Board sees biggest change in leadership

From left to right: Cam Herrington, Sarah Grewe, Audrey Sochor, Demiree Potter, Grant Moore, Mallory Michaluk

From left to right: Cam Herrington, Sarah Grewe, Audrey Sochor, Demiree Potter, Grant Moore, Mallory Michaluk

The Blue Water Young Professionals is facing its largest shift in leadership since the group’s established in 2009.

The dawn of 2018 shines a light on four new directors: Cameron Herrington, Mallory Michaluk, Grant Moore and Demiree Potter.

Three of the four are in their early 20s and recently moved back to the area.

Age limits mean we also have to say farewell to Jackie Hanton and Lindsey Adams Fitchett. Hanton has served as the group’s vice president since the group’s formation. Audrey Sochor is her successor.  

Leo Colantuono also resigned from the board earlier in the year to focus on creating a new business and other community service.

When it comes to board officer roles, the vice president position isn’t the only one to see a change.

Sarah Grewe has taken over as board secretary. This role was previously fulfilled by Korissa Wilkins. She will still sit on the board as a member at large.

Herrington now serves as board chairman. This role was previously filled by Colantuono.

YPs host Chilly Fest Bed Races 2018

Get Ready to Rumble (run and bumble with a bed, that is)!!!

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The Blue Water Young Professionals continue as host of the Chilly Fest Bed Races for the seventh straight year. This can only mean one thing - Bed Races is almost here and registration is open!

Returning team ready to get signed up? Go for it! Never heard of it, so what is Bed Races, you ask?

It's simple, teams of five will race a "bed" against other teams down the chilly streets of Port Huron while wearing hilariously themed costumes. Teams have a chance to win an epic trophy and prizes from local businesses.

The Basics:

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at 2:15PM
Racing begins at 3PM

Intersection of McMorran Blvd. & Superior Mall in downtown Port Huron.

Team of 5 people. Teams can be co-workers, friends, family, or 5 strangers…really any 5 people can form a team.

How Much
$25 entry fee for each team.

Why not? Don’t you want to have fun in the middle of winter?

The after-party and award ceremony will be at Sperry's 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse. More information, rules and registration forms can be found on the Bed Races webpage. For even more information, please contact Sara Grout and Tori Ferres at 

Bed Races is one event out of two days of wintertime fun during Port Huron's Chilly Fest.

YP Community Tour

YP Community Tour: Past, Present, Future

We’ve focused on downtown/nightlife enhancement and the arts – now it’s your turn to help us determine what’s next! And we’re hitting the road for your input.

On four different Thursday evenings in June, the public is invited to participate in the “YP Community Tour: Past, Present, Future.” The events will begin at 5:30 p.m. in each city.

“By hosting this event we not only want to celebrate everything we have done as a group and what we love about our hometowns, but capture the conversations so many have about staying committed to our towns and the great future we all want here,” said Jackie Hanton, vice president of the BWYP.

Back in 2011 the Blue Water Young Professionals hosted an I Will Stay If... party to share with our local and state leaders a new take on what our cities need in order to be successful. It’s also how we determined our current priority focus areas. 

Now we want to expand on that party to get new takes directly and unfiltered from the people who are living and working here every day. Not only will local leaders be at each event to help us celebrate present successes, but YPs will look to the public to help guide us in our future endeavors.  

As we’ve gotten to know hundreds of people across the region, we've learned what residents and future talent care about isn't just cooler coffeehouses and music venues. Rather, it's a long-term, sustainable and practical vision for our cities.

“We know what great communities we have in the blue water area and we want to share some of the solutions we see making it stronger,” said A.J. Armbruster, president of the BWYP. “We also want to hear from those attending the event on what will make them stay in – or come back to – the blue water area.”

The YP Community Tour will aggregate and share our community’s ideas for our cities. We will share what we’ve learned over the past few years, celebrate successes, but most importantly we’ll look at each of the photos we collect on this celebratory evening as mini-stories. And we want your voice to play a role in shaping the larger stories of our cities.

Please join us. Tell your story; share your idea in your words.  Why have you stayed? What would your ideal city have? What will make you stay?

New year brings change to board

With the end of 2016, we had to bid farewell to three longtime board members: Crystal Jahn, Kara Schrader and Duncan Smith.

All three aged out of the group and finished up their board terms in December. Their last official act of duty was attending the Ugly Sweater Party, where they all received a lovely roast a la Comedy Central from board members AJ Armbruster and Kendra Lake as well as BWYP hoodies for their years of service.  

But you still may see them around for a little while. Crystal plans to help with the Pine River Poker Paddle in St. Clair, and Duncan and Kara will provide input with succession planning for the board.

The board also elected two new directors, Rafe MacKenzie and Matt Gregor. Rafe has been an active member of the BWYP since early 2014. He hopes to help with membership retainment. Matt has been a member since 2015 and will serve as treasurer.

Both are active with various YP committees on up of keeping busy with demanding careers. Rafe is a chemist with Cargill Salt in St. Clair and Matt runs his own financial and insurance consulting firm, a branch of Axa Advisors, in Port Huron.

More information on the two can be found in their member spotlights.  

Bed Races returns Jan. 28

Get ready to burn some rubber on the wintry streets of Port Huron with the BWYP!

The Blue Water Young Professionals return as the host of the 2017 Chilly Fest Bed Races. What's Bed Races you ask? Only the goofiest race around.

Don't miss the fun of this crowd favorite on Saturday, Jan. 28 in downtown Port Huron. For more infomration on Bed Races or to register a team click here.   

Be sure to check out the other great Chilly Fest events as well. Peruse the ice sculptures, eat some chilli or run PoHo Hot Cocoa. 

Ugly Sweater Party tickets on sale

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Tickets are still available for the BWYP's 3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Party!

When: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Vintage Tavern in downtown Port Huron

Cost: $10 per person

Appetizers will be provided. This year we will be awarding prizes for the best homemade Sweater and the overall ugliest sweater. The uglier, the better!

Since the BWYP is all about making the Blue Water Area a place to stay, play, shop and give back, we're requesting warm winter gear to be donated (socks, gloves, hats, scarfs) It can be new or gently used.

YP friends and family are always welcome. Tickets can be bought online here.




Kegs N Ks beats expectations

The final numbers are in and Kegs N Ks beat all goals the Blue Water Young Professionals board set for this year’s fundraiser.

The race, which was held Sept. 17 at Vantage Point, had more than 320 racers and raised $6,360.

“I think that we pulled off a great race despite the weather,” said Crystal Jahn, BWYP treasurer. “We had a good group of volunteers and we pulled it off with minimal complaints.”  

The board originally anticipated around 300 runners and to raise between $4,000 to $5,000. 

Jahn said the purpose of the event was to raise general funds for the group. The board will now discuss how the use the money.

In the past the BWYP has devoted money to revitalizing the Black River Walk in downtown Port Huron – a project that is still ongoing.  

The main event was the 4K run where participates chugged four ounces of beer each lap, but racers weren’t the only ones having fun. Kegs N Ks also featured a keg toss sponsored by Michigan Specialty Coatings as well as a rockin’ after-party with beer, music, ping pong and corn hole.

Of course, the group couldn’t have a successful event without the help of YP members and friends who gave their time and resources to Kegs N Ks. The BWYP board thanks you all!

The board also thanks the other event sponsors Bell’s Inspired Brewing, Earl Smith Distributing Co., Huron Dental, Road Runner Timing, Penn Station East Coast Subs and Kramer Commercial Realty.    


Pine River Poker Paddle returns Aug. 20

Combining two popular pastime activities equals great summer fun. The 3rd annual Pine River Poker Paddle returns Saturday, Aug. 20.

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Thanks to our sponsor DeLude Construction, the cost is FREE to join in the poker fun and be eligible to win a kayak. Best hand wins! 

We will still sell extra cards for $2 each. Paddling starts at 10 a.m.

You can pre-register now.

During this event, participants paddle along the Pine River starting at the St. Clair Boat Harbor to the train bridge and back. Along the way you will stop at five checkpoints to pick up a poker card. There will be an optional longer route to obtain an bonus poker card. You can also purchase extra cards for $2 a piece at the event. 

At the end of the event, the player with the best hand wins a brand new Dagger Zydeco kayak, generously sponsored by DeLude Construction and Great Lakes Marine Outfitters.

Don't own your own kayak, canoe or paddle board? Don't worry, you can rent from the St. Clair Boat Harbor, Great Lakes Paddle Sports, Missy's Kayak Connection or PoHo Paddle Co. There will be a limited amount of kayaks on site to rent so book early!

Local places to rent a kayak/SUP:

· St. Clair Boat Harbor (kayaks and SUP): 810-329-4125

· Great Lakes Paddle (kayaks): 810-320-6684

· Missy’s Kayak Connection (kayaks): 810-488-0798

· PoHo Paddle Company (SUP): Contact Cecelia at 810-434-7832

YPs take over South Beach

South Beach Night at Casey's Pizza will benefit future BWYP projects

Throw on you crisp white and stark black and head over the Casey's on Aug. 6 for South Beach Night. All door donations will benefit the future work of the Blue Water Young Professionals.

The YPs will be volunteering as valet parking attendants, club "security" and paparazzi for the dress-to-impress event.

Interested in volunteering for the event? Let us know on our Facebook event page! If you don't want to volunteer but still want to help the BWYP out, join the party!

When: Saturday, Aug. 6 at 9 p.m.                                                                                                Where: Casey's Pizza & Sub Shop                                                                                                                    628 Huron Ave., Port Huron                                                                                                 Cost: $10 donation at the door