Donors, volunteers and local partners give so much to the Michigan Land Use Institute that we like to take an evening every year to give something back.
On July 27, MLUI honored the people who help carry out its important mission at its annual Milliken Reception. The reception bears the Milliken name in honor of Governor William Milliken and his wife Helen, longtime Institute board member, who dedicated their lives to defending Michigan’s environment. They believe that a clean, healthy environment is necessary for a prosperous economy.
Don Coe, the man behind the delicious Black Star Farms wine on attendees’ tables was honored for his efforts to support a durable, local agricultural economy. Don has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with MLUI and many other partners, and has emerged as the driving force behind northwest Michigan’s role at the forefront of this movement. He received the Milliken Distinguished Leadership Award for his efforts.
Denis Pierce, president of Chicago-based law firm Pierce & Associates, came to us a few years ago with a simple, but essential question: “What do you need to be a more effective organization?” In the time since, he’s worked closely with us to answer that question, catalyzing partnerships with a host of organizations that advance his belief in sustainability, fairness and serving those most in need. MLUI recognized his incredible work with the Michigan Land Use Institute Impact Award.
The Milliken Reception also gave us a chance to thank a staff member who made a significant contribution to the organization and the community by leading the Taste The Local Difference food guide project. Janice Benson left MLUI this summer, but her work lives on in the nationally recognized guides available throughout the region.