Six local business owners and community leaders will be honored this fall as part of the Macomb Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.
“The Hall of Fame is a celebration of the life and the labor and what it is we have accomplished here and given back to Macomb County,” said Peter Lucido, chair of the Macomb Hall of Fame and president of Lucido & Manzella, P.C. “We want to give a great shout out of thanks for all your hard work, your efforts and most importantly you giving back to the community. It’s about you and what you do for this community that makes it great and we say thank you.”
This year’s honorees were announced Wednesday, Aug. 22, at a press conference at the Mirage Banquet Center in Clinton Township. They join 53 area leaders who have been inducted since the Macomb Foundation established the honor in 2000. The Macomb Foundation is a branch of the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce that serves to promote business and community in the county.
This year’s honorees include:
Wujek-Calcaterra Family – Owners of Wujek-Calcaterra funeral homes, Edward J. Wujek, Lawrence M. Calcaterra and sons
“On behalf of my entire family, my brothers, my father, my partners and cousins, my Uncle Ed (Wujek), we are completely honored that we have been selected to be inducted (into the Hall of Fame),” said Michael J. Calcaterra. “It is a great privilege to serve this community.”
The Wujek-Calcaterra families are celebrating 100 years of business between them, with the Wujek family funeral home dating back to 1917 and the Calcaterra’s dating back to 1913.
It was in 1984 that Edward Wujek and Lawrence Calcaterra, lifelong friends, entered business together.
“They said, ‘Let’s get together. All the Italians and Polish are moving out of Detroit anyway, let’s move to Macomb County’,” Michael J. Calcaterra joked. “It was a funeral home and partnership founded on respect for one another and we essentially just grew with this community.
“Although we have a pretty good story, every family in Macomb County has their story and we’re honored that we can tell that story.”
Mike Chirco – President of MJC Companies
A resident of Macomb Township, Mike Chirco has been building homes in Macomb County for 41 years.
“My first home was in Macomb County and we branched out all over the Detroit metropolitan area but still our base is here,” Chiro said. “Our home is still here in Macomb. We just continue to do our business and do the best we can. We give back to a lot of charities and I feel if you take a little, you got to give a little back.”
Robert Cannon – Clinton Township Supervisor
The supervisor of Clinton Township for the past 12 years, Cannon is a lifelong resident of Macomb County and former employee of Utica Community Schools.
“There are many things that have happened in Macomb County because of the chamber and because of people like Pete Lucido,” Cannon said. “Things don’t just happen as you know. We didn’t just get a Big 10 medical school in Clinton Township right down the street. We didn’t just get several colleges that are growing by leaps and bounds.”
Cannon said he credits the county’s continued success to the families, like those of his fellow inductees, who live and work throughout Macomb.
“Families like (Wujek-Calcaterra) who are well known, families who make the best pies in the world … Mike Chirco helped build this county and Dr. Harrington, world-renowned, so I’m honored to be part of the families and the businesses that are this year’s incoming class.”
Dr. Steve Harrington – Physician with Advanced Cardiothoracic Surgeons, affiliated with Henry Ford Macomb Hospital
“It’s absolutely truly an honor to be here and I’m humbled by the experience,” said Dr. Steve Harrington.
Harrington began his career in cardiac surgery 30 years ago and moved his practice to Macomb County some 15 years ago.
“When I looked carefully at where my patients came from, most of my patients came from Macomb County, particularly northern Macomb County,” Harrington said. “I felt it was an obligation and vision I had to move to where my patients are and take care of them and I have been honored and blessed to have been able to provide that service and I hope a little extra joy to a lot of parents, grandparents and grandchildren.”
Wendy Achatz – Owner of Achatz Pie Company
“I’m so appreciative to be recognized for our hard work at Achatz Pie Company,” Achatz said. “My husband and I founded the company 19 years ago out of our home in Armada, selling at the farmers’ markets in the area. It’s been long, hard work and we appreciate everything Macomb County has done for us.”
Achatz Pies moved its bake house to Chesterfield Township five years and now operates eight stores across southeast Michigan.
“Five years later we have grown and we’re busting at the seams again, so we need to grow again,” Achatz said. “Macomb County is home. We’re all blue-collar workers and we appreciate it, we’ve been here all our lives.”
The honorees, their families, past inductees and members of the community are invited to celebrate this year’s Hall of Fame with a reception, silent auction and dinner on Oct. 11 at the Mirage. Tickets are $175 per person and may be purchased by calling the Macomb Foundation at 586-493-7600 or online at www.macombcountychamber.com.