As in past years, the annual Chamber Banquet was the venue for announcing the awards for Citizen and Business of the year. Dan Rastall received the Citizen of the Year award and Birds Eye Foods was honored as Business of the Year. Michigan State Senator Rick Jones attended the banquet and presented the awards.
Dan Rastall is now in his fourth year as mayor of Fennville and says he hopes to continue in that role when his term is up in November. Aside from his Mayoral duties, on the City Council, DDA and other city boards, there’s hardly an activity that takes place in town that Dan isn’t an important part of. Among the community activities Dan’s involved in are the Lakeshore Relay for Life and Goose Festival Committee. As a father of young children he realizes the importance of wholesome outside activates for our youth. Toward that end, he coaches Little League Baseball and Rocket Football. Dan is also an active participant in school activities serving as a volunteer on field trips and Santa’s Secret Shop each Christmas.
“When I think of the people who have won this award before me, it puts me in some very great company” says Dan. “I love this community. I am proud and honored to call Fennville my home. We’ve done some great things but there is more to come and I can’t wait.”
Birds Eye Foods is Fennville’s largest business employer providing livelihood for more than 100 full time people. They take on an additional 100+ temporary employees during the peak fruit season in the summer to more than double the workforce. Kim Baiers, Plant Manager, accepted the award for Birds Eye. Kim lives in Allegan but has been in his current position at Birds Eye for the past nine years.
Kim believes it’s an obligation of any business “to be a good neighbor.” Birds Eye has surely been a good neighbor with their generous support of the Goose Festival, Women in Transition, Relay for Life and Habitat for Humanity. They also support our schools, specifically the soccer teams, prom night and the yearbook, among others.
Birds Eye is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Food Groups. Under Pinnacle’s umbrella are many brands you’d recognize, such Log Cabin, Armor Canned Meats, Duncan Hines, Swanson Frozen Dinners and many more. “Over 90% of all households have a Pinnacle Food Groups product on their shelves” says Tom Pantelleria, Administration Manager for Birds Eye.
The chamber board joins with our membership in congratulating these award recipients. Their conduct represent the highest standards of our community and make us all proud to be part of the Greater Fennville Neighborhood.