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  • Congratulations to Justin Loar-Mitchell for being the Winter 2023 G.E.M. Award Recipient!

    Justin Loar-Mitchell was nominated for the GEM Award by Jessica Beals. "While walking into the Meijer gas station in Gaylord today, I threw away a couple of items in the garbage can. With them I also accidentally threw away my car key fob! It disappeared into the garbage, and I couldn't find it without taking off the garbage lid. 

    I went inside and asked a couple of gentlemen how to remove the waste basket lid. An employee, Justin, had just clocked out for the day. In his kindness, he walked with me outside and removed the lid. Though I felt bad and told him I was all set, he insisted on staying and helping me find the fob.
    After we couldn't find it, Justin walked me & the trash over to a larger receptacle and dumped everything out. There was my key fob, in all its disgusting glory. He tried reaching in to grab it (what a guy, seriously!), but I couldn't let him do that. 

    When I went in to wash my hands & the fob, he left. I can't thank Justin enough for seriously going ABOVE & beyond. He saved me from having to be towed or stranded. 

    I am so thankful to Justin for his help!"

  • Congratulations to Alex Bradstreet for being the Fall 2023 G.E.M. Award Recipient!

    Alex Bradstreet was nominated for the GEM Award annonymously. "Huge shout out to Alex at Gaylord Culver's tonight, we appreciate you more than you know. We need more people like you. I was in a situation where both me and my significant other forgot our wallets tonight and we went though the drive though and couldn't set up our Apple Pay. We sat for about 5 mins, trying to figure it out. He was very empathetic in the situation and didn?t want our food cold. 
    He handed us our meal and let us know he took care of it. Thank you so much, I will be back to pay it forward."

  • Congratulations to Laurie Andrews for being the Summer 2023 G.E.M. Award Recipient!

    Laurie Andrews was nominated for the GEM Award by Kimberly Akin. "Laurie Andrews has been with the Otsego County United Way for over 7 years. Her commitment and dedication to the organization is evident in all she does. She goes above and beyond to make the RSVP program successful and fun for our senior volunteers. Last year she coordinated volunteers that put in over 29,000 hours throughout Otsego County. Laurie is kind, generous, and always has a smile on her face. She is a very deserving of the GEM Award."

  • Congratulations to Colleen Kavanagh for being the Spring 2023 G.E.M. Award Recipient!

    Colleen Kavanagh was nominated for the GEM Award anonymously. "I'd like to nominate Colleen Kavanagh for the G.E.M award. Colleen Kavanagh is our Front Desk Manager at the Comfort Inn & Suites / MainStay Suites Gaylord. Colleen goes above and beyond the expected level of customer service that hotel guests are accustomed to receiving. She regularly receives positive mentions in our reviews regarding how friendly she is and how much she helped make our guests stays incredible by going the extra mile whenever an opportunity presents itself. One situation stands out above all and highlights why I believe Colleen deserves to receive the G.E.M award. We had a father and his son with autism staying with us; after getting home the father realized they had forgotten his sons favorite stuffed animal at the hotel. Colleen tracked down the stuffed animal and instead of simply shipping the stuffed animal like we usually would, Colleen personally dropped off the toy to the father the next day in Saginaw as she was driving down to the Detroit area. The father was overjoyed by this and profusely thanked Colleen for her kindness and getting his sons favorite toy back to him quicker than he could have ever imagined! Colleen's high level of customer service is a great representation of Gaylord as a whole and the reason our guests will stay nowhere else than in Gaylord because they know they will have a wonderful experience and be well taken care of!"

    "I moved with my family to Gaylord in 2008 and have called it home ever since.  I am the very proud mom of 3 amazing children and have 4 of the most beautiful granddaughters I could ever ask for.  I have been in guest services for over 35+ years and couldn't imagine doing anything else.  It is important to me that every guest I encounter, be it working in a restaurant or as the Front Desk Manager of the Comfort Inn and Mainstay Suites,  is welcomed with a smile and the feeling of home.  Without all of our great community and our out of town guests Gaylord wouldn't be as wonderful as it is.  I have been proud to be such a welcoming force for our beautiful area and will continue with a smile as always!!" -


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  • Thank you to our G.E.M. Award Sponsors!

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  • The GEM Award is presented to those in our community the Chamber Membership feels is Going the Extra Mile. This can be at place of employment, school, volunteer events and more.


    Members of the Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce can nominate any community member that is affiliated with the Chamber through membership. This includes but is not limited to employees of members, students, volunteers, or elected positions such as a board or council. Nominations carry through the calendar year. Recipients are only eligible to receive the award once in the calendar year.


    To nominate, please share the name of the person and how they Go the Extra Mile in our community by following the link below. Winners will be chosen quarterly by the Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce Program Committee.


    Thank you for giving the chance for our community GEM’s to shine!