Grand Haven Chamber Lauds Two Leaders

May 17, 2002
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GRAND HAVEN — Two long-time business leaders, Gary Verplank and Jerry Witherell, received this year’s honors from The Chamber of Commerce of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg for their commitment to the community.

Witherell earned The Chamber’s DuBridge Community Service Award, given annually to individuals who “provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and demonstrate leadership and initiative in the development of volunteer projects.”

A resident of Grand Haven since 1942, Witherell has been involved in and supported numerous organizations and community projects. He presently serves on the Grand Haven Area Public School Foundation Board and the board of directors at Grand Haven Bank.

“His affable smile, a finely developed ability to work behind the scenes to get things done, combined with his ability and willingness to listen, make him a community treasure. The guy who does it all, and then some,” Dr. David Siebold said in presenting the award to Witherell at The Chamber’s annual meeting on May 8.

Verplank, chairman of Shape Corp., took home the 2002 Outstanding Citizen Award for his and his company’s role in several community organizations and projects. Verplank, whose family started the company in 1974, was honored for being “a leader and part of a team that exemplifies excellence, creativity, initiative and a continuing commitment to ensuring a strong sense of business success and of giving back to the community by his companies, its employees and himself.”           

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