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Posted: 12/12/12

Above, Excellence in Teaching/Mentoring: Terry Raubaucher. From left, Raubaucher's daughter, Laura Premblay, Raubaucher, Joe Thiede and Chamber Director Kelley Stephens. Below from top: Business of the Year: Greenfield Collision. From left, Don Lane of Greenfield Collision and Chamber Director Kelley Stephens. Not pictured is Keith Robinson, Lane's partner; Business Person of the Year: Augie Ventimiglio of Brush Salon and Spa. From left, Vanessa Cayle, Ventimiglio and Chamber Director Kelley Stephens. Not pictured is Gina Ventimiglio; Public Service Award: Dr. Barbara Horn of Expert Eyes Family Eye Center. From left, Dr. Michael Weisgerber, Horn and Chamber Director Kelley Stevens; Chelsea Elizabeth Pascoe Memorial Youth Award: Corinne Hosey. From left, Hosey, Michelle Mikkola Pascoe and Kelly Carson.

(Observer photos by Dennis A. Setter)

Rinkes given Lifetime
Award at Winter Solstice

Observer Staff Writer
      Pat Rinke, owner of Blue Water Trucking, said he isn't one for the spotlight, but was thankful to be in it as family, friends and fellow businesses honored him and his career.
       Pat, along with his wife, Jan, received a standing ovation upon accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce's "Winter Solstice . . . A Community Celebration" event on Dec. 6.
       The gala, formerly known as the EMMA Awards, celebrates chamber and community members for their contributions with annual awards.
       In particular, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals with long-term records, who have made sacrifices of time and shared their talents toward bettering their community.
       "It's unbelievable," Pat said. "I'm so surprised, I never knew I'd be chosen for anything like this."
       Pat, a lifelong resident of the area, began his career in 1977 by delivering water to swimming pools. He grew it to delivering steel, grain and Christmas trees, then later in 1990 to general commodity and parts for original equipment manufacturers and Tier I and II suppliers through agreements with Ford and Chrysler in 1990.
       The fleet consists of 140 tractors and 310 trailers transporting water to southeast Michigan and freight to anywhere east of the Mississippi River and north of New York.
       Apart from the business, the Rinkes received praise for the emphasis they put on family. A video put together by MiCommunity Media had family members talking about the dedication of their parents, which Pat said he receives in kind.
       "My family is definitely number one to me," Pat said. "As much as they say I did for them, I received that right back, probably twice over, and my wife has been there for every second."
       Pat has also been a part of the Lions Club and Kiwanis Club, while Jan has been involved with the Monday Club.
       "He says he doesn't deserve anything, (but) he does, he deserves every bit of this," Jan said.
       The chamber presented two awards that honor members of the community. The Chelsea Elizabeth Pascoe Memorial Award was presented to Corinne Hosey, a Romeo High School senior involved with Students Enriching Romeo through Volunteer Experiences (SERVE).
       The award recognizes students for their leadership and volunteer services through their school, church and community.
       Kelly Carson, SERVE coordinator, read a list of Hosey's volunteer activities, saying she will be hard to replace when she graduates.
       "I've had the great pleasure of watching Corinne grow over the years, she's become a competent, compassionate young woman," Carson said. "She is just a great, all-round kid and I'm very proud of her."
       For his 16 years of coaching football, Terry Raubaucher received the Excellence in Teaching/Mentoring award.
       "I've enjoyed coaching all of these young guys and I do enjoy watching them on Friday night playing high school football, and I do like seeing them as they've grown up to be terrific young men and family men," Raubaucher said.
       The chamber cut down on the number of presented awards when compared to previous EMMA events. The following were the remaining awards and the recipients presented at this year's ceremony:
       • Business of the Year       • Business Person of the Year       • Public Service Award       The first annual event doubled as the chamber's annual meeting, where a number of seats changed within the organization.
       The following were elected to fill seats on the Board of Directors: Donna Aul, Northend Tax and Accounting; Larry Davis, Davis Capital Management; Julie Kitchen, Beaumont Health System; Linda Lindberg, The Romeo Observer; and Dean Maue, PNC Bank.
       Leaving the board were Michael Romano and Terri Closs, while President Scott Allen passed the gavel to Bill Bowser.
       Executive Director Kelley Stephens said the chamber gained a record-breaking 50 new members between January and November and held 12 ribbon-cutting events.

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