2016-10-27 / Life in Leelanau

Chamber feels the Bern, honors outstanding man

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


TIM HARING presents the 2016 Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business of the Year award to Bernie Rink, founder of Boskydel Vineyard in Bingham Township, during the annual dinner held last Thursday in Leland. TIM HARING presents the 2016 Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business of the Year award to Bernie Rink, founder of Boskydel Vineyard in Bingham Township, during the annual dinner held last Thursday in Leland. More than 100 people were on hand at the Bluebird last Thursday as the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce paid homage to a household name in the local wine industry.

Attendees at the annual chamber dinner capped a busy evening by watching Bernie Rink, founder of Boskydel Vineyard in Bingham Township, accept the 2016 Outstanding Business of the Year award. Rink revolutionized county commerce after planting a one-acre test plot of wine grapes in 1965 and opening the winery 10 years later.

“Larry Mawby did an outstanding job introducing Bernie because he gave a little historical perspective on how the whole wine industry started,” said Sally Guzowski, executive director of the chamber. “Larry did a fine job.”

Wine connoisseurs weren’t the only movers and shakers in attendance.

Attendees also had a chance to hear from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Scott Tucker, the keynote speaker.

After hearing from Tucker, Mawby and Rink, attendees joined “spectacular auctioneer” Ranve Martinson of Martinson Funeral home for a pair of “very successful” auctions.

One highlight had Jim Houdek of Houdek’s Pumping Service outbidding Matt Gregory of Chateau de Leelanau for an M-22 sign. Guzowski said the charitable donation was $1,300.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said.

Chamber members also honored Terry Ely, who has been volunteering and serving on the board for 32 years, and ended the evening by serenading Rink with “Happy Birthday” and presenting him with a 90th birthday cake.

Rink, who was mistakenly referred to as the “90-year-old granddaddy of the county’s grape-growing industry” in a recent Enterprise story, celebrated his birthday over the weekend.

“It was a great evening, and I had a lot of people comment on the way out about how much they enjoyed it,” Guzowski said. “One for the books.”

Return to top