Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber announces 2024 Business Recognition Award nominees

Published 3:40 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

ST. JOSEPH — The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber recently announced the nominees for its annual chamber awards to be presented at the 2024 Business Recognition event.

The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber will host its 2024 Business Recognition Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center’s Grand Upton Hall Friday, Feb. 16.

“We continue to be in awe of the businesses and individuals nominated for our Recognition Awards,” said Arthur Havlicek, President & CEO of the Regional Chamber. “Their stories of growth, overcoming obstacles and passion for our community continues to inspire. We look forward to celebrating them and sharing their stories.”

The 2024 Award Nominees are:

Business Focused:

  • Best New Business
    • Eclectic Well-Being
    • The Little Things Play Cafe
    • Mighty Dog Roofing
    • Sticky Spoons Jam
    • The Swab Agency – Farm Bureau Insuranc
  • Economic Impact Award
    • Express Employment Professionals
    • Indiana Michigan Power
    • Lane Automotive
    • Midwest Energy & Communications

 Small Business of the Year Award

  • B&L Information Systems
  • Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Holiday
  • Hinman Counseling Services
  • Peat’s Cider Social

 Non-Profit of the Year Award

  • Backpacks for Berrien
  • Krasl Art Center
  • LOGAN Autism Learning Center
  • Readiness Center
  • Silver Beach Center
  • Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency

 Individual Focused:

  • Rising Star Award
    • Megan Gopp, The Adventure Agency
    • Justin “Juice” Koehneke, Watermark Brewing Company
    • Chokwe Pitchford, Berrien County Commissioner
    • Samantha Smith, Tranquil Tummy Confections
    • Matt Swab, The Swab Agency – Farm Bureau Insurance


  •         The Pat Moody Award

o   Burt Pearson, Pearson Construction Company

o   Anne Reitz, Caffe Tosi

o   Roger Seely, Roger’s Foodland

o   Jim “Jimbo” Shelton, Shelton’s Farm Market

In keeping with tradition, the Chamber will also recognize one of their Ambassadors as their 2023 Ambassador of the Year.

Tickets for the 2024 Business Recognition Breakfast Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony are available online at Early Bird pricing of $55 each or $450 for a table of 10 runs through January 31st.

Attendees will hear a special Keynote from internationally acclaimed leadership speaker, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and creator of the renowned TEDTalk “Everyday Leadership – The Lollipop Moment”, Drew Dudley. In addition to Dudley’s keynote, attendees will hear a full Chamber update including recognizing the Chamber’s 70th anniversary, and the presentation of the 2024 Business Recognition Awards. Awards will be once again determined via live voting by attendees during the first half of the event.

“In addition to recognizing our much-deserved businesses, non-profits, and individuals, we look forward to honoring our 70th anniversary with everyone in attendance,” adds Havlicek. “We hope to make this one of the best events of the year and welcome the community to join us as we celebrate our legacy and cement our future in Southwest Michigan.”