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Awards & Recognition


At our LIVE UNITED Celebration, held Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Trillium Event Center in Spring Lake, Greater Ottawa County United Way recognized the outstanding companies and individuals who helped advance the common good in our community by giving, advocating, and volunteering. 

The following five criteria are used to select award recipients. Some awards are given when 3 of these criteria  are achieved, while others require 4 of the 5 criteria to be achieved.  When a company achieves all 5 of the following criteria, it receives the prestigious Community Builder Award.
 1.    An increase of employee giving from the previous year
 2.    At least $175 average employee gift
 3.    50% or more participation in campaign giving
 4.    Employee volunteer involvement (with United Way internally, Day of Caring, or corporate volunteer projects)
 5.    Three or more employees giving at the Lighthouse Leadership Circle level ($500+)


Recognizes top organizations that exemplify a year-round partnership with United Way, including participation in Day of Caring, Community Investment and a commitment to workplace volunteering.

The companies below met all five of the award criteria listed above:
A.D. Bos Vending Services
Children’s Advocacy Center
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Fifth Third Bank
Grand Haven Custom Molding
Greater Ottawa County United Way
Macatawa Bank
West Michigan Molding


A Gold Award is presented to major firms who meet 4 out of 5 of the award criteria.

The 2016 Gold Award recipients are:

Anderson Technologies
Brilliance Audio
Community Action House
County of Ottawa
DeNooyer Chevrolet
Falcon Corporation
GHSP a JSJ Business
Huntington Bank
ITW Drawform
Mercantile Bank
ODL, Inc.
Shape Corp.
Trans-Matic Mfg. Co., Inc.
The Chamber of Commerce
Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg
Varnum Law
West Michigan Community Bank


A Silver Award is presented to major firms that meet 3 out of 5 of the award criteria.

The 2016 Silver Award Recipients are:
Automatic Spring Products
Bekins Audio Video and Appliance, Inc.
Chemical Bank
Child Development Services
City of Grand Haven
Consumers Energy - Zeeland Service Center
Davenport University
DeLong & Brower, P.C.
Elzinga & Volkers
Good Samaritan Ministries
Grand Haven Area Public Schools
Grand Haven BLP & UWUA 582
Grand Valley State University
Haworth, Inc.
Herrick District Library
Howard Miller
JSJ Corporation
Ottagan Addictions Recovery
PNC Bank
Raymond James Financial
SAF Holland
Scholten Fant
Stanco Metal Products

Volunteer of the Year Award

The recipient of this award exemplifies a spirit of volunteer service to their community by giving their time and efforts to Greater Ottawa County United Way, as well as other organizations in the community.

2016 Recipient: Darcy Komejan, Children's Advocacy Center


Pinnacle of Partnership Award

The recipient of this award exemplifies a commitment to improve the quality of life for Ottawa County residents through leadership in service and education as well as a year round partnership with Greater Ottawa County United Way

2016 Recipient: Ottawa County Parks and Recreation

Out-of-the-Box Award

Recognizes the organizations who took the box, shook it up, and ran the most creative, fun and interactive campaign.

2016 Recipient: Herrick District Library

Joe Martella Above and Beyond Award

This person goes above and beyond what is expected of a campaign coordinator. They are constantly looking to add excitement to the campaign, help others realize the importance of United Way and encourage volunteering.

2016 Recipient: Myssi Griffin, West Michigan Molding


Lynne Sherwood Lighthouse Leadership Award

This award is bestowed upon a United Way campaign company that demonstrates the greatest increase in leadership giving, or to an individual, couple or family whose community leadership sets an example for others to follow.

2016 Recipient: Automatic Spring Products Corp.


G.W. Haworth Strength of the Community Award

Recognizes the company and/or individual who most embodies United Way's leadership, spirit of volunteering, philanthropy, and decision-making in the allocation of philanthropic resources to our community.

2016 Recipients: The Verplank Family

Past recipients:
2001 - G.W. Haworth

2002 - Patrick Thompson

2003 - Lynne Sherwood

2004 - Tim Parker

2005 - Edward & Nancy Hanenburg

2006 - Donna Cornwell

2007 - Richard Haworth

2008 - Shape Corporation

2009 - Grand Haven Area Public Schools

2010 - Jeffrey W. Beswick

2011 - PADNOS

2012 - JSJ Corp. and its businesses: Dake, GHSP, and izzy+

2013 - The Bos Family: Thomas G. & Jane Bos, Thomas J. & Laurie Bos, David, Megan & Tommy

2014 - Steve and Sandy Moreland

2015 - Larry and Jeanie Koops

2016 Community Investment Panel Awards

3 Year Awards:

Brad Burrows, Automatic Springs
Deborah Erickson, Fifth Third Bank
Mary Keeton, MSU Extension
Mary Lawrence, Haworth, Inc. 
Chris Streng, Izzy Plus
Barbara Van Heest, Chase Bank

5 Year Awards:
Anna Bednarek, Community Mental Health of Ottawa County
Stacey Calmes, Big Dutchman
Brent Gawlik, Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce
David Huisman, West Michigan Community Bank
Kathy Kremer, Lewis University
Angelo Marasco, ODL
Marguerite Stephens, Black River Public Schools
Jeff Tayler, Community Member
Nick Van Zanten, Community Member
Daniel Zona, Haworth, Inc. 

10 Year Awards:
Peg Buehler, Shape Corp.
Lyndsie Post, Davenport University
Connie Shingledecker, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
Amy Stringham, Grand Haven Area Public Schools
Jim Wemple, Community Member
Scott Wolters, PADNOS
Sheryl Zajechowski, Brilliance Publishing

THANK YOU to all those who gave your time and energy to our campaign!