• Impact Awards

    Every year the Chamber honors those members who are actively making a difference in the community at the holiday themed Annual Impact Awards luncheon.

    The 2024 Impact Awards luncheon will be held on Thursday, December 5th at Paint Creek Country Club where we will honor Chamber members who have gone above and beyond to enhance the Orion area community.

  • Award Criteria: 

    Business Person of the Year - The Business Person of the Year is either the primary owner or a management level professional directly responsible for leading the business. This individual not only runs a successful local business, but also reflects a commitment to social responsibility and exemplifies strong community and Chamber involvement. In addition, this individual exemplifies a positive social and/or economic impact in the Orion Area.

    Entrepreneur of the Year - This award is presented to the member who is the founder, owner, CEO or President of a new business, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to establish their business.  They demonstrate a high level of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, perseverance, creativity and determination.  They also contribute to the future growth of businesses in the Orion Area.

    Economic Impact Award - The member who receives this award makes a positive economic impact in the Orion area in the area of jobs, opportunities for advancing new local industries, or revitalizing a sector of the community.  This member makes a positive impact on living, working, or playing in the Orion Area.

    Community Beautification Award - This award is given to the member who demonstrates excellence in practices to preserve, maintain and improve the attractiveness of the community, above and beyond the general scope of their expected responsibilities. 

    Youth Impact Award - This member has made a significant impact in the lives and well-being of youth in the Orion community in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, health, and wellness, above and beyond the general scope of their expected responsibilities.

  • Congratulations to our Ambassador of the Year, Cory Thompson, owner of the Red Oak Refillery.

    This award is given to a Chamber Ambassador who has shown extraordinary commitment to their role during the year by reaching out to our members, offering a warm welcoming smile and hearty handshake. Cory Thompson opened the Red Oak Refillery in September of 2021. After several months of holding pop-up shops, she created a unique model of long-term partnerships with existing local businesses to afford her the necessary time to educate local communities about how the refillery benefits people and our planet.

    Cory earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from The University of Michigan and started her career in the field of Social Work. She also earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration, with a focus in Healthcare Management while working for the State government. She is proud to offer consumers a way to reduce waste in our landfills by refilling safe and effective natural products made by talented women throughout Michigan.

    Today, her refilleries can be found inside Modern Marketplace in downtown Oxford and My New Favorite Thing in Waterford.

    This award was sponsored by the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Team.

    Click Here to view Cory's video.

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  • Congratulations to our Community Beautification Award Winner – Linda Moran, Polly Ann Trail.

    This award is given to the Chamber member who demonstrates excellence in practices to preserve, maintain and improve the attractiveness of the community, above and beyond the general scope of their expected responsibilities.

    Linda Moran has worked for the Polly Ann Trailway Management Council since September of 2016. Once she discovered there was a job managing the Polly Ann Trail, she knew that was the job for her!

    Linda is the Trail Manager and works with a volunteer Board of people who represent the towns in which the trail is located. They continue to plant beautiful flowers and pollinator gardens along the trail with the help of civic organizations and businesses. In May 2023, they held “trail day” which included flower, planting, mowing and general cleanup. With Linda’s hard work and dedication, the Polly Ann Trail - Oakland County, MI was voted one of Pure Michigan’s Best of the Best in the inaugural class of 2018, and was established as a Pure Michigan Trail in 2019.

    To Linda, the Polly Ann Trail is not her job…..it is her passion!!!

    The 2023 Community Beautification award was sponsored by the Orion Community Foundation.

    Click Here to view Linda's video

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  • Congratulations to our Entrepreneur of the Year Winner – Jay Rice, The Gregor Indoor Private Golf Club! This award is presented to the member who is the founder of a new business, contributing to the future growth in the community. The nominee must demonstrate an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit, perseverance, & innovation.

    Owner Jay Rice embarked on a journey in the service immediately after high school, spanning over two decades with global assignments. Jay is originally from Michigan and following an honorable separation, he pursued his second passion: entrepreneurship. Jay’s unwavering dedication to each venture is reflected in the meticulous attention to detail evident the moment members walk in—an homage to historical private club traditions fused with the modern essence of indoor golf.

    The Gregor established in March 2023, is a luxury indoor golf club designed for passionate golf enthusiasts and business focused clients. Members enjoy 24/7 access to the facility featuring premium decor, modern aesthetics, and member golf leagues. Unlike conventional indoor golf venues, The Gregor offers an intimate, country club-like atmosphere and Jay welcomes golf enthusiasts to socialize, entertain and enjoy his luxury indoor Golf Club.

    The 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year award was sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

    Click Here to view Jay's video

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  • Congratulations to our Youth Impact Award Winner - Heidi Mercer, Lake Orion Community Schools! This Award is given to a member that has made a significant impact in the lives and well-being of youth in the Orion community in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, health, and wellness, above and beyond the general scope of their expected responsibilities.

    Heidi holds an Education Specialist Degree from Oakland University in School Administration. For the past 16 years, Heidi has been the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning.

    Heidi knew in 10th grade that she wanted to go into education for the purpose of positively impacting the lives of young people. She has been with Lake Orion Community Schools for 27 years thus far. It was her student teaching experience at Lake Orion High School that made her realize she wanted to teach in Lake Orion. Heidi was first a special education teacher at Waldon Middle School, then served as Assistant Principal at Waldon and then Principal of Waldon.

    We are sure that if you were to ask Heidi how she felt about having the opportunity to impact the educational and emotional well being of every Lake Orion student, she would tell you it was an honor.... but what an honor it is for us to have Heidi in this role, prioritizing our children and their unique educational, physical, and emotional needs!!! She truly cares about every student, not as a test score but as an individual.

    In her spare time, Heidi donates her time and talents to the Lake Orion Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing community support and resource for the Lake Orion Community Schools.

    The 2023 Youth Impact Award was sponsored by Corewell Health

    Click Here to view Heidi's video

  • Congratulations to our Business Person of the Year – Melisa Counelis, Counelis Farm Bureau Agency.

    This award is given to a primary owner that operates a successful local business, exemplifies strong community involvement, and demonstrates a positive social and/or economic impact in the Orion Area. Melisa Counelis, aka The Insurance Mom, has been in the insurance industry since 2010… and connected to Farm Bureau since 2015 and the Counelis Agency contracted and opened in 2017. She is passionate about protecting families against financial devastation.

    She has seen what can happen when folks are not properly covered and, better yet, feeling other’s sigh with relief when they know that they are properly insured!

    Melisa goes above and beyond to support her community and she is passionate about mentoring and supporting women in business. She is always enthusiastic to support local events and programs and works tirelessly to enhance the community she loves, often involving her entire (growing) family.

    Melisa is thankful for her amazing hard-working team as her business continues to grow and prosper.

    The 2023 Business Person of the Year award was sponsored by Golling Buick GMC.

    Click Here to view Melisa's video

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  • Congratulations to our Economic Impact Award – Moceri Companies!

    This award is presented to a business making a positive impact in the community by creating and retaining jobs, increasing revenue streams, and for their outstanding visionary revitalization efforts thereby enhancing the Orion area quality of life.

    For over six decades, Moceri has been building dreams. Their commitment to quality, sustainability, and timeless design has made them Michigan Legendary Dream Builder! Their communities are renowned for their artistry, attention to detail, and European flair, reflecting the family’s Italian heritage.

    A testament to their enduring legacy is the loyal following of repeat customers. Families who have experienced the Moceri difference return for their next home, knowing that they can expect the same level of quality and craftsmanship.

    Not just a homebuilder, Moceri is a community builder. They recognize the influence developments have in revitalizing neighborhoods and creating vibrant living spaces.

    The 2023 Economic Impact award was sponsored by Orion Township, Michigan.

    Click Here to view the Moceri Companies video

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  • Congratulations to Hannah Mahoney, Red Lantern Dog Training for winning the The Rising Star Award. This award recognizes Hannah as a stellar member who has exemplified the meaning of Entrepreneur…she has persevered and followed her dreams… achieving her lofty goals at the young age of 23. Hannah has had a deep love of animals since she was a little girl and was obsessed with all things related to dogsledding…which was challenging since she grew up in Florida. She used to tie long ribbons from her dog’s harnesses to a laundry basket and mush through her house. When Hannah was 17, then living in Michigan, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of competing in the Junior Iditarod in Alaska, a 150 mile overnight race. Although she came in last place, she was greeted by a cheering crowd and presented with the Red Lantern Award for PERSERVERANCE !!!

    After college, Hannah set out to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a dog trainer. She attended the Tom Rose school for dog training in Missouri and K9 Police Dog training course at Tarheel in North Carolina.

    In 2019 she opened her in-home dog training business, Red Lantern Dog Training - the name that represents Hannah! Over the years, her business grew to the point that she needed to open a large brick and mortar training center and was thrilled to find a home for Red Lantern in Orion Township.

    Now with a thriving business, and while working 14 hours each day, and overseeing 7 outstanding employees, Hannah is set on making sure she is a great asset to the community. With Hannah’s dedication, hard work, and perseverance, it’s not a surprise that she has been embraced by the Orion Township Area community!!!

    The 2023 Rising Star Award was sponsored by Dort Financial.

    Click Here to view Hannah's video.

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  • Some highlights from the
    2023 Impact Awards Luncheon!

  • Title Sponsor - Michigan United Credit Union

  • Title Sponsor - Michigan United Credit Union
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award Sponsor -
    Genisys Credit Union

  • Award Sponsor - Genisys Credit Union
  • Rising Star Award Sponsor - Dort Financial Credit Union

  • Dort Financial Credit Union
  • Youth Impact Award Sponsor - Corewell Health

  • Corewell Health
  • Flora & Fauna Sponsor - Redwood Lake Orion

  • Flora & Fauna Sponsor - Redwood Lake Orion
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