Outstanding Citizen of the Year

ALPENA – Each year during the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner a special someone is presented the title Alpena’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year. That person is an example of what all people who live in a community should be, a person who thinks about others above themselves and strives to make the place in which they live the best it can be.

This year’s winner Dave Zeller not only meets those criteria, but exceeds them.

Zeller has been on the board of more than a dozen local and state organizations and has served as president at some point half of them. The amount of time devoted to making the organizations as successful as they are shows his unrelenting will to succeed, but also to motivate others to share his path.

An emotional Zeller said the importance of hard work and giving back to the community was a lesson he had learned at a young age and has always strived to follow in the footsteps of his parents, who also were volunteers.

“This is a very prestigious award in the city because it represents those people who give back to the community,” Zeller said. “My mom and my dad have given back before me and my grandfather before them and it is just kind of inbred in me that giving back to your community is what it is all about.”

Zeller said there are many others who are deserving of the award and the community as a whole is filled with people who volunteer and work hard to make Alpena the best it can be.

“This community is marvelous. Everybody that serves is very dedicated,” Zeller said. “When clubs go out to do their fundraisers the people of Alpena re just so generous in what they give and there is so much to offer here when it comes to that type of thing.”

There were other awards presented as the night went on. The Business of the Year was presented to the Alpena-Alcona Area Credit Union, the Outstanding Customer Service Award went to the staff at Bolenz Jewelry, and the Up and Coming Award was given to Adventureland Sports LLC. The Courtyard Restaurant was the winner of the Culture Change Agent Award and the Alpena Regional Medical Center’s annual Health Leadership Award was won by First Federal of Northern Michigan. The Alpena Community College Annual Northeast Michigan Workforce Development Award was presented to the Alpena Biorefinery. Michelle McEwen won the Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan: Outstanding Supporter of Junior Achievement.

The master of ceremony for the event was Lesslee Dort, director of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority. The dinner theme was “Building a Better Community One Business at a Time.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689.