller, she is the third generation of Miller’s to own and operate the business (Bill Jr and Laura Miller ran the center with Margaret after Bill Sr. passed away). Miller’s Lanes would not be where it is if it were not for the great, knowledgeable staff. Jeremy Hattula has been with the company for 16 years, he is the lane mechanic, computer guru, assistant manager as well as a cook and bartender. Karl Butler has been with the company for about 20 years running the bowling proshop (ball drilling, fitting, repair, etc) and in the last 12 years he has entered into bartending, lane mechanic and cooking. We have three cooks and several waitstaff/bartenders that will treat you well when you stop in.

The most important goal of Miller’s Lanes is to foster a family friendly atmosphere where everybody feels welcome and at home when they walk through the door. Bowling leagues are offered to people from ages 3 and up. The Calumet/Lake Linden/Dollar Bay High School Bowling team calls Miller’s their home. Birthday parties are a constant treat with pizza, bowling, soda and lots of laughter from all the family. Promotion of this lifelong sport as well as the connectivity of being on a team and enjoying an evening with friends is a very important factor of the business.

One of the greatest parts of working in a family business that has been around for 73 years is to have influenced so many people’s lives. The staff constantly hears stories from customers and visitors about good times that their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc have had at Miller’s Lanes and they continue to enjoy the same wholesome fun with their children. It is also great to be in the small community of Laurium where we can help out our neighbors with benefits when they need help or just an ear to listen to a story or two while providing them with comforting food and drink.

To learn more about the business, find out about upcoming tournaments, live music or other happenings please visit the website or
Is your business/organization interested in being in our member spotlight? Contact us for more details!
Utilize this Chamber Member Only Benefit
Your Opportunity to Learn More
Contact the Chamber for free access to Skillshare
Skillshare is an online learning platform with thousands of classes in dozens of disciplines — including marketing, design, productivity, software training and more. Classes are suitable for a range of skill levels and are taught in an approachable way with a focus on practical application.

Additionally, many of the classes are taught by some of the best-known practitioners in their respective field (e.g. renowned designer Aaron Draplin teaches logo design, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk teaches social media strategy, TED Talk sensation, Simon Sinek teaches presentation skills, etc.) or in conjunction with some of the leading companies in a particular discipline (Mailchimp teaches email marketing, Atlassian teaches how to build a high performing team).

Each Skillshare class has an associated project to allow students to practice what they learn, and customized class recommendations based on individual interests and engagement will help give each participant a personalized experience tailored to their specific needs.
Accident Fund Insurance Discount Program
Upcoming Events
CHRISTMAS IN SOUTH RANGE, MI | Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 1 PM – 3 PM
Santa will be arriving at 1pm on the FIRE TRUCK!
There will be cookie decorating, face painting, coloring contests, letters to Santa and fire truck rides. (weather permitting)
There will be hot chocolate and coffee, punch, hot dogs and bake goods.
Please bring a canned good to enter toy raffle.
Magic Kiln HOLIDAY Workshops | Visit ONLINE or CALL 906.523.5361
WINTER WONDERFEST & PARK LIGHTING | Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Holiday Marketplace featuring local artists work (great for gifts) and a scrumptious bake sale. (10AM to 6PM)
At 4:00PM there will be ornament making for kids and a visit from Santa arriving on a fire engine!
6:00PM sharp we'll kick off season with the Tree Lighting in the Town Park and some fireworks! (Across the street from the Mariner North)
All proceeds go to "No Child Without a Christmas Fund" Come join the fun! Get some Christmas presents and support a great cause!

*If you're interesting in being a vendor, download form here:
Keweenaw Chevrolet | BUICK | GMC - Saturday, December 14, 2019

400 TICKETS to be GIVEN AWAY - Thursday, December 12, 2019 | NOON
1705 Memorial Road - Houghton, MI
Is your business or organization having an upcoming event? Send us your flyer and we will include it in our newsletter - Email: . Also - be sure to post your events on our community calendar!
Keweenaw Cash
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer Keweenaw Cash: a gift certificate program that can be used at more than 300 Chamber member businesses. Since its launch, the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has issued over $341,000 worth of Keweenaw Cash. That money goes right back into local businesses!

Keweenaw Cash can be purchased in any denomination, allowing the recipient more flexibility and enabling them to use the certificates at numerous businesses.

In addition to making great gifts, businesses can purchase Keweenaw Cash as bonuses, prizes, at fundraising events, as employee incentives or awards, retirement gifts, to mark a milestone, or as part of a welcome package for new hires.

Certificates come with an envelope and a list of all the participating businesses.
Please note we require at least a 24 hour notice when placing orders. We are not responsible for any lost or stolen certificates.

If you are a business and would be interested in being able to redeem Keweenaw Cash, please look into a   becoming a member   with the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce.

For additional information about Keweenaw Cash, to purchase certificates, or how you can accept Keweenaw Cash, call  906-482-5240  or email
We need your Business Cards/Brochures
Board of Directors
Karin Van Dyke, President
Vice President for Advancement
Finlandia University

Mary Myers, Vice President
Account Executive

Angela Luskin, Secretary
Health and Fitness Manager
UP Health System-Portage

James Desrochers - Treasurer
Director of Advancement
Michigan Technological University

Morgan Impola
Regional Engineer
Jan Cole
Managing Partner
Edochi, LLC

Todd Gast
Marketing Manager
Keweenaw Co-op

Brian Donnelly
VP Director of Retail Banking
Superior National Bank

Carrie Richards
Partner Engagement Program Manager
Michigan Technological University

Mary Sears, KEDA Representative

Brad Barnett, CVB Representative
Your Lansing Contacts
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact your legislators! 
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representative
State Senate District: 38
House of Representative District: 110 
Our roots run deep in the Keweenaw
Upper Peninsula Power Company was created in 1947 through a merger of three utilities. One of them, the Houghton County Electric Light Company, earlier acquired the interests of Peninsula Electric Light and Power, which began operating in the Keweenaw in 1884 – just five years after Edison invented the light bulb.
From the Edison bulb to high-tech electronics of today, you might say UPPCO has been providing “ U.P. Power ” for more than 130 years. 
Customer Service
( 800-562-7680 )
24-Hour Electric Emergencies/Outages
Outage Updates
News @uppcopower
Safe & Reliable Service
Renewable Hydroelectric Generation
With Public Recreational Opportunities
Proud Community Supporter

Learn more at
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
902 College Ave, Houghton, MI 49931