Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau hosting David Lorenz, VP Travel Michigan & honoring Volunteers at upcoming Annual Meeting

Cadillac, Michigan. On April 18, the greater Cadillac Area Tourism Industry will come together at the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Annual Meeting to hear Key Note Speaker Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, and to honor area volunteers for thousands of hours of service:   The Friends of the Whitepine Trail, Steve Knaisel, Shawn Dostal, Michele Andrews, and Snider Family.   (see details below)

‘Dave Lorenz was secured months ago, and I had the privilege of notifying the winners last week,’ says Joy Liptak VanDrie, Executive Director of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, ‘Tourism impacts every facet of our community, so Dave will offer insight into how Pure Michigan translates from Cadillac to around the world.   The Awards are inspirational – the recreation we have available in our area requires thousands of hours of maintenance, and the hospitality/restaurant industry has many worker-bees behind the scenes, so we are truly honored by our ability to bestow these awards, in person, to people with such passion for what they do, while their peers offer their cheers of support.’

Area residents and businesses are welcome to join the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau at the upcoming Annual Meeting by calling the office at 231-775-0657, e-mailing to or stopping by to reserve your seat, at 201 N Mitchell Street, Suite 102, by April 12.   The Annual Meeting begins at 6pm, is $20 per person and will be at Evergreen Resort, new Passage North Grill.

Key Note Speaker, David Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan

Dave is responsible for leading the state’s tourism branding, advertising and public relations efforts; overseeing the award winning Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and coordinating statewide tourism initiatives.   Dave will give an update on the Pure Michigan ‘Passions’ Campaign, the new website, and highlights of the Travel Michigan national and international campaigns. The Pure Michigan passions are activity-focused interests, targeted at enthusiasts and those seeking specific experiences in the state and incorporate an additional layer to the overall Pure Michigan advertising campaigns. Currently, Pure Michigan is using digital and social media advertising to promote key warm weather activities of golf, freshwater fishing and a day spent on the water, or the Lake Effect.

Cadillac Area Festivals and Events 2017 Award Winner

Volunteer of the Year Award Winner – Shawn Dostal

This award recognizes an individual who has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND in their effort to support the mission of the Cadillac Area Festivals & Events through continuous involvement and leadership with area Festivals & Events. This award winner joins the ranks of Derek Anderson (2015) and Sharon Flewelling (2016).

Shawn has devoted thousands of hours of his personality and creativity to several area festivals and events over the past 20 years.   We are especially appreciative for his work with the North American Snow Festival for the past 20 years and Cadillac Freedom Festival for the past 4 years.   His ability to entertain from the Mic is second to none, while his willingness to share his talents to the betterment of the event, attendees and community are the primary reasons for this recognition.

Cadillac AreaVisitors Bureau 2017 Award Winners

Volunteer of the Year Award Winner – Michele Owings Andrews

This award recognizes an individual who has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND in their effort to support the mission of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau through continuous involvement and leadership.   The award winner joins the ranks of Brian Chapman (2013), Steve Birdwell (2014), Carol Hill (2015) and Jim Neff (2016).

Michele is being appreciated for her dedication and passion over the past 4+ years for cycling. Creating and organizing a successful new event in Cadillac “The Bear Claw Epic Bike Race” at the Cadillac Pathway that raises maintenance funds for the Pathway, she has worked diligently over the past 2 years with the MDNR, WMCTC Small Engines Students and Pathway volunteers and users to develop a new “Winter Sports Trail” at the Cadillac Pathway Trails system, she is active in leadership with the Cadillac Cycling Club and with Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, and demonstrates daily her willingness to go above and beyond for future access to cycling opportunities in our area for her friends, area residents and visitors.

Recreation Excellence Award : Business/ Organization Winner  – Friends of the White Pine Trail & MDNR

This award recognizes area businesses and organizations who demonstrate Excellence in Providing Recreational Opportunities to our visitors.   Joining the ranks of Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort (2012), Friends of the Cadillac Pathway (2013), Cadillac Winter Promotions (2014), Cadillac Garden Club (2015), and Rotary Club of Cadillac (2016).

The Friends of the White Pine Trail and the MDNR are being appreciated for the year around work on the White Pine Trail System – the longest Linear State Park in the Nation – in maintaining, fundraising, building, and advocating for a safe multi-use trail system. It is with their strong dedication and willingness to collaborate with the trails multi-user groups, both motorized and non-motorized, that our area gains multi-modal access to Rockford/Grand Rapids, and are able to host year around activities and events within the park trail system.

Recreation Excellence Award : Individual Award Winner – Steve Knaisel, Owner Pilgrim Village Motel & Cottages, & Bait Shop

This award recognizes an individual who has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND in their effort to support ‘Excellence in providing Recreational Opportunities to our visitors’, supporting the mission of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau through continuous involvement and leadership, and has made a significant impact in their field of recreation excellence. This award winner joins the ranks of Alan Green, Avid Snowmobiler (2015) and Dave Foley, Avid Silent Sports Enthusiast (2016).

Steve is our area fishing expert for over 50 years, he’s the Fishing Report ‘go to’ for our area lakes, he’s the guy that knows the best fishing holes and what type of bait, and the Great Lakes Fishing Industry looks to him for his feedback on new equipment and trends.   He spearheaded the NASF Fishing Tournament for 10+ years with over 800 entries when he stepped down in 2015. Pilgrim Village has hosted hundreds of Bass Fishing Tournaments, Professional Fisherman, and Outdoor Writers, and they all come back because Steve ensures they are well taken care of and knows what their needs are. He is a true gentleman of the outdoors.

NEW Restauranteur of the Year Award

For their decades of culinary excellence at ‘The Marina’, a destination family restaurant, this inaugural year the Restauranteur of the Year Award will be awarded to the Snider Family.  The Snider family experience at the Marina was truly that, you felt like family, and you ate like it too.   From generation to generation the recipes and characters of Italy offered locals and travelers a taste of Italy along the shoreline of Lake Cadillac.   Hosting wedding parties, formal dinners for dances, family gatherings and just a couple’s night out for dinner, the level of customer service and entertainment was second to none. They raised the bar when they opened, and kept it high until they closed. A true inspiration to all small business owners.

This award will be an annual award by the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, nominations will be received from the greater Cadillac Area locally owned restaurants, to be solicited in January, for the Annual meeting every April.

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