Chamber to honor person of the year
MANISTIQUE – What makes a person good enough to be named Schoolcraft County Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year? According to Director Connie Diller, it is determination, a willingness to participate, and a go-getter attitude.
This year, the chamber and its board have selected an individual who encompasses each of these must-have traits – resident and business owner Lisa Demers.
Demers, who, along with her husband, Rick, owns Ben Franklin, the Flower Shop, the Peoples Store and the Pioneer Tribune, was an obvious choice for this year’s honor, Diller explained.
“I went around the public and asked who the Person of the Year should be, and I heard Lisa’s name over and over,” she said. “When I brought the nomination to the board, they voted, and it was unanimous.” The selection of Person of the Year was handled in the past by the local Kiwanis club, Diller explained, but last year, the group handed the task over to the chamber. It didn’t take long, however, for the selection to be made.
“We never see Lisa walking anywhere leisurely; it seems she is always running, always thinking three steps ahead of what she’s doing,” Diller said. “She never says ‘no’ as far as any special projects go, and she is always willing to help or volunteer.”
In addition to her community involvement, including her membership to the Manistique Merchant’s Association and the Community Foundation, Demers is also dedicated to her family.
“She is a great wife, a great mom, and a great grandma,” said Diller. “She takes care of her family on top of all the other work she does.”
According to Demers, much like previous Person of the Year selections, including Carolyn Ford, Paul Olson, Roger Irie, Judy Ruttan, Jean Anthony, Dr. Jay Martin, Mike Powers, Sheila Aldrich, Dan LaFoille, Christi Ryan and Gerry Reese, she is humbled by the chamber’s decision.
“I am honored and humbled; I really am,” she said. “I keep wondering why they picked me – I’m not doing anything special. I’m just doing what any other business owner does. We all balance hectic schedules between family, work, and trying to give back to the community as much as we can.”
Despite her reluctance to accept the honor, Demers said she is to the chamber for thinking of her, and credits the honor to the support of those around her, including family, friends and staff.
For her selection, Demers will be honored with a plaque during the Schoolcraft County Chamber of Commerce Banquet tonight. The banquet will take place at The 40 Bar and Grill, beginning with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and a program at 7 p.m.
Featured during the banquet will be presentations for the Person of the Year, Business of the Year, and Ambassador and Junior Ambassador of the Year. Attendees will also hear board news and will be updated about the Christmas Lighting Contest, currently underway throughout the community.
“She’s just really great,” said Diller of Demers. “She’s always working, but still makes everything else work. She’s just amazing.”
Lisa and Rick Demers are the parents of three children: son Josh (wife Kasey and daughter Libby) of Manistique; son Cole of Minnesota; and daughter Darby, a senior at Manistique High School.