March 2019 - Issue #79
Dear Chamber Members & Friends,

Thank you to all who came out to make the Keweenaw Community Spark Plug Awards a huge success. We honored six individuals and organizations who accomplished inspiring things in 2018. We received over 70 nominations, which shows that our community has a lot to celebrate!

Our keynote speaker Michele Dupras, Owner and Designer of Revisions Design Studio located in Marquette shared her entrepreneurial journey, the obstacles she faced, and even though when she thought she had lost hope, she kept moving forward. She passed along an excellent message to all attendees. Opportunity. When opportunity knocks, open the door.

Thank you for your support,

Karin Van Dyke
Board President
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Top Chamber Supporters
Please Welcome Our New Chamber Member
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
We are excited to welcome our new Chamber Member,  Encore Entertainment !

They are a Professional Mobile Dj Service. Serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Specializing in Corporate, Private and Public events.

Visit their website to learn more and how to contact them for your next big event:
We are happy to welcome  Right Start UP  as a new Chamber Member!

"Right Start Kids Academy is Right Start UP’s new nonprofit child development center and licensed child care center in Hancock. With Right Start Kids Academy, we strive to provide access to affordable, high quality early childhood education and care services for working families."

Visit their website here:
Warmest welcome to our new Chamber Member,  Studio 13 , located in Houghton!

Studio 13 specializes in prints, greeting cards, t-shirts and stickers featuring original Keweenaw - and outdoor - inspired graphic designs.

Visit their website here:
We are happy to welcome our new Chamber Member, Fine Line Tire !

Fine Line Tire in Hancock, and Fine Line Tire Express in Houghton are your complete tire service and automotive repair centers.

Visit their website here:
Please help us welcome our new Chamber Member,  Keweenaw Castle!

They offer luxury suites and specialize in creating custom vacation experiences in the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula. From couples vacations, to small weddings, elopements, and anniversary celebrations, they can help coordinate perks like dinner reservations and on-site couples massages.

To learn about them more visit their website here:
Thank you for renewing your membership
Copper Country Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
Copper Country Veterinary Clinic
J & A Penegor, Inc.
King Copper Motel
Rukkila, Negro & Associates, CPAs
The Lighthouse at Hancock
Travel Leaders/Superior Travel
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!
Business After Hours
Schedule yours today!
Are you interested in hosting a Business After Hours?

Business After Hours is a great opportunity to increase recognition and exposure, network, with fellow members, establish an identity, increase community engagement, visit with old acquaintances and make new connections.

If you're interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2019, please send us an email at or call us at 906-482-5240.
We want to hear from you!
Topic: Lunch & Learns
To best suit our Chamber Members we are asking you to take a short survey of what Lunch & Learn topics you are most interested in. We will try our best to bring these topics to you.

This survey is completely anonymous, and should take less than 1 minute to complete.
Mark Your Calendars!
Upcoming Chamber Events
Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast
Contact: Tara Arens
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
906.482.5240 |

Contact: Jeff Ratcliffe
Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
906.482.6817 |

Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast

Houghton, MI – Since at least 1999 the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) has hosted the KEDA member breakfast meeting the second Wednesday of the month at the Finnish American Heritage Center. This program featured speakers and panels addressing topics and information relevant to the community and economic development of the Keweenaw region. As part of the original planning that led to KEDA’s office co-locating to the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce in July of 2017, the two boards recently approved a co-branding plan that will result in the monthly breakfast, now branded as the Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast, being managed by the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce with oversight from a joint KEDA – Chamber committee. As a result of this transition, the  March breakfast will not be held .  Programs for April through June are currently being scheduled including the annual KEDA skilled trades scholarship awards at the May meeting.

“The goal of the Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast is to deliver timely and relevant information about the community, economic and business development in the Keweenaw Peninsula,” says Karin Van Dyke, Chamber Board President. With the co-branded breakfast series, the Chamber is excited to bring its members together with KEDA for a unique opportunity to stay informed on the issues and information necessary to improve our community as well as larger monthly networking event.

“By KEDA joining efforts with the Chamber we have been able secure the administrative support we needed that allows us to put our time and energy into more direct economic development work,” says Ron Fisher, KEDA’s board chair. “The co-branding of our monthly breakfast meeting is another step in our effort to keep our focus and utilize the talents and resources of partner organizations that benefits everyone.”

The focus of the breakfast will not change. The program will continue feature speakers and panels on topics and information relevant to our community’s development and will continue to be held at the Finnish American Heritage Center on the second Wednesday of the month from September through June, from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Sponsors will continue to be welcome.

The Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast announcements will be communicated by email to both KEDA and Chamber members. To learn more please contact the Chamber at .
Bridgefest 2019
Bridgefest 2019 planning is currently in full swing and we need YOUR help! Several opportunities are available, whether you're interested in volunteering, sponsoring or being a vendor.

Visit the Bridgefest website for more information; call 906-482-5240; or email
Event Recaps
February 20th Lunch and Learn: We would like to thank Patty Markham Peterson with  Expanding Hearts  for leading our Lunch & Learn about Wellness in the Workplace.

Thank you to  Keweenaw Co-op Natural Foods Market & Deli   for providing a delicious lunch!
March 7th Keweenaw Community Spark Plug Award Dinner: We would like to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful keynote speaker, Michele Dupras of  Revisions (pictured above)  who gave an inspirational speech of her entrepreneurial journey.

Thank you to the  Bonfire Steakhouse  and staff for a delicious dinner and great service.

And thank you to our centerpiece sponsor  Protea Floral Design   for the beautiful centerpieces.

Keweenaw Chevrolet

Customer Service:
Superior Equipment & Events

 Mount Bohemia

Project of the Year:
Houghton Beautification Committee

Young Professional of the Year:
Angela Luskin

Community Contributor of the Year:
Richelle Winkler

Copper Country Strong Awards (L-R) Travis Williams, Kevin Store, Tommy Crouch, and Jonathan Stone
Member Spotlight
Real People Media is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization established in 2010 to help people share their stories on video. Rebecca Glotfelty, Executive Director of Real People Media and professional filmmaker and artist, established the organization in 2010 to serve people in northwest Lower Michigan and the eastern U.P. In 2016 the organization expanded its mission to help people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing, and media arts and expanded its services to the Western U.P.  

The organization fulfills its mission by providing exhibit space and opportunities for visual artists and performance opportunities for storytellers, singer/songwriters and musicians. In addition the organization offers storytelling workshops and classes.

Real People Media has provided video production classes, training and equipment to dozens of nonprofit organizations within its service area. These organizations include: Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, Charlevoix and Harbor Springs Historical Societies, Charlevoix and Petoskey Public Libraries, East Jordan Shoe Club, Sault Environmental Club, Bay Area Substance Education Services and Emmet County Recycling Center. Work produced by RPM and our partnering organizations can be viewed on our website at under “success stories.”

Since 2013, Real People Media has offered The Voice Box Sessions, an artist development series which provides an opportunity for singer-songwriters, musicians and spoken-word artists to gain performance experience in an intimate setting. Real People Media provides participants with a professional sound system, stage lighting and recording equipment. Performers are given still photographs of their performance as well as the opportunity to videotape these sessions to use for self-promotion. Voice Box Sessions are followed by an open mic that encourages people of all ages and abilities to participate. Several Michigan singer/songwriters have honed their skills or started their careers via the Voice Box Sessions including: Jetty Rae, Charlie Millard, Kevin Johnson and Jenifer Thomas.

In 2017, Real People Media partnered with Main Street Calumet to produce The Red Jacket Jamboree, an old-time radio variety radio show which shares history, music, stories and songs from the Keweenaw Peninsula. Real People Media is now in its second season of the series which promotes the Keweenaw Peninsula and its history throughout Michigan. To date, 20 hour-long radio episodes have been recorded. Thirteen of these episodes have aired on Interlochen Public Radio, which reaches 100,000 residents living in northwest Lower Michigan and the southern U.P.  In addition, three episodes of The Red Jacket Jamboree have been heard on WNMU Public Radio 90.

Real People Media encourages the participation of local performers: singer-songwriters, musicians, and storytellers. Interested artists should visit the Red Jacket Jamboree website for more information: .

Real People Media is also bringing professional storytellers to the Keweenaw to share and teach their craft. In 2018 Real People Media brought storytelling Bill Jamerson and Pete Griffin to perform on the Red Jacket Jamboree. In addition, Bill Jamerson presented a free public performance during Calumet's Pasty Fest celebration and Pete Griffin taught a workshop for interested storytellers. In 2019, Pete Griffin returns to the Red Jacket Jamboree and Real People Media has arranged for him to be the artist in residence at The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge from July 14-16. The public is invited to come sit around the campfire and listen to Pete's tales about growing up in the U.P. to his work as a forest ranger in Alaska. Other artists-in-residence are slated for 2019 as well.  

Rebecca Glotfelty, RPM Executive Director states, “We are proud to be part of the Keweenaw community. The organization officially moved its headquarters to Calumet in 2017 and has plans to open a storytelling center to help share the regions unique history and stories. We believe that the history and narratives of the keweenaw Peninsula are important, not only to our state, but to our country's collective history.  We were encouraged to move to Calumet after learning about the community's commitment to the arts, culture, history, and economic growth as exhibited by the establishment of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, the Calumet Theatre, a vibrant community of artists, and its Keweenaw Heritage Sites. In the future, we look forward to partnering with local schools and universities to establish internships and mentoring programs.

Real People Media would not have been successful in establishing The Red Jacket Jamboree without the support of Main Street Calumet and Copper Country Preservation. These and other community organization and individuals have welcomed and encouraged us through every step of the process. Everyday we are reassured that we made the right decision to relocate. We consistently experience and benefit from the generosity of the people here. There's a sense of community that doesn't exist throughout the entire State. For example, Real People Media currently distributes 125 posters for each performance of The Red Jacket Jamboree.  Approximately 90 of those posters are distributed Ito businesses in the Keweenaw. It might seem like a small gesture to some, but it is one of the primary ways we have to advertise the show. Unfortunately this is not the case below the bridge. Very few places will allow you to put up a poster. The Upper Peninsula, and specifically the Keweenaw Peninsula, is a special place for a multitude of reasons. Real People Media wants to help share this with the rest of Michigan as well as with our Wisconsin neighbors.

In sharing this story, the organization has an interest in helping to preserve Calumet's historic landscape and vistas. We're concerned with the number of home and commercial buildings which are in jeopardy. The buildings are part of the community's history and we want to contribute our skills and expertise in storytelling to help bring back Calumet.  

Real People Media is looking to establish a community storytelling center within Calumet and are in the process of looking for property which could serve the needs of the center. These needs include an administrative and retail home for The Red Jacket Jamboree, a venue for our Voice Box Sessions and other performances, a children's area for puppet shows and crafts, and space for rotating art and historical exhibits. The center would serve the local community and visitors.  

Real People Media's long-term goal is to help establish Calumet as the storytelling center of the upper Midwest. We plan to be here a long time!

Real People Media is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our organization receives funding from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, The Michigan Humanities Council, business sponsors and private donors. All donations are tax-deductible.  Anyone interested in making a donation can do so via our website .  For those wanting to become a sponsor of The Red Jacket Jamboree, please send an email to: . Real People Media welcomes input on any of our activities and welcomes people to share their skills or stories with the organization.  You may also follow us on Facebook !

The Red Jacket Jamboree is free to all students 17 and under when accompanied by an adult.  
Guest musician Mean Mary on stage at The Red Jacket Jamboree
The Red Jacket Radio actors: Ralph Horvath, Carrie Biolo, Marty Achatz and host Lena Dorey

Two above photos credit to: Chelsea Batten
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.
Chamber Member Events
Understanding Michigan’s Open Meetings Act 

The Copper Country League of Women Voters will host a Public Forum on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at the Portage Lake District Library Community Room. The topic of the Forum is “Understanding Michigan’s Open Meetings Act” and the presenter will be League member, Valorie Troesch. 

Michigan’s Open Meetings Act establishes important rights for the public. Yet, many of us do not know what these rights are or we don’t understand how they work. What public meetings are covered? What notices are required? When is a public body entitled to have a closed session? What about the use of e-mail and other electronic communications during meetings? How does someone enforce these right and what are the penalties for violations? These questions and others will be addressed during the forum. 

Surprisingly, issues about open meetings laws are coming up more and more often, even locally. Come and learn more about this important and timely topic.  
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!
Are you familiar with Keweenaw Cash?
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer Keweenaw Cash: a gift certificate program that can be used at more than 325 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
Associate Director, Industry Relations
Michigan Technological University

Morgan Impola
Regional Engineer

Brad Barnett
Apple Blossom Mercantile
Carrie Richards
Partner Engagement Program Manager
Michigan Technological University

Jan Cole
Managing Partner
Edochi, LLC

Todd Gast
Marketing Manager
Keweenaw Co-op

Will Schuett
Marketing PRI Specialist
UP Health System-Portage

Brian Donnelly
VP Director of Retail Banking
Superior National Bank
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
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Learn more at
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
902 College Ave, Houghton, MI 49931