A call for entries

HOUGHTON – The members of the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance are once again presenting their Spark Plug awards to businesses and individuals working to improve the local business climate.

Karyn Olsson, KPCC member, said the Spark Plug Awards Dinner will take place Feb. 13 at the Shelden Grill in the Magnuson Hotel at Franklin Square Inn. Networking will start at 5 p.m. The dinner is at 6 p.m. and award presentations will start at 7 p.m. The program is open to the public. Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online at keweenaw.org, or by contacting the Chamber office at 482-5240. Businesses can purchase tables for eight people for $300.

Olsson said the Spark Plug Award has been around for awhile, but it was recently tweaked a little.

“The Spark Plug Award is over 20 years old,” she said. “It’s a Chamber tradition.”

However, in 2013, Olsson said the Chamber and KEDA decided to work together on the award.

“One of the things we decided to do was celebrate entrepreneurs,” she said.

Also taking part are the MTEC SmartZone and the Keweenaw Young Professionals.

“They’ve become very active, very quick,” Olsson said of the KYP.

The categories for the awards are: Growth – A company that has seen significant growth in employment and/or sales during the previous year; Quality – Recognized by the community, other businesses, and customers for providing top quality products/services; Teamwork (or People) -Recognized for having a well-rounded and exceptional group of employees who provide a great experience for customers, partners, and others interacting with the company; Innovation – New or existing company pursuing new products or services that hold great promise for local economic growth and employment; Transformation – An existing company that has made a significant change in how they conduct business or in the products/services they offer, which has produced significant outcomes in terms of revenue or employment; Community Development – A company, person, or activity that has had significant positive impact on the business community; Person/Project of the Year – A high impact person or project that is notable within the community and will provide a lasting benefits to businesses and community members; Young Professional of the Year – New to this year’s awards. A person under the age of 40 who made significant strides in our community and in their profession in 2013.

Nominations for the eight award categories are due by Jan. 31, Olsson said. They can be made at the Chamber website or brought to the Chamber office at 902 College Ave. in Houghton.

“We’ll take nominations in any fashion or form,” she said.