A blustery winter night didn’t cool down the enthusiasm at the Chamber’s Annual Celebration Friday night at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Upwards of 600 attendees braved the elements to enjoy an evening of great friends, terrific food and a wonderful tribute to the Chamber’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipients Brenda and Ross Biederman.
The Biederman family name is well-known throughout Michigan for its successful broadcast media operations. But more importantly the Biedermans have leveraged their business success to the benefit of other worthy community causes including health care, education, recreation and help for the under-privileged.
A video presentation honoring the Traverse City couple highlighted the family’s tremendous economic impact on Northern Michigan through media companies and other business endeavors. But it also emphasized how the family leveraged its business success into significant and lasting investment in numerous community institutions including Munson Medical Center, Northwestern Michigan College and several local charities.
“Ross and Brenda Biederman truly embody what the Distinguished Service Award is all about,” said Laura Oblinger, chief operating officer of the Traverse City Area Chamber. “It’s about people who’ve been successful in our community that share those blessings to create a better place for all us. That certainly applies to the Biedermans.”
Chamber Board Chair Mark Eckhoff noted that the Biederman Family Foundation has donated upwards of $1 million to numerous institutions and initiatives, including Munson Medical Center for the Biederman Cancer Treatment Center, emergency room, hospice house and other projects.
At Northwestern Michigan College, the family donated and helped raise money for numerous projects including the Dennos Museum Center, the University Center, the Parsons-Stulen Technical Education Center, the Great Lakes Campus and more.
Ross also took on a leadership role in the Traverse City-Garfield Township Recreational Authority at the Grand Traverse Commons property, where the couple is also raising funds for the planned Botanical Gardens and Historic Barns park. Brenda has assisted in launching numerous fund-raisers for several local organizations including the Womens Resource Center, American Cancer Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan.
They’ve also been staunch patrons of the arts for the region, with support for the Old Town Playhouse, Traverse Symphony Orchestra and Traverse City Film Festival.
Chamber officials noted that the award comes on the 60th anniversary of the DSA presentation to Ross’ father, Northern Michigan broadcast pioneer Les Biederman, who was honored by the Chamber as the 1953 recipient.
You can watch a video presented Friday night that includes a tribute to the Biedermans, and highlights other Chamber initiatives during the past year including the launch of the new TraverseCONNECT enterprise brand. View the video by clicking here.
To view more images from the Annual Celebration, click here.