2019-01-10 / Front Page

100 STRONG

Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce gains members, makes strides


A few STC members are pictured above. From top to bottom, left to right: Woodsman Club member Putvin Health Mart, Paul Bunyan Club member Superior State Agency, Woodsman Club member Wheaty’s Pub, Woodsman Club member Bostique, Woodsman Club member Habitat for Humanity Hiawathaland, and Woodsman Club member Limestone Federal Credit Union. Courtesy photos A few STC members are pictured above. From top to bottom, left to right: Woodsman Club member Putvin Health Mart, Paul Bunyan Club member Superior State Agency, Woodsman Club member Wheaty’s Pub, Woodsman Club member Bostique, Woodsman Club member Habitat for Humanity Hiawathaland, and Woodsman Club member Limestone Federal Credit Union. Courtesy photos Schoolcraft Tourism & Commerce Reaches 100 Members and receive major support from large investors

Editor’s Note: The “In Our Backyard” series focuses on area businesses and organizations and their contributions to the community

— — —

MANISTIQUE – Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce, a non-profit organization that focuses on community, workforce, and economic development, hit a milestone last September – hitting 100 duespaying members since the organization was created in May 2017.

STC merged its functions with the former Schoolcraft County Chamber of Commerce, the Manistique Merchants Association and the Schoolcraft County Economic Development Corporation, pooling resources and moving forward with a mission to sustain and enhance the quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors. Members consist of patrons, non-profits, small-to-medium sized businesses, and top investors deemed Paul Bunyan and Woodsman Club members.

Paul Bunyan Club members include mBank, Superior State Agency, Tim Magnusson and UP Paper – donating $5,000-plus per year to Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce.

“Part of the investment in the group is giving back to the community, not only the community at large, but also the business community,” said John Lindroth, president of Superior State Agency and Paul Bunyan Club member. “So, helping to make this entity viable and to be able to be a voice and to be able to bring things like the free drive in movies, the ‘Tour da Yoop, Eh’ event, and all of these other things, our community now is really much more in a limelight. There’s a lot of attention being paid to our county and I just think that’s all so positive.”

Kelly George, president and CEO of mBank stated, “In small towns like this, there’s limited resources. Collaboratively and collectively, you can get more accomplished through resources such as money, time, and thoughts. Working together in the same direction to move economic development, increase business, and make the community better.”

Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce consists of 102 members, more than 50 volunteers, six committees and two paid employees. The organization strives to collaborate both within the STC and community.

Bob Crumb, CEO of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and also a Woodsman Club member stated, “It’s critical to us that Manistique is growing and vibrant such that we can attract the physicians that we’re able to attract. We need a good community for that so community growth, stabilization and vibrancy are just critical to the success of the hospital and vice versa.

As we do well, the community can do better, and as the community does better, we can do better,” he continued. “That’s really why we went the extra mile to make it happen.”

Woodsman Club members include Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Graymont, and Robert Goldthorpe – donating $2,500-plus per year.

From professional development opportunities, monthly networking events, to annual award celebrations, STC aims to build relationships throughout the county and membership to get businesses connected.

PJ Stoll, president of Graymont said, “Over the years we’ve worked with the economic development corporation and different work groups to get funding for training our employees, and continual education and skills, so we’ve really benefited from all the different resources that are available out there, so when STC basically came to fruition, I thought it was important to be a member of the team and be in a larger role where we could have some bearing on the direction that the group goes, have a seat at the table, and try to do something positive for the community.

It just seemed like the right thing to do,” he added.

Jennifer Watson, CEO and president of Limestone Federal Credit Union pointed out that the “STC had participated quite a bit in The Grind’s planning and development and had worked with students on board training.

So we felt as an organization we had already received value from STC in its current and previous form and going forward, we felt that based on the board‘s participation and the things we’ve been able to accomplish that Limestone would continue to benefit,” she added.

Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce works with numerous regional and statewide agencies, including MI Works, Invest UP, Pure Michigan Business Connect. Due to these collaborations, the organization is able to provide tools for strategic planning, business attraction and retention, funding opportunities, tax abatements, planning and zoning, custom surveys, impact studies, and data reports on demographics.

STC is inviting more businesses to become members so that it can continue its mission of delivering business support, increasing economic development, driving tourism and promoting events in the county, and operating the Schoolcraft Welcome Center.

To learn more about becoming a member of STC or view the membership directory, visit www.discovermanistique.com.

Upcoming STC events and opportunities include: Roundtable Discussion Jan. 15 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. with strategic partner, Michigan Small Business Development Center, discussing small business start-ups and growth, marketing businesses and financial analysis. For more details and tickets, visit www.discovermanistique.com; and the Third Thursday Monthly networking event Jan. 17 at Tap 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $10 per person.

Return to top