Retiring judge honored at Chamber banquet

Tribune Staff • May 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — Ottawa County Judge Ed Post was honored Thursday night as the 2016 recipient of the local Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The award was presented at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner at the Spring Lake Country Club by Post’s longtime friend, Ottawa County District Judge Susan Jonas. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honors local business men and women who strive to the highest level of professional accomplishments, who excel in their chosen profession, and have devoted significant time and energy to improve the community’s quality of life. 

Post has been a leader throughout the county, inspiring and guiding others to develop their full potential while setting an example of team work, strategic thinking and fairness every day. He began his judicial career in 1993 when he was elected to serve as judge for the District Court in Holland. In 1993, he ran unopposed for a new Circuit Court judgeship and has served as its chief judge since 2000. Post will retire at the end of the year, which is the end of his present term.

Under Post’s leadership, Ottawa County courts have been recognized as an example of excellence both nationally and by the Michigan State Court Administrator’s Office as a model of efficiency, positive work environment and progressive programs. 

Over the years, almost every non-profit organization in Ottawa County running a fundraising campaign has benefited from Post’s donation of photographs for their events. As an award-winning photographer, avid bird watcher and ardent naturalist, he has captured photos of nature, events, people and community that he donates to projects that enhance the community to students, journalists, scientific publications, the county and other local municipalities. He quietly worked behind the scenes to capture the moments for major fundraising events in Grand Haven. He has served as a trustee for the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and as its “official” photographer for almost 20 years. He has continuously served on the Board of Advisors of the Marion A. and Ruth K. Sherwood family Foundation since its inception in 2002.

Post has reached many students in our community by opening his courtroom to middle and high school groups to give hands-on civic lessons about the workings of the court. Throughout the years, he has shared his humor and wit as master of ceremonies for many community events. He worked with the start-up of Project Charlie and the D.A.R.E. programs, and generously gave his time to judge local Boy Scout events.

Post and his wife, Barbara, have four children and two grandchildren.

Theune receives Young Professional Award

Brook Bisonet, recipient of the first Dr. Elizabeth Curtis Young Professional Award, presented David Theune with the 2016 award at the Chamber banquet.

The award recognizes a young professional between the ages of 21 and 40 who embodies the business, community and volunteer philosophy of Curtis that was an unwavering responsibility to community through the philosophy of always “paying it forward” though involvement with local organizations that elevate the overall quality of life in Northwest Ottawa County.

Theune is a Spring Lake High School teacher who has taken on some of the tough issues of today’s school environments. Three years ago, he began a community book club bringing students, teachers, business leaders and community members together to read and discuss “Sticks and Stones” by Emily Bazelon and the theme, bullying, in relationship to our own experience. He also published a book with community and student works on the value of empathy. He began “Words Have Power” essay contests in his classroom that have resulted, in the past three years, in $5,000 given to the Center for Women in Transition, Camp Bluebird and other agencies.

Theune has received nine Excellent Educator Awards from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Teacher of the Year from the Autism Society of West Shore and received a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International. The University of Chicago gave him an Outstanding Educator Award and he received a Volunteer Star from the Greater Ottawa County United Way.

Nametz named Spirit of Community recipient

The Chamber’s Spirit of Community Award was presented to Dr. John Nametz by its 2014 recipient, Kelly Larson, who serves as chairperson of the 2016-17 Chamber Board.

This award honors the community spirit of the late Daryl DuBridge. It acknowledges individuals who provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and who demonstrate leadership and initiative in the development of volunteer projects. 

Nametz opened a private optometric practice in Spring Lake in 1982 while serving as staff optometrist for the Department of Corrections in Muskegon. In 2011, he joined Shoreline Vision before retiring in 2016.

Involvement in the community has been a cornerstone in Nametz’s life. He served on the Spring Lake Village DDA and Tax Increment Financing Authority, and Spring Lake Rotary. He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2004 and served as club president in 2002-03. He has served as a United Way volunteer, chaired the Professional Division from 1997-2001 and was recognized as a Grand Haven-area Star Volunteer. 

A longtime Jaycee, Nametz received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award as well as being awarded a JCI Senatorship. He has served on the Spring Lake school board, twice as its president. He was inducted into the Lakers Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame in 2007. 

Nametz was a member of the Chamber Division of ACI in the late 1990s and was a part of ACI’s reorganization that became the Chamber of Commerce in 2002, which he served as chairman from 2006-08. Most recently, he joined the Chamber Ambassador Team.

In 1992, Nametz received a special tribute from the state for prominence in the profession of optometry, activism in providing medical care to prisoners in Michigan and community leadership. He was named Michigan Optometrist of the Year in 2002 by the Michigan Optometric Association, appointed by the governor in 2002 to the Michigan State Board of Examiners in Optometry and served as president of the North Central States Optometric Council in 2002. 

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