William C. Verette honored with 2021 Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award
He’s the owner of Champion, Inc., Gundlach Champion, Inc. and Verrette Materials, Inc. and is an Iron Mountain native.
NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - WLUC-TV6 & FOX UP is pleased to announce William C. Verrette, the owner of Champion, Inc., Gundlach Champion, Inc. and Verrette Materials, Inc., as the recipient of the 2021 Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award because of his lifelong dedication to education and to communities throughout Upper Michigan.
This is the third year TV6 & FOX UP is presenting the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award was created to recognize one Upper Michigan resident who has dedicated a life of service to their individual business or industry and the community, much like Pellonpaa did.
TV6′s Don Ryan was the first recipient of the award in 2019 and Dr. Daniel Mazzuchi was honored in 2020.
“After a year of disruption due to COVID it is nice to get back to regular activities like selecting our recipient for the 2021 Pellonpaa Award. Verrette has dedicated his life to his family, career, company, and community. He continues to serve the Champion family of companies as Keeper of the Culture. He is a worthy recipient of the 2021 Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award. TV6 & FOX UP are proud to honor Mr. Verrette” said TV6 & FOX UP Vice President and General Manager, Rick Rhoades.
Verrette is an Iron Mountain native graduating from Iron Mountain High School in 1957. He received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1961 and is a graduate of the Harvard University Business School, Owner/President Management Program.
The companies owned by Verrette employ approximately 1,000 people. He is a past director of the American Transmission Company, LLC; Range Financial Corporation; Michigan Financial Corporation and the First National Bank and Trust Company of Iron Mountain. He is also a past member of the Ninth Federal Reserve District Small Business Advisory Committee.
Verrette served as a National Director of the Associated General Contractors of America and is a two-term past President of the Michigan Chapter Associated General Contractors. He also served as Committee Chairperson of the Governor’s Commission on Small Business and Entrepreneurial Affairs.
Verrette continues to serve as an advisor to the Upper Peninsula Construction Council (UPCC) of which he was a founder. He also served on the Superior Health Foundation, chairing the Governance Committee.
Verrette was a member of the Northern Michigan University Development Fund Board of Trustees from 1994 - 2004. He is a past member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Professional Advisory Committee at Michigan Technological University and past Chairperson of the Michigan Technological University Board of Control, is a member of the Michigan Tech Second Century Society and President’s Club. He served on the Michigan Tech Fund Board from 1984 to 1994
Verrette chaired the Michigan Technological University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s “Partnering with the Future Campaign” which raised $1.5 million for the department. He also served on the Iron Mountain Board of Education from 1970-1986, serving as board president for five years.
On September 20, 2007, Verrette received the “2007 Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula. He received the Northern Michigan University President’s Distinguished Citizenship award in October 1998. Verrette was also named the Michigan Technological University’s Distinguished Alumnus in 1993 and was commencement speaker at the Michigan Tech graduation ceremony on November 14, 1994.
He is a member of the Michigan Tech Academy of Civil and Environmental Engineers, an honorary member of Chi Epsilon, the National Civil Engineering Honor Society and Sigma Lambda Chi, the National Construction Honor Society, as well as a member of numerous civic and professional clubs, societies and organizations.
On October 20, 2011, Verrette was inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame. On April 27, 2013, he was the commencement speaker at Lake Superior State University, and at that time was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering by the University.
Verrette resides in Iron Mountain with his wife, Wilma. He also has 4 children, 3 stepchildren and 10 grandchildren. He is a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church serving the church in the past at various time, as Lay Leader, Finance Committee Chair, Trustee Committee Chair, Chair of the Pastor Parish Committee, Endowment Committee Chair and Usher.
There will be a reception and award presentation for Verrette at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University on Thursday, October 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
WLUC-TV6 & FOX UP established the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 in honor of the late Carl Pellonpaa. The award is presented annually to one individual in recognition of their service to the Upper Peninsula over the course of a lifetime. It will honor their distinction in various business, volunteer, government, academic, artistic, and social fields. The award will acknowledge significant contributions to the advancement and development of Upper Michigan.
“With the creation of this award we are paying tribute to the memory of a broadcast legend, Carl Pellonpaa,” said TV6 & FOX UP General Manager Rick Rhoades. “Carl was all about serving the Upper Peninsula, and everything he did throughout his career and in his personal life was to achieve that goal. Our intention is to remember him every year by recognizing an individual who has similarly dedicated a lifetime of service to Upper Michigan.”
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