TOM COOK, of Owosso, was named the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Community Champion on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The surprise announcement was made during the Owosso Rotary meeting at D’Mar Banquet & Conference Center in Owosso.

   A Community Champion is an example for the rest of the community to follow. Sponsored by Chemical Bank, this award emphasizes that community service is important, and that the recipient passionately demonstrates the true meaning of community service. The recipient may be a public official, a community leader, a concerned citizen, a health or human services worker or a volunteer.

   Tom Cook is the executive director of the Cook Family Foundation, located in Owosso. The foundation seeks to build up community institutions in Shiawassee County, with an emphasis on area nonprofit organizations, environmental issues, academic excellence in high school and scholarships to the University of Michigan.

   Tom is the co-founder of the Green and Blue Network, a coalition of foundations with an interest in environmental issues. Currently, he serves on the board of trustees of the Nature Conservancy in Michigan, the board of directors of the Friends of the Shiawassee River and he is an active Rotarian. Tom has a long history of serving on several nonprofit boards that are active in the environment, health care, arts and youth.

   The award selection committee chose to recognize Tom for his personal efforts in advocating for the environment through the Nature Conservancy of Michigan and the Friends of the Shiawassee River. The nominator stated, “Whether knee-deep in the Shiawassee River, strengthening nonprofits, booking Rotary speakers or introducing one person to another in hopes they can work for the good of the region, Tom is in the middle of positive promotion of our county and her people.”

   The Community Champion Award will be formally presented, along with the ATHENA Award, Mission Award, Chairman’s Award, Ambassador Rising Star Award and the Outstanding Business Awards at the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce (SRCC) Annual Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 6 at D’Mar Banquet & Conference Center. Tickets are available online at or by contacting the SRCC at (989) 723-5149.

   Shown with Tom (center) during the surprise announcement on Wednesday are (from left) award selection committee members Mark Hudson, Kim Lazar and Paul Constine; Craig Bishop, representing award sponsor Chemical Bank; SRCC President and CEO Jeff Deason; and committee members Laura Archer, Becky Dahlke and Nichole Lockhart.

(Courtesy Photo)

2020 Community Champion was last modified: January 13th, 2020 by Karen Elford