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Deeply woven into the fabric of Northwestern Michigan College are its supporters and volunteers. Top among those stands Susie Janis. From her time as a student, Susie has shared the admiration that she has for the college and its people. Over and over, she has stood, with her willing accomplice Bill, at the forefront of supporting the college. Leading the fundraising charge to create and build the Dennos Museum, serving as the NMC Foundation’s first female chair, Susie has often taken charge, ready to inspire and encourage others to do their best.

In 2016, Susie answered the call again, agreeing to co-chair the Be What’s Possible campaign. Leading by example, with dedication, warmth, and wit, she set a tone for all who were part of the campaign that working together, we would make it possible. The college and the foundation are indebted to Susie for her commitment and generosity. The staff of the Northwestern Michigan College Foundation is pleased to create the Susanne M. Janis Service Award, honoring our own inimitable “Sooz.” With her XX’x and OO’s, she has forged a path of service and success. We are grateful for her knowledge, wisdom, and energy, and inspired by her tireless service to our community’s college.

At the conclusion of the Be What’s Possible campaign in the summer of 2021, NMC Foundation staff identified the need to recognize volunteers who provide transformational service and leadership for philanthropy for the college. The Susanne M. Janis Service award will be given at the discretion of the NMC Foundation staff to those who have excelled in their efforts, inspiring support for the college and its future.

On August 19, 2021, the inaugural award was presented to Susie with the following inscription:

Bruce Byl

Susie, thank you for stepping forward to lead with grace, dignity, creativity, and a generous dose of good humor. You have our deepest appreciation for your service. We honor you for your leadership as co-chair of Be What’s Possible, the Campaign for NMC and for all your work preceding this campaign. Today we announce the Susanne M. Janis Service Award, with you as the inaugural honoree. Thank you for how you have led us and for all you have given. You truly made so much possible!

Immediately following, the award was presented to campaign co-chair Bruce Byl, with this inscription:

Bruce, your strong leadership and sense of service is unparalleled. When you agreed to co-chair the Be What’s Possible campaign, you did so whole-heartedly, giving freely of your time, your skills, and your inimitable persistence. Always eager to try something new, your energy and attention to detail kept us focused and moving forward. With a keen eye for stewardship, you always sensed the needs of the volunteers around you, keeping the team motivated and engaged. Thank you for how you have led us and for all you have given. You truly made so much possible!