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Blue Water Woman magazine Winter 2018 issue.

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Published by pjsamar, 2019-02-16 11:29:19

Blue Water Woman Winter 2018

Blue Water Woman magazine Winter 2018 issue.

Of ThE baNd

anna senkmajer
& elizabeth dewey

bONus bridal guidE iNsidE!


wiNTEr 2018

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from the editor
TThe post-vacation pile of mail was teetering on top of my desk.
A large percentage of the snail mail received during my November vacation was from nonprofit
organizations. Their envelopes were filled with their annual fundraising “ask.”
I opened them all, quickly scanning the letters, reading about the various needs of our community.
One particular letter jumped out at me.
It wasn’t the content of the letter that stood out, but rather the list of board members that was printed
down the left-hand side of the stationery. CONTENT
More than two-thirds of the board was composed of men. That means, according to my simple Yooper elizabeth dewey
mathematics, that less than one third of the board members are women. &annasenkmajer 4
This is an organization that touches many people in the Blue Water Area. This nonprofit does many
good deeds. alanakelley 6
I did a quick internet scan of a number of other nonprofits in our community. Of those I randomly
looked up, most had boards that were composed of anywhere from 45 to 60 percent Bridal issue
women, all of which is much higher than 30 percent. jenifermchugh 8
Women make up 50.3 percent of the population in St. Clair County. Clearly, we are half
of the community, and we are entitled to one half of the say-so regarding the current advertise
direction and future of our community.
Because I know the executive director of this organization, I did drop a note of in Blue Water Woman!
encouragement to please consider adding more women to the board in the future. The
reply I received caught me completely off guard: it works!
“(When selecting board members) we don’t work from targets or goals or quotas for any just ask our advertisers!
class of people -- not by race, geography, gender, education.”
Why the heck not? The ad deadline for the next issue
It has been 16 years since I last worked for a large (nonprofit) corporation, but even of Blue Water Woman is January 15, 2019.
back then, as a member of the management team, I sat through numerous meetings Prices start at just $125 for a business card sized ad!
regarding diversity (of race, gender, religion) and the importance that our organization, Our most popular ad size is a quarter page at just $250;
PATTI SAMAR which attracted large numbers of volunteers and donors, build a balanced, diverse team
sign a one-year contract
that was accepting of many schools of thought, be it from a gender, religious or cultural perspective. and it becomes just $225 a quarter!
As the marketing director of that organization, I was expected to use photography that included people For more information, contact Patti Samar
of all races, creeds, colors, gender and religions in order to help the community as a whole feel welcome. at 810-300-2176 or email her at [email protected]
This thought of “inclusion” in marketing, and even in corporate human resources policies, really took off
in the late 1990s. volume 8, number 4 winter 2018
That was 20 years ago. Blue Water Woman is published quarterly by The Write Company,
I’m sad that there are organizations in the Blue Water Area that do not make a stronger, more concerted
effort to ensure that the female perspective is not just represented with but a token few, but would have 511LaSalleBlvd.,PortHuron,MI48060. Circulation5,000.
the foresight to understand that attempting to create gender – or racial, et al – diversity and balance on a Editor & Publisher:
board helps the organization function with a more global perspective than when, essentially (and with all
due respect), a bunch of white, middle-aged men in suits attempt to solve the issues at hand from a one- PattiSamar,owner,TheWrite Company
dimensional perspective. Advertising, questions, comments or story ideas:
Even the rest of the nation has finally clued into that fact, as more women than ever before were elected Patti Samar at 810-300-2176 or [email protected]
into our United States Congress on November 6. (And what a wonderfully diverse group of women, many
of whom bring diversity of race and culture to our Congress for the very first time!) I know our community Mission:
is better organized than the United States Congress. I’m hoping those in leadership positions here see the Blue Water Woman is the premiere publication
value of gender, cultural and racial diversity.
And do not think this is just Patti Samar spouting off on her “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar 2018 for women living, working and playing
World Tour” (though if I thought I could sell enough tickets, I’d surely go on this tour!). Forbes magazine intheBlueWaterAreaof Michigan.
discussed this very issue in an article earlier this year, with respect to corporate boards: Its stories and features are written and designed
“A recent analysis from 2020 Women on Boards found 55% of companies that fell off the Fortune 1000 index to be inspriational, motivational and encouraging.
had one or zero women on their boards. An analysis from Harvard’s School of Public Health ranked Fortune
500 companies by number of women directors present on their boards and found those in the highest quartile had a
42% greater return on sales.” (Forbes, May 21, 2018; Frances Kiradjian) © Blue Water Woman is the property
The fact of the matter is this, and science will back me up: Men and women think differently, and of PattiSamarof TheWriteCompany
approach problems and their solutions differently. Neither way is right or wrong, but it seems to me that if The Write Company is a writing, graphic design
the oversight of your organization is heavily weighted with just one sex, your organization is missing out on
many, many problem-solving opportunities. and marketing consultation firm.
Sheryl Sandberg told women to “lean in.” Once again, I’m suggesting that leaning in is not enough. We Viewouronlineportfolioat:
must “speak up.”
But it is awfully hard to speak up when you don’t have a seat at the table.
So, my New Year’s Challenge to the Blue Water Area is this: Include women at the table. Give them a
voice in 2019. Nominate women to sit on boards. Mentor a young woman to help her become a community
leader. Encourage women to run for office, or run for office yourself. Speak up on behalf of all minorities
and those who are marginalized.
Speak up for yourself.
Speak up, indeed, because, in the words of my dear, adopted mom, Donna Schwartz: If not you, then
Peace and Happy New Year to All!

Patti Samar
Editor & Publisher
2 winter2018

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leadersof the band
E byPattiSamar
Elizabeth Dewey and Anna Senkmajer are the leaders of the band. she was in high school. “I don’t think I ever realized that could be me
And yet, the drum majors of the Port Huron Northern Marching someday. I really didn’t think it was something I could do.
Band also march to the beat of their own drummer.
Put them together and they are able to make beautiful music. “But it is very attainable and by the time it happened, I felt very
Their hard work paid off, recently, when the PHN Marching Band comfortable in the leadership role.”

Music has been an important part of the lives of both young
women. Senkmajer grew up playing oboe and, with her father
earned two awards as a result of their performance in America’s serving as band director, has been involved in music most of her life.
Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit: First, after stiff competition with
11 other bands, with the support of their families, friends and Dewey plays trumpet and French horn. She plays and sings with the
PHN jazz band. Both young women see music continuing to be an
community, the PHN Marching Band was named winner of the important part of their lives, albeit in
“Battle of the Bands” competition,
and second, the band also received very different ways.
“I might consider doing music
notice from The Parade Company, as an elective in college or finding a
organizers of the annual parade, that
the PHN Marching Band earned first community band,” said Senkmajer,
who is interested in pursuing a non-
place as the Best Adjudicated Band. musical career path. “I’d like to study
The two female co-drum majors
(they share this responsibility with architecture and interior design with
a focus on accessibility for people
a third, male member of the band) with disabilities. I have friends with
could not be more different in
personality, but they have learned how disabilities and there is no reason for
accessibility to be any different for
to take advantage of their individual them than it is for anyone else.”
strengths, and how to work together,
to create a positive, award-winning She noted that the PHN marching
band has two visually impaired
environment for members of the band. students who have performed just like
“We all have very different
personalities and you have to work any other students. “Seeing the way
we’ve accommodated them and seeing
with that,” said Senkmajer, 16, and a how happy it makes all of us to do so.
“It’s all about finding a balance,” It should be normal to accommodate
people with disabilities.”
said Dewey, 17 and a senior. “We take Dewey, on the other hand, plans to
all of our characteristics to make one
perfect drum major.” make a career out of music. Next fall,
she will attend Belmont University
“We talk about who is best fit to in Nashville, Tennessee, where
deal with a problem,” said Senkmajer.
“It takes a lot of different factors of she plans to major in commercial
music, where she will learn about
consideration to make it all work.” music performance, the technical
Dewey, who is the daughter and
granddaughter of two women in aspect of operating a recording
studio, copyright issues and concert
the community who are recipients anna senkmajer & Elizabeth dewey promotion and organization, among
of Blue Water Woman of the Year
Awards, has learned by watching the examples set by her mother and other topics.
grandmother, the importance of developing strong leadership skills. She is not yet certain what area she will focus on in terms of a career.
“There’s a lot to figure out,” she said.
“My mom and my grandma are leaders in the community and they Participation in the PHN marching band has provided both
have taught me to be a leader, too,” she said. “One of my goals was to
set a good example and empower kids to do things they didn’t think students with opportunities to travel and compete at levels beyond
what many in high school have the opportunity to experience. During
they could do. I want to inspire other kids and when they tell me my their tenure in high school, the band performed at Disney World, has
encouragement helped, it makes me feel good to know that we’ve
made a difference. marched in the nationally televised Thanksgiving Day parade and will
visit Washington D.C. this spring.
“Knowing that people look up to me definitely helps me keep my Dewey said: “Band pushes you to do and think about new things.”
focus. Your attitude has an impact on everyone else.”
Senkmajer, who is the daughter of band director Erick Senkmajer, “We’re really fortunate to be part of such a high functioning group,”
said Senkmajer, who noted that winning the Battle of the Bands
said that Dewey really encouraged her to break out of her shell and
try out for drum major, which was a role she didn’t initially believe she was especially meaningful because “we knew we had the community
was destined to have. behind us. It makes it worth whatever struggles we go through.
“I know I’ll be able to apply leadership skills I’ve learned as a drum
“I always looked up to everyone in the band,” she said, noting that major to whatever I do in the future.”
she attended marching band practices with her father even before

4 winter2018

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winter2018 5

answeringthe call
by Patti Samar

GGod does, indeed, work in mysterious ways. “It’s an educational process,” she said of helping both the
Just ask Alana Kelley, pastor of the First Congregational Church congregation and the community understand the importance of
of St. Clair. accepting all who love one another, including those in the LGBTQ
It was never Kelley’s intention to become a pastor. community. “In most cases, people don’t think they know anyone
But, apparently, God had other plans. who is gay and it can be a frightening thing for them until they
She originally enrolled in a seminary, in mid-life, for purely learn.
personal reasons. “We like to say, ‘Jesus doesn’t turn people away and neither do
“I was more interested in learning,” we,’” she said of her congregation
said the former art education teacher. and its willingness to accept all who
“But over the course of four years, I wish to worship with them. “We
began feeling more and more of the also say, ‘Jesus is still speaking.’ The
call. teachings of the Bible change as our
“It’s something you just can’t really lives change.
resist.” “God is a God of love and that’s
And answer the call, she did. what we firmly believe. There are
By the time she graduated from the mistakes in the Bible; there are stories
seminary, the Pennsylvania native, told two different ways in the Bible,
who did not attend seminary until and we need to approach it with love
she was in her late 30s, was a well- and acceptance.”
established resident in Oberlin, Ohio, Kelley said the congregation
where her husband is a professor at believes strongly in helping others
Oberlin College. and has become very involved in a
Kelley landed in St. Clair in 2016, number of community outreach
following stints serving a number initiatives. They have become
of United Church of Christ (UCC) involved at Harbor Impact Ministries,
congregations in Ohio. which is organized by the Blue Water
“St. Clair is really welcoming,” Free Methodist Church. Harbor
she said of her adopted community. Impact provides food, clothing and a
“We’re called to be helpful and this variety of other items and services to
church really understands that. This low-income families.
church is not judgmental and that’s The congregation of approximately
what I really like about it.” 200 has recently seen an influx of new
Upon her arrival, one of the first members.
tasks she undertook, as pastor, was “We’ve had an influx of new people
working the congregation through a pastor alana kelley and that seems to be due to being

certification process within the UCC that accredits the church as an open and affirming,” said Kelley, noting that word has spread
“open and affirming” congregation. throughout the community.
“The UCC was one of the first churches in the country that The church sponsors a number of weekly or monthly programs
become open and affirming,” she said, noting that UCC churches for the community. A food pantry is available for anyone on the
are welcoming to people from all walks of life, all soci-economic church grounds, and a free community meal is served from 4:30 to
backgrounds and of all sexual orientations. 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
“The UCC was the first church to ordain a woman, in the 1800s, Kelley also conducts “Beer Witness” weekly at a local pub. “We
and also the first to ordain an African American man, and the first meet in a bar and talk,” she said. “I take a list of questions and an
to ordain a gay man in the 1970s, and then later a gay woman.” icebreaker. We talk about what God might look like to them, or
The UCC’s long history of acceptance lead the St. Clair what should the church look like.” Beer Witness takes place from 6
congregation to its desire to officially work through the process of to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
becoming an “open and affirming” church. Regardless of how she meets with congregants or how often
“We have been opening and affirming now for about a year and she sees them, what inspires Kelley is the generosity of the
a half,” she said. She noted that since receiving that certification, congregation.
the church has hosted one same-sex marriage and is anticipating “This church just really wants to do things for other people,” she said.
another in the near future. Amen to that.

6 winter2018

ots of little girls dream of dancing
in a big white wedding dress and riding
off with Prince (or Princess!) Charming

The months of planning that walk down
the aisle can feel like an eternity to a bride,
but a gal’s wedding day just flies by, according
to blue water area brides. To learn more about the dos and
don’ts of planning your wedding, turn the page and read on!

bluE waTEr wOmaN see Page 14 for more information about the
EdiTOr/PublishEr Blue Water Woman / Solitude Links Bridal Expo
PaTTi samar & dalE hEmmila
july, 2012 on Thursday, january 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.
atsolitudelinksgolf Course&banquetCenter!
McMorran Place, Port Huron
Photo: Tony Pitts wiNTEr2018 bluEwaTErwOmaN.COm 7

Big Day
by Patti Samar

jenifer & Kyle mcHugh,
of grand rapids

married JULY 6, 2018
at Solitude Links Golf Course & Banquet Center

Jenifer and Kyle McHugh of Grand Rapids knew their love and love story were special. That is why
they traveled to 12 different wedding venues all over the state before settling upon Solitude Links Golf
Course and Banquet Center in Kimball Township. The most surprising catch? Neither one of them has
ties to the Blue Water Area and had not previously attended an event there.

“We knew the ‘feel’ we were looking for,” said Jen. “It was pretty, and it was ‘us.’”
Just like Jen and Kyle, it was a match that was meant to be.

Who planned your wedding?
Jenifer planned the wedding, though she had a lot of help from

the staff at Solitude Links. “I used a lot of local vendors,” she
said. “Jennifer Hollenbeck at Solitude Links knew my vendors
and they had worked together before. She knew where each one
would want to be set up in the hall and that helped a lot with
planning the room set up.

“I did a lot of research on my own, but she acted in that
wedding planner role for a lot of things.”

planning a destination wedding:
Though Jen and Kyle live in Grand Rapids, both grew up in

the metro Detroit area. However, they didn’t want their wedding
guests to travel. So, they booked rooms at several local hotels and
also used a local transportation vendor as a trolley service so no
one would have to drive from the reception venue to their hotel.

“I didn’t want people drinking and driving,” she said.

“I allowed all of my bridesmaids to pick a dress of any style in

a particular color,” said Jen. “I didn’t dictate what shoes, either.
I wanted them to wear shoes that were comfortable and that
they could use again. We also had the guys buy suits instead of
renting tuxes. It was cheaper and they can wear them again.

“We had bridesmaids and groomsmen of all shapes and sizes
and I wanted them to feel comfortable and beautiful in their

“We wanted it to be about them as much as it was about us.”

do what is right for you & Your family: JEN & KYLE McHUGH
“Everyone tells you not to have your wedding on a holiday,
Photo: Matt Mollan,
but we picked a Friday over the Fourth of July weekend. It was
cheaper on a Friday and for our family, it was easier to do it on a
holiday weekend.”

8 winter2018 9

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winter2018 11

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Copywriting & Design.
Brand Identity/Logo.
Marketing Consultation.

Patti Samar
Owner. Editor. Publisher

The Write Company & Blue Water Woman

[email protected] 810.300.2176
wiNTEr2018 bluEwaTErwOmaN.COm 13



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