MARQUETTE — More than 150 non–profit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers came together today for training and recognition.

Organizations who do so much for our community are doing something for themselves today, but it’s not like they’re on vacation. These non–profit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers came together today for the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development’s Upper Peninsula Non–Profit Conference.

This year the keynote speaker was Jon Terry who focused his address on advocacy.

President of Capitol Youth Strategies Jon Terry says, “My role was to speak this morning to all the people that were at the conference today, and really just to encourage them to speak up and to use their voice. Non–profits have a huge role to play in our society in serving people, and I was just really here to applaud their work and to encourage them to get more involved in the advocacy process.”

This conference offered about a dozen at the University Center at Northern Michigan University.

The workshops range from branding to communications and from business models to advocacy, all with the goal of providing solutions to those sometimes tough questions that non–profits seem to face.

Another major point was networking and getting to know one another.

Director of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum Nheena Weyer Ittner says, “In this community, so many of us work together, and that’s critical.”

The event also sets time aside for recognition. This year marked the Seventh Annual Upper Peninsula Service Awards. These awards honor youth, adult and senior volunteers, volunteer programs and a business community leader for outstanding service. This year the Business Community Leader award went to Double Trouble DJs.

Co–Owner of Double Trouble DJs Pat Digneit says, “We are the recipient of the Business Service Award and it’s really awesome, and we’re really excited and honored to be, bestowed upon us, but we didn’t do it for the award, we just love being a part of the community.”

Awards and Recipients:

  • Youth: Christopher Wendt, of Newberry, MI
  • Adult: Alfonse VanHese, of Dagget, MI
  • Senior: Pamela Jackovich, of Marquette, MI
  • Volunteer Program: Friends of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
  • Business Community Leader: Double Trouble DJs

Congratulations to all the award recipients.


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