February 2022 Newsletter
Dear Members,

As we enter February and get settled into a new year, I’d like to welcome our two new board members to our Chamber family. A big thank you is also in order. As most know, I am a big advocate of volunteerism. I am always in awe of folks who give their own time to better their community. Getting involved on the local level is so rewarding and I urge you all to make 2022 the YEAR OF THE VOLUNTEER. There are endless opportunities coming including Winter Carnival, Copper Dog, and the Great Bear Chase. If you prefer a cozy inside job, try contacting one of the awesome non-profits that could use your help so desperately.  The Chamber too is always in need of volunteers and can help you find the right fit. Reach out to Tara or Katie, our Chamber employees or any board member to become a volunteer today! I promise you will love it.

February will prove to be a big year for the Chamber and its partner agencies. We are happy to announce that we received the most Spark Plug nominations than any previous year, with a whopping 105 nominations! Thank you all for taking the time to nominate these amazing businesses and community leaders. Board members from the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, KEDA, MTEC SmartZone, and Keweenaw Young Professionals, will be voting on winners this month and are planning a Gala event on March 3 at the MTU Memorial Ballroom. We hope that you all will attend and see who will take home these awesome business and community awards. We have quite an exciting evening planned. Tickets are available at the Chamber website: www.keweenaw.org.


Mary Myers
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Board President
Top Chamber Partners
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
Welcome NEW Board Members
Amy Roberts
Superior National Bank - Calumet Branch

Amy has a deep respect and appreciation for the Keweenaw community where she and her husband have raised their family. Her career at Superior National Bank started 20 years ago and she is now the VP/Branch Manager of the Calumet Market locations. Her family enjoys all the Keweenaw has to offer and she is looking forward to being engaged in the preservation of our future and maintaining the strength of our community through the Chamber. She believes the power of the Keweenaw comes from its people and businesses coming together to advocate and support each other.
Sherry Wyeth
Finlandia University

Sherry Wyeth moved to the area with her three daughters seven years ago. Right now I work at Finlandia University with incoming health science students, prior to that, I worked as an activities director in local long-term care facilities. When we moved here I was in love with all the things to do outside, being near woods and water fuels my spirit. Once I started working with the elders and hearing the tales of what this area used to be, I fell in love even more with the history. Now working with incoming students I have the opportunity to help support and witness the next generation of up-and-coming change-makers in our community. I am looking forward to utilizing my skills with the Chamber and helping be part of the continued improvement in our community. I’m equally excited to learn from such a great group of people invested in our home.
Welcome NEW Members
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
119 Quincy Street
Hancock, MI 49930
(906) 523-7039
Monday - Saturday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Sunday: NOON - 5 PM
KC Bonker's is a toy store of the finest, and funniest, selection of toys with long-term play value, and a cafe serving coffee and espresso drinks.
It is a coffee stop, a board game cafe, and a family destination point, K.C. Bonker's® specializes in injecting a little magic into the daily grind.
Member Spotlight
Scooter Doctor | Houghton
Doug Tozier
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!

I was raised in the Boston area, but my entire adult life, after college, has been spent elsewhere, from S. Carolina to California, Arizona, and finally here in the U.P. The last 13 years was a “fish out of water” experience in the low desert of Phoenix, Arizona, which ended in a health crisis, divorce, and the loss of my home. A former customer turned friend offered me a place to stay that was at first intended to be temporary. It turned into a permanent move to his summer home here in the Keweenaw (sight unseen).

But this turned into my opportunity to begin fresh, both personally and professionally. With a new focus, and possibilities, I set my sights on my own business and store. I have patterned my store after that of my previous employer back in Phoenix: a mobility dealer scratching his way from nothing, but as a pioneer in the western U.P.

My experience in healthcare is going on 30 years specifically in the homecare division: first providing oxygen and related equipment services in Northern California, as well as, Arizona; then transitioning finally to mobility related equipment and service for the last 13, going on 14 years. Here in the U.P. I see a unique opportunity to provide these services to an aging population where mobility-specific disability is a growing need that needs to be filled.

I started my store with a couple of basic insights and objectives: the first being a needs-oriented approach to an industry dominated by high costs and insurance driven providers. Many have, in recent years, been forced to shift their focus away from a Medicare-centric business model to concentrate on private insurances, self-pay, and in some cases, diminished services to control costs. This is NOT my idea of best meeting the needs of the elderly and disability community.

The second is a dedication to “Superior Customer Service”. While this began as my personal motto for my work ethic and attention to the needs of each and every customer with whom I come into contact, it soon became my reason for being in this line of work at all.

This in itself is a 2-pronged strategy in an increasingly challenging healthcare landscape. That is seen first in my store, and also in my mobile service, bringing the same quality of care to those who come to me, and those to whom I personally bring my in-home service; but this is not just about equipment and service; it is as much about my needs-based approach with every person I meet. I see my job as beginning and ending with assessing the person, then the need (the difficulty they have with their daily activities), and then seeing that through to a solution that truly meets their need. This includes a lifetime of service and maintenance for everything I sell.

While my store is less than a year old, these 8 months have helped me to shape a purpose in this community that is exploring a high level of collaboration with medical facilities, assisted living facilities, and other community organizations, such as Friends of the Elderly, 1 Million Cups, and, of course, The Keweenaw Chamber. My ultimate goal is to make my services a central core of the healthcare of this community, and its underserved, disabled members.
Thank you for RENEWING your Membership
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
Canal Run
Champion Welding Alloys
Cross Country Sports
Daily Mining Gazette
Horner Flooring Company
Keweenaw Castle
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
New Power Tour, Inc.
Northern Lights Clubhouse
Pat's Foods and Festival Foods
Portage Lake Construction
Range Lounge
Superior Screed Service
Walmart #2192
Benefits Available to
your Business
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce members
are eligible for these benefits below.

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 info@keweenaw.org
Accident Fund Insurance Discount Program
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
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!
Chamber Review
Our monthly Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast was virtually held on January 12, 2022, at the Bonfire Banquet Room.
Presentations included "Year in Review's" from the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance.
Thank you to our businesses and community members for your valued business and continued support!
Join the Houghton and Hancock
Business Association Meetings
Houghton - First Wednesday of the Month
Hancock - Second Tuesday of the Month
Houghton Downtown Business Owners
MEDC has announced another round of Match on Main funding. They can supply up to $25,000 to help you build or better your business. Houghton is eligible to apply. As it was in the last round in 2021, we can submit up to two applications, but IF we are funded; they’ll only fund one of them.
So, what types of projects are eligible?
What are eligible expenses which may be reimbursed with grant funding from Match on Main? A business interested in working with their local community to apply for a Match on Main grant must have a project and scope identified. Grant funds will be awarded up to $25,000 to reimburse project activities occurring at a permanent commercial space, that fit within the following eligible expenses, which must be paid by the business to an independent third party:
·   Expenses for technical assistance items for design and layout of interior or exterior space, such as conceptual renderings of the interior or exterior floor plan, merchandise layout, other interior or exterior space activation.
·   Expenses for interior building renovation items, including rehabilitation of floors, walls, ceiling, rooms, electrical improvements, lighting and lighting fixtures, furniture and display renovations, installation of permanent kitchen or other equipment, and/or fire suppression or other code compliance items.
·   Expenses for permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor space, including a dining area, beer garden, or other place-based outdoor activation deemed acceptable by the MEDC. Exterior signage, doors and windows may be permitted as an eligible expense if part of a larger outdoor space activation project.
·   Expenses for permanent or semi-permanent business infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts such as items that promote the health and safety of employees and customers (examples include plexiglass barriers, curbside service windows, etc.).
·   Expenses for general marketing, technology to assist in connecting with customers (example: website upgrades or e-commerce integration), operational changes (example: shifting from dine in to carry out), the purchase of a point-of-sale system, or inventory expenses for retail goods.
All eligible expenses must be otherwise acceptable to MEDC.
Expenses that are NOT eligible include: exterior improvements that could be considered as general maintenance, repairs, landscaping, or other non-place-based outdoor activation, employee wages, salaries or benefits, rent, mortgage, land contract or building lease payments, utilities, leases for equipment, vehicle leases, vehicle payments, taxes, interest or insurance, professional fees, federal, state or local application, licensing, permit or similar fees, bank or other lender financing, interest, inspection fees or costs, credit card processing fees; non-infrastructure COVID-19 expenses, such as disposable PPE, including masks or other face coverings, gloves, or hand sanitizer, property acquisition, projects on residential property, or any other capital expenditure (including soft costs) deemed ineligible at sole discretion of the MEDC.
What does that actually mean? There are a lot of things you can do, so use your imagination. 
We can submit up to two applications, but we’re going to need some information from you well ahead of the due date in early March.
What YOU need to do now:
·   Get hold of us so we can sit down and discuss your project. Email is best to start. eric.waara@cityofhoughton.com
·   Determine what project(s) you’d like to do that will take your business to the next level.
·   Write up some short paragraphs about what it is you want to do and how it will help your business further succeed. This doesn’t have to be perfect, there will be time to expand it later if we are going to apply. This is going to take some thought on your part.
·   Commit some of your own funds toward making it happen. They expect you to have some match.
·   Get a good plan and an estimate from a contractor or a vendor for the project. You’ll have to do a little legwork.
If you are interested in applying for the grant you need to let us know by February 8, 2022. We are going to need that list of information (What YOU need to do now list above) by February 22, 2022. We can talk about it in between those dates.
The application does take time to fill out. A lot of the information is going to have to be filled in by you and then we’ll transfer it to the application. Only you know how we can help, but we can’t read your mind. We’ll give you a copy of the app info that you need to fill in once we’ve been able to talk about it.
The applications are not due until March, but that time flies quickly.
If you want to read more about it, the link is: https://www.miplace.org/small-business/match-on-main/

Upcoming Chamber Area Events

Our Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast meeting will be held Wednesday, February 9th, at the Bonfire in Houghton. Doors open at 7:00 a.m. Breakfast is served by 7:15 a.m. The program starts at 7:30 a.m. 

With the pandemic still in our community, we ask that you wear a mask unless seated. 

Presentation: Generating Economic Development: An Introduction to Scotia Wind, with Presenter Chris Moore, Vice President at Circle Power Renewables.  

Thank you to our February breakfast sponsor: 
Circle Power Renewables

To attend by Zoom, please use this link:
Meeting ID: 879 2216 7043
Passcode: 870998
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbpdcRxKdl

Other information of interest:
Immediately following the breakfast, 1 Million Cups of Coffee will be held at the Bonfire starting at 8:30 a.m.

You will hear from presenters:

  • Doug Tozier of The Scooter Dr.
  • Staz Zinchik of Zi Technologies

1 Million Cups of Coffee is a free, national program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs. Developed by the Kauffman Foundation, 1MC is based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee. This is a team effort led by the MTEC SmartZone.
Superior Educator
Portage Health Foundation
Congratulations to Brooke Peterson of Calumet Elementary School for being our latest Superior Educator! Brooke broke a record for the most nominations that came in, and they are amazing! Below are some of the highlights from her nominations.
↠ Brooke had a special something that cannot be taught in college. The students love and respect her, and she learns the best ways for each student to learn. My child went into 1st grade slightly lower than expected in areas of math and reading. Brooke was able to mold my daughter and teach her so much that by the end of the year; she was above expectations.
↠ Brooke is AMAZING!!! She taught my daughter and now my son. She goes above and beyond for each and every one of her students. You can tell she really loves them! Her #1 passion is teaching, and it shows!! She's also very communicative with her parents, which is SO important! I really can't say enough about Mrs. Peterson, she's absolutely incredible, and I'm so happy that both my kids had her as a teacher!
↠ Brooke has a passion that cannot be matched. Even during the pandemic, she maintained a JOY for teaching that enabled her students to have fun while learning.
↠ From day 1 her positive energy fills her classroom, she calls her students "smarties", always has something nice to say about each student on a daily basis, I felt like we, as parents, were part of the class, she engaged us by sending videos, posting on seesaw almost daily, and communicating the happenings of the classroom thoroughly! My oldest girl had her class last year, I just remember how happy she was to go to school every day! My 2nd oldest has her this year and even though she is a quiet girl, I can see a smirk drift across her face every time I ask her how school went today, all because of the awesome teacher she was so lucky to have for first grade!

If you know an amazing educator, nominate them today on the Superior Educators website! #CalumetMI #SuperiorEducators #CopperCountry
Meet Superior Educator Sara Nordstrom of South Range Elementary School. Sara spends much of her time at the school focusing on creating lessons to serve the individual needs of each and every one of her students. Sara sets high expectations for her students that greatly affect their achievement as she strives to "close the reading gap." You will often see her fast walking down the hallway with her students so she can utilize every minute of her instructional time wisely. Sara is always willing to lend a hand and help students, other staff members, and anyone who she crosses paths within the hallway. I could not say enough positive things about her. Our school is truly so grateful to have Sara on our team!
Upcoming Area Events
Welcome to Winter Carnival 2022
February 9–12, 2022
Come One, Come All to Our 100th Carnival
JUNE 16-19, 2022
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 becoming a member of 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 info@keweenaw.org
We need your Business Cards/Brochures
Board of Directors
Mary Myers, President
Account Executive

Jan Cole - Vice President
Managing Partner
Edochi, LLC

James Desrochers - Treasurer
Director of Advancement
Michigan Technological University

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

Morgan Impola
Regional Engineer

Todd Gast
Marketing Manager
Keweenaw Co-op

Penny Milkey
Northern Specialty Health
Shannon Vairo
Faculty Support and Partner Engagement
Michigan Technological University

Betsy Smith
Baby E's BBQ

Jill Passanisi
Nitro Consulting

Mariah Summers
Mercy EMS

Sherry Wyeth
Health Science Enrollment
Finlandia University

Amy Roberts
VP/Branch Manager
Superior National Bank - Calumet

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
24-Hour Electric Emergencies/Outages
Outage Updates
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