GRAND HAVEN — One of Grand Haven’s most venerable corporations and a former U.S. Coast Guard commander earned recognition this month for their community service.
The Association of Commerce and Industry presented its inaugural DuBridge Community Service Award to Michael Smith, former commander of the West Michigan Group headquarters for the Coast Guard in Grand Haven who now runs the Grand Haven Area Public Schools’ Community Education Department.
JSJ Corp. received the ACI’s inaugural Outstanding Citizen Award for 2001 in recognition of its role in the community for three decades.
JSJ was founded in 1970 with the merger of five companies — Grand Haven Brass Foundry, Grand Haven Stamped Products Co., Dake Corp., Michigan Plastic Products Co. and Carlon Meter Co. — and has supported and been involved in numerous community and civic organizations and projects over the years.
The award “recognizes the valuable service JSJ Corporation has provided by devoting time, energy and resources to improve the business climate and quality of life for others in the community.”
“The corporation’s history, three generations of community support, both financial and human and employee involvement have touched everyone’s life in the Tri-Cities,” ACI President Bud Hoffman said in presenting the award during the ACI’s annual meeting on May 9.
Named in honor of the late Daryl DuBridge, the ACI’s immediate past president, the DuBridge Community Service Award is presented to individuals “that 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.”
The award’s first recipient, Smith is “well known throughout our community as a creative, high energy individual,” said Jerry Witherell, owner of the Oakes Agency in Grand Haven and co-chair of the ACI’s annual meeting.
“He makes a celebration out of everything he does and fosters a sense of volunteerism with everyone who works with him,” Witherell said.
Smith moved to Grand Haven in 1989 as the commander of Group Grand Haven. He moved to Governors Island, N.Y., in 1994 and returned to Grand Haven with his family in 1996 after retiring from the Coast Guard after 21 years of service. He is now director of Grand Haven Community Education.
The father of six children ages 10 to 17 years, Smith serves on the board for St. Mary’s School’s strategic planning group, the Tri-Cities Auction, a member of the ACI Ambassador Team, and the Coast Guard Festival Committee. He has served the boards of St. Mary’s school, North Ottawa Area Community Council, the Tri-Cities Museum Board and is the master of ceremonies for Camp Bluebird.