This evening, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau honored local businesses and hospitality providers for their contributions to the wellbeing and success of the region in 2017.

A sold-out crowd of about 350 people gathered at the Flint Institute of Arts where Master of Ceremonies Steve Landaal, President of Landaal Packaging Systems and Chairman of the Chamber’s Operating Board, presented 19 awards to outstanding businesses, community supporters and hospitality industry professionals.

“The award recipients are companies and individuals who are business savvy, customer-focused and civic-minded,” said Landaal. “There’s one thing that they all have in common and that’s their commitment to doing business right here in Genesee County. And for that we are very thankful!”

The gala included the honorees of the Art Hurand, Robert P. Gerholz, C.S. Mott and Claire M. White awards, which recognize exemplary community leadership. And in a nod to the region’s expanding business climate and attractions, awards for the Economic Development Project of the Year and Entertainment Venue of the Year were added this year.

“Choosing Flint & Genesee is a smart move,” said Chamber CEO Tim Herman. “Through leadership, vision and strategic partnerships, this community has achieved a competitive business climate and a growing hospitality industry.”

The 2017 Art of Achievement Awards honored the following businesses and individuals:

  • CEO Business Award – Huntington Bank
  • Economic Development Project of the Year Award – CNXMotion
  • Small Business Award – Hoffman’s Deco Deli & Café
  • Small Business Contractor of the Year – W. T. Stevens Construction, Inc.
  • Minority Owned Business Award – Honey Bee Palace Child Care
  • Nonprofit Impact Award – Crim Fitness Foundation
  • Young Professional Award – Isaiah Oliver, Community Foundation of Greater Flint
  • Community Champion Award – Bernie and Venus Langlois, American Legion
  • Claire M. White Award – Julie Lopez, Crime Stoppers of Flint and Genesee County
  • Art Hurand Award – Mark Braun, Mr. B’s Joybox Express
  • Robert P. Gerholz Award – Tom Gores, Platinum Equity/FlintNOW
  • C.S. Mott Award – Gary Hurand, Management Diversified, Inc.
  • Gloria J. DeHart Award – Mary Kramer, Holiday Inn Flint-Grand Blanc Area
  • Hospitality Ambassador Award – Michael Lynn, Cork on Saginaw
  • Frontline Ambassador Award – Megan Mannor, Hampton Inn & Suites Flint/Grand Blanc
  • Restaurant of the Year – Blondie’s Food & Spirits
  • Hotel of the Year – Best Western Flint Airport Inn & Suites
  • Entertainment Venue of the Year Award – The Machine Shop Concert Lounge
  • Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award – Amber Taylor, Taylor Health & Wellness

“We are seeing continued major investments and incremental growth in jobs; new businesses and company expansions are on the upswing; and we’re making significant reinvestment in downtown Flint,” said Herman. “As long as we have people such as those we honored tonight, excellence will continue to be the hallmark of Flint & Genesee!”

Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network of Michigan was the Presenting Sponsor of the 4th Annual Art of Achievement Awards, Al Serra Auto Plaza the Red Carpet Sponsor and Ferris State University the Dessert Sponsor.

Individual awards sponsors: Chase; Communities First, Inc.; Community Foundation of Greater Flint; Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center; ELGA Credit Union; Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; Glen & Essence Wilson; Huntington Bank; Mass Transportation Authority; United Way of Genesee County; and University of Michigan-Flint.

Strolling Sponsors: Bishop International Airport; Epoch Catering; Flint Cultural Center; Genesee County Parks; Genesee Intermediate School District; Holiday Inn Flint-Grand Blanc Area; Mott Community College; Tritec Seal and Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants.