Each year the Michigan Municipal League recognizes a small number of individuals for the outstanding contributions they have made to Michigan communities.
This year, Issue Media Group, the network of online news magazines including Southwest Michigan's Second Wave, received a Special Award of Merit.
“IMG covers what’s next in cities, creating new narratives that document transformation and growth,” League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin says in a release on the 2014 award ceremony in Marquette. “If you ever hear someone say there’s nothing positive happening in Michigan, then be sure to direct them to any of the IMG media websites because reporting on the good things taking place in our state is what they do.”
The Detroit-base IMG covers stories about economic growth, innovation, and the people who are making a difference in their communities. IMG publications are in 21 regions across the U.S. and Canada. In Michigan, IMG publications are: Model D in Detroit; Concentrate in Ann Arbor; Metromode in metro-Detroit; Capital Gains in Lansing; Rapid Growth in Grand Rapids; and Second Wave in Southwest Michigan, Northwest Michigan, Mid-Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
"Receiving this award is a special honor for us," says Issue Media Group Co-Founder Brian Boyle. "Our primary goal has always been uncovering and sharing stories of transformational, small-scale change in our readers' communities. Recognition from an organization like the Michigan Municipal League bolsters our mission and inspires us to work even harder to celebrate community growth and place-making efforts across the state."
Another award of merit went to Paw Paw Village Manager Larry Nielsen. He has been the Paw Paw Village manager since 2007 and was previously the manager in Bangor.
In 2013, he agreed to help the city of Bangor by serving as its temporary manager while the community searched for a permanent manager. During this time, he simultaneously served both Paw Paw and Bangor.
Nielsen is a past member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees and a long-time member of the Michigan Local Government Management Association, which gave him the Excellence in Local Government Award earlier this year. He’s volunteered on numerous League boards and committees, including the Workers’ Compensation Fund Board, the League Finance and Taxation Committee, and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Audit Committee.
Nielsen has spoken at League training programs whenever asked, is a strong donor and supporter of the MML Foundation, and is always there to assist MML with its legislative efforts.
"Plus, Larry is a character--literally and figuratively," says Gilmartin. "He’s very involved in his local community theatre and can be frequently seen acting, writing, producing and directing plays."
Source: Michigan Municipal League