Chamber Announces Annual Chamber Award Recipients

Standing Left to Right: Hope Wassenaar, Lindsay Beattie, Denise Behm, Emily Richett, Tim McLean, Kara Vugteveen, Charlie DeVries, Jeff Sorensen. Seated Left to Right: Kris VanAndel, Tim Bancino, Karyn Boyd

On Thursday, December 8th, the Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual Chamber Awards Gala at Bay Pointe Inn & Lakefront Resort. The focus of this event is to recognize chamber members for outstanding service in one of three areas. An engaging presentation was given by Emily Richett, owner of Richett Media, who spoke on change and opportunity in today’s media industry.

  1. Business of the Year Award – ITC

The Chamber recognizes the business that demonstrates growth and success through innovation, hard work, and exceptional customer service. The business is actively involved in contributing to the success of the community as a whole by their contribution of time, energy, and resources.

ITC of Wayland has contributed in many ways to portray all criteria while enhancing our community. ITC has proactively taken measures to protect our environment in a variety of ways. One prominent example of this is the rain garden at their Wayland facility that uses absorbent plants, loose fill, and a physical design that lessens the amount of untreated storm water runoff that could potentially pollute rivers and streams.

ITC goes the extra mile to lessen their environmental footprint by reducing the environmental impact of their projects and operations by reducing waste, recycling, and reusing. In addition, environmental assessments are completed to ensure that their work does not harm endangered species.

Service to the community is just as important with ITC donating benches to the local elementary schools. The benches are no ordinary benches, but buddy benches. A buddy bench is a place for children to go and sit on the playground if they are feeling lonely and would like a friend to play with. The City of Wayland also benefitted when ITC contributed to funding the city’s stage used for concerts in the park, downtown events, and more. In addition, ITC contributes their support to the chamber by allowing ITC employee Karyn Boyd to serve as Chamber Treasurer on the chamber’s board of directors. “Karyn is a great asset for the chamber and she often works behind the scenes volunteering in an array of ways for various events and projects. She is someone who can be counted on – even if it means adding onto her already full plate,” stated Chamber Executive Director, Denise Behm.

To accept the Business of the Year Award on behalf of ITC were Karyn Boyd and Charlie Devries. Chamber Executive Director Denise Behm stated that this award is as much about Karyn and Charlie, as it is the business, adding that they both go above and beyond to ensure Wayland is a better place to live, work, and do business.

  1. Community Service Award – Tim Bancino, Dieverse Engineering

The Chamber recognizes this person for performing outstanding service to the Wayland area. The chamber is pleased to announce Tim Bancino of Dieverse Engineering as the 2016 recipient of the Community Service Award for routinely reaching out to serve and better our community.

Joining the chamber in 2017, Tim volunteered to help and serve where needed right from the start.   Tim is often seen at various chamber events helping with videography, prepping food, working the registration table, and jumping in with whatever needs to be done. Tim has also contributed time and energy volunteering to help with both the Memorial Day and Christmas parades, the annual chamber golf outing, delivering chamber directories to area businesses, and spending a Saturday volunteering at the chamber’s annual expo.

During the Chamber Ambassador’s #JustSayThanks campaign, Tim went door-to-door informing homeowners about the campaign and noted those who were interested in placing a sign of support in their front yard. He returned to downtown on another evening to help tie blue ribbons around street poles during the event and helped run errands, set-up, and tear-down before, during, and after the law enforcement appreciation dinner event.  Not only is Tim willing to help out in any way he can, he does so with a smile on his face.  Tim’s values for volunteering and community service extend to his wife Jenni, and their children Jordan and Hailey, who have also assisted with various events.

According to Chamber Executive Director, Denise Behm, “Because of Tim, the chamber and community has benefitted as a whole. In my position, I often have many things happening at the same time and Tim is someone I can depend on to follow through with whatever task is given to him. He is so deserving of this award and I couldn’t be happier to present it to him.”

The chamber is proud to present this award to such a deserving, humble, and kind person that we continue to appreciate for everything he does.

  1. President’s Choice Award – Hopkins Propane

The President of the Chamber looks at an area business, organization, or person that demonstrates outstanding leadership in bringing others together in the process of developing, sharing, and moving into a shared vision. The nominee would be an example of leading the way while setting and achieving predetermined goals.

According to Chamber President Kara Vugteveen, “Hopkins Propane is passionate about serving the chamber, their community, the county, and all of West Michigan.” Some of the ways in which they have benefitted West Michigan include helping with and sponsoring projects, community groups, and area events.

Some of the area events that they have supported include the Wayland DDA/Main Street’s downtown festivals, Run the Gun 5K at Gun Lake, Allegan County Fair, the LZ (Landing Zone) which honors our Vietnam Veterans, New Salem “Wurst-Festival,” and Hopkins “Tech Vikes” student robotics team.

In addition, Hopkins Propane is an integral part of the chamber supporting the annual Chamber Whitecaps Night, #JustSayThanks law enforcement appreciation campaign, annual golf outing, the annual community expo and annual community directory.

The chamber is fortunate to have Lindsay Beattie, Software, Marketing, & Customer Service Specialist for Hopkins Propane, volunteer her time and talents on the chamber board where she proofreads the chamber’s annual community directory, assists with the chamber’s annual scholarship selection, and more.

Graciously receiving the award on behalf of Hopkins Propane was owner Kris VanAndel who expressed her gratitude and thanks on behalf of her business.

The Chamber is proud of all award recipients who support not only the Chamber, but many other organizations that help make Wayland a better place to live, work, and do business.

For more information about the 2016 Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Dinner, please contact Chamber Executive Director Denise Behm at or 269-792-9246.