2009 Recipient Bios

Community Award
Lisa Fletcher
Lisa Fletcher has gone above and beyond to support the interests of senior citizens in the East Lansing community and the region as a whole through her instrumental work with the Ingham County TRIAD.

Fletcher currently serves as treasurer of the Ingham County TRIAD, an organization made up of law enforcement officers, senior organizations and interested community members who focus on preventing criminal victimization of seniors. Fletcher has dedicated countless volunteer hours to raising funds for important TRIAD programs, including No Senior Without Christmas, a program that involves the door-to-door distribution of gifts and household items to seniors at Christmas, and “Files of Life,” a program that assists seniors by identifying their emergency medical needs to emergency responders. Among her many accomplishments with the organization, Fletcher spearheaded the Ingham County TRIAD Senior Prom, an annual social event for seniors that has generated an estimated $30,000 for the organization’s invaluable programs. Fletcher currently is an advisor to the Senior Prom Committee and served as chairperson for three years prior to that. Fletcher has also coordinated and taught several senior workshops including home ownership, held at the East Lansing Public Library.

Fletcher, an East Lansing realtor with Tomie Raines, Inc., has an undeniable passion for older citizens in the community in which she works. She has touched the lives of many and is applauded for her outstanding efforts in the East Lansing community.

Chris Korest
Christine Korest is the quiet force behind the work of the Glencairn Neighborhood Association and the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library. Korest has been a part of the Glencairn Neighborhood Association’s leadership for eight years and in that time has tirelessly worked behind the scenes to prepare several successful neighborhood events, including neighborhood picnics and the neighborhood’s holiday luminaria fundraiser. She is the association’s worker bee, keeping the pulse of the neighborhood by setting meetings, scheduling speakers for the meetings, organizing the newsletter and filling in wherever she is needed. Referred to as the “ear of the neighborhood,” Korest has brought the neighbors together through her tireless work and dedication.

In addition to being a leader in her neighborhood, Korest has been a member of the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library for 13 years and is currently co-president. The Friends of the East Lansing Public Library is a highly successful community support organization that works annually to raise funds for the East Lansing Public Library through annual and ongoing book fairs and other programs. Korest is described as the “heart and soul” of the library for her instrumental work with this organization.

Korest’s service doesn’t stop at her neighborhood and library though, she also serves as an Election Day official, a Sunday school teacher at All-Saints Church, a community service coordinator for non-violent convicts, a member of the One Book, One Community selection committee and a parent volunteer in classrooms and schools. She is also currently a graduate student at Michigan State University. Korest is a role model in the East Lansing community, whose hard work and willingness to share both her talents and time with others merits a big and well deserved thank you.

Rod Ritchison
“Coach Rod” Ritchison has touched the lives of hundreds of young athletes of all ages and skill levels through his dedication to the game of lacrosse in East Lansing. Ritchison has coordinated East Lansing lacrosse programs for over a decade.

From instructional programs to summer camps and league play, Ritchison has created opportunities for every child with a desire to participate in the sport. Whether standing out on a freezing lacrosse field in the early spring or in a steamy gym in the dead of winter, Ritchison greets every child and parent with a big smile and a word of encouragement. His energy and enthusiasm for the game of lacrosse is infectious and his innate ability to make all children, no matter their abilities, feel like an important part of the team has not gone unnoticed.

Ritchison’s dedication to the families of East Lansing is boundless. In the middle of winter he has been spotted embedding sandwich boards advertising lacrosse sign-ups into snow and he has also kept families well informed of clinics and tournaments in the area through constant e-mail communication with those he coaches. Never asking for anything in return, Ritchison’s selfless work in this community has been described as inspirational and enviable.

In addition to his commitment to lacrosse, Ritchison has also been an active member of the Boy Scouts where he served as committee chair, scoutmaster and venture crew leader with Pack 224, Troop 2 and Crew 22. “Coach Rod” has created a wonderful community of lacrosse players and Boy Scouts, who have not only developed a love for what they do, but a respect for each other.

Business Award
Eric Sudol
Eric Sudol has brought new life, vitality and economic development to East Lansing’s downtown through his professional role as general manager of the East Lansing Marriott at University Place and through his distinguished leadership on the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA), East Lansing Downtown Management Board (DMB) and East Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

A longtime activist and supporter of East Lansing’s downtown business district, Sudol has gone above and beyond to support successful downtown projects, community events and more. He is an invaluable asset to the community who has been instrumental in countless important decisions that have positively impacted the downtown.

As a past chair of the DDA, DMB and BRA, and a current member of the DDA and BRA, Sudol has selflessly served the City of East Lansing for more than a decade, while simultaneously juggling a full-time professional position. Through his leadership roles on several East Lansing’s boards and commissions, Sudol has supported and/or was part of the decisions surrounding several important and successful downtown projects, including but not limited to: the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, West Village and the Envision East Lansing downtown beautification project. Sudol has also shown tremendous support of several community events - including the beloved Great Lakes Folk Festival and Winter Bowl - as part of his professional role at the East Lansing Marriott at University Place.

Sudol is the epitome of a model citizen and business owner in East Lansing. He is a public servant held in the highest regard, who cares deeply about the future of his community.