Plath’s Meats, AAACU earn accolades at RC Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet

by Richard Lamb–

Advance Editor

An anchor of the Rogers City business community earned the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award. Plath’s Meats, observing its 110th year of serving the public with fine meats, won the 2023 award. 

John Plath, accepting the award from chamber president Matt Rex, offered words of appreciation. 

 “First and foremost, I would like to thank the Lord for putting money in our pockets, the clothes on our back and the roofs over our heads. The little town we are blessed to live in and have our business in, is also a gift from the good Lord. I would like to accept the award on behalf of the staff. I just sell the stuff. That crew over there makes it,” Plath said, pointing to the table of employees. 

“I couldn’t do it without them. Unless you are a one-man business, you need good employees and a good crew. Anyone in business today knows that is pretty hard to find, all over the country and all over the world. Times are changing. It says in the Bible, that if people in our country would pray, God would heal your land. I think we should all start praying.”

Chamber board vice president Karen Spens gave out a new award, the Community Outreach Award, to the Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union (AAACU). LeAnn Schultz, director of marketing for AAACU accepted the award. 


ROGERS CITY Area Chamber of Commerce president Matt Rex (at right) had the honor of presenting awards to two outstanding local businesses. At top, John Plath of Plath’s Meats accepts the Chamber Business Excellence Award to Plath along with some of his crew. The bottom photo shows Rex with some of the staff from Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, the business winning the Community Outreach Award. (Photos by Richard Lamb)

“It goes to the business that goes above and beyond in our community by voluneteering and supporting events, as well as making a difference in the lives of our community members,” Spens said. 

In accepting the award, Schultz said the Rogers City branch of AAACU does an awesome job.

“We are so proud of you, to be part of the Rogers City community. As you all know we just recently merged with the Calcite Credit Union and by doing that we’re able to bring our products and services to the members of this community and we are also able to bring our community outreach. Giving back to the community is something we are very proud of,” Schultz said.

Aaron Romel, of Tradewinds Bakery, presented the Customer Service Award to Jade Kroll of Mi Northern Espresso.

“I probably would not have thought this award was something within my reach. When you love what you do and you work with an amazing couple of bosses, amazing co-workers and an amazing community, if makes work not work,” Kroll said. 

Spens also presented the Zonta Businesswoman of the Year Award to Patricia Taratuta.

“I became involved with many volunteer activities in Rogers City because I needed to find a way to use my skills. I wanted to use my organization skills, leadership skills and brainstorming. It has been a privilege to work with so many great people,” Taratuta said. 

“I want to challenge everybody to volunteer two hours for the festival.”

City manager Joe Hefele gave an update on city activities including summaries of construction projects done or worked on during the year.

“Main Street and the city plan to work together to improve the appearance and functionality of the downtown, focusing on things like lighting upgrades, facades, public restrooms and the installation of broadband,” Hefele explai


Former mayor Beach Hall challenged those in attendance to help out in the community. 

“I would like to make a plea for all of you to consider doing a wee bit more and that is to volunteer for something. This town runs on volunteers. A great deal of what makes this town so livable is being done by volunteers. The current volunteers are, to put it lightly, aging out,” Hall said, mentioning service clubs and museums as possible places to volunteer.  

The event began at 4 p.m. at the Belknap Township Hall, with cocktails and appetizers, and concluded approximately 10 p.m. after awarding raffle winners. Mike Darga Catering prepared the meal that was enjoyed by approximately 140 people in attendance.