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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

MCC honors ‘Transforming Lives, Empowering People’ Campaign Committee with its Distinguished Service Award


Montcalm Community College presented its 2024 MCC Stanley and Blanche Ash Distinguished Service Award to members of the college’s “Transforming Lives, Empowering People "Campaign Committee during a June 18 celebration.

MCC Interim President Connie Stewart, MBA, SPHR, MCC Board Chairperson Karen Carbonelli, Senator Rick Outman and Representative Pat Outman recognized Committee members Linda Stafford, Amy Homich, Julie Stafford, Jane Anderson Beach and Kurt Peterson for their achievements during a gathering of former award recipients and college dignitaries at the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center on the college’s Greenville campus.

Together, Linda, Amy, Julie, Jane and Kurt served on our Transforming Lives, Empowering People’ Campaign Committee,” Carbonelli said. Through their commitment, more than $4 million was raised to support the revitalization of the Kenneth J. Smith Instructional Building, which houses more than half of MCC’s Sidney campus instructional space and serves as the college’s center for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning. Investments in the Transforming Lives, Empowering People campaign also increased resources for scholarships, program development and technology and student support services.

When we were considering an Honorary Chairperson for the campaign, Linda immediately came to mind. Having attended MCC herself on multiple occasions, she knows first-hand how MCC can benefit students and our businesses,” Stewart said. “Her long-term service and commitment to the College and the community continually reminds us that she cares deeply about helping people reach their goals. She is a great champion for MCC, our students and our community.

Julie Stafford and Amy Homich served as co-chairs of the campaign.

With a shared passion for their community, they worked together to identify campaign supporters and share the story of MCC and the value of higher education,” Stewart said.

With a strong background in community volunteerism and financing, Amy brought a great deal of energy to the campaign. Her connections within the Greenville area and her interests in agriculture and health care were helpful in developing effective outreach plans,” Stewart said. “Her own pride in her children and their educational endeavors translated into wanting to provide similar opportunities for anyone who wants them.

Julie is passionate about providing hope. Specifically, she enjoys creating better futures through education and career training options. Julie is a believer in the community college, with many family members and friends who have attended MCC. Through this campaign, Julie used her gifts and talents to ensure MCC students have the resources they need to be successful,” Stewart said.

As the MCC Foundation President, Jane represented the Foundation on the campaign committee. Her wealth of past experiences, coupled with her compassion for others, were valuable in shaping the campaign’s impact,” Stewart said. “She is a great ambassador for the college and does a wonderful job of sharing MCC’s opportunities and benefits through friend raising and fundraising.

Kurt an MCC alumnus, a current MCC Trustee, and a current MCC Foundation Director. He deeply believes in and understands the value of MCC in our community and is a strong advocate for us,” Stewart said. “As an attorney, he brought tremendous wisdom and insights to the table, which supported the overall goals of the campaign.

In recognition of their service, each honoree also received a Legislative Citation from Sen. Outman and Rep. Outman as well as accolades from William Campbell, District Staff Assistant/District Scheduler for Congressman John Moolenaar.

“Great things happen when people share a common vision and work hard to achieve shared goals,” the citation stated. The tireless work of the Campaign Committee produced a tremendously successful fundraising outcome. Members’ efforts built new relationships for MCC, raised the profile of the College in the community, and helped position MCC and its region for future prosperity. MCC’s students, business partners and community will benefit from the dedication of the team.”

In addition, the college recognized Roger Thelen for his years of service with the Board of Trustees. Thelen was appointed to the Board in 2003 and served for 16 years.

During his tenure, Roger brought insights and leadership to the Board through his long history in K-12 education, most notably for us his nine years serving as superintendent of Central Montcalm Public Schools. He has always had a collaborative spirit,” Stewart said.

Roger was and continues to be a champion for education and for the community in which he and his wife, Cheryl, reside,” Stewart said. “As a Trustee, Roger offered guidance and insights on a variety of topics, served on several committees and shared the story of MCC with all who would listen. His dedication to serving students, the college and our community was always in the forefront. Roger, are grateful for your service and your continued support of MCC.”


The MCC Board of Trustees established the Distinguished Service Award in 1973 to recognize people who and organizations that – through a sense of purpose, community concern and leadership – have helped the college serve its community.

Former recipients of the MCC Stanley and Blanche Ash Distinguished Service Award include: Jane Anderson Beach, 2023; Linda Stafford and Roger Coles, 2022; Karen Carbonelli, 2021; Carol Deuling-Ravell and Dr. Gary Hauck, 2019; Wayne Korson and Miriam Zimmerman, 2018; Karalyn Simon, William Ham and Mike Williams, 2017; Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht, 2016; Leslie K. Morford, 2015; the Creating Futures, Strengthening Partnerships Capital Campaign Leadership Team, 2014; Martha Jean Brundage, 2013; Dick Ellafrits, 2012; Bill and Harriette Cook, 2011; Steve Foster, 2010; United Solar Ovonic, 2009; Blanche Ash, 2008; Central Area Michigan Works Consortium, 2006; State Representative Judy Emmons and State Senator Alan Cropsey, 2005; Franz Mogdis and Dr. Robert Painter, 2004; Thomas Kohn and Jean Southward, 2003; M-TEC Board of Overseers, 2002; M-TEC Fundraising Campaign Leadership Team, 2001; State Representative Larry DeVuyst, Judith Riessen and Charles Halterman, 2000; Lemont Renterghem, 1999; Beatrice Doser and EightCAP, Inc., 1998; Montcalm Alliance and State Senator Joanne Emmons, 1997; Panhandle Coalition and Coalition of Greater Greenville, 1996; U.S. Representative David Camp and David Roslund, 1995; Bob Marston, 1994; Orville Trebian and Bob Braman, 1993; Wayne Omillian and Edmore Woman’s Club, 1991; L. Charles Mulholland and Montcalm Heritage Village Committee, 1990; C. Homer Miel and Women’s Festival Council, 1989; The Daily News and John Stafford, and Eric L. Halvorsen, 1988; George M. Showers and Gordon L. Stauffer, 1987; Paul Warnshuis and David Mayes, 1986; State Senator Robert A. Welborn and State Representative Donald Van Singel, 1985; Donald McKenna, 1984; Sydney S. Swainston and Vernon R. Johnson, 1983; Francis L. Rivard, 1982; Harold A. Springsteen and Einer Thorlund, Jr., 1981; Margery Wilson, Stanton Development and Lester J. Sitts V.F.W. Post 5065, 1980; Michael Salisbury and Arthur Kurtze, M.D., 1979; Michael Slentz, 1978; Ahmad Younis, M.D., 1977; Larry Disher, D.V.M., 1976; Grace Greenhoe and Willard Braman, 1975; Harold O. Steele, D.D.S., and Maurice D. Swift, 1974; and Stanley P. Ash, W. Bruce Bennett, M.D., Joseph E. Cook, James L. Crosby, L. Stanley Kemp, Marian E. Kemp, Kenneth J. Lehman, and Dr. William J. Seiter, 1973.


Media inquiries, please contact:

Shelly Springborn
Director of Communications and Public Relations