April 2020 GLE

Page 1

April 2020


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Honoring GLE Lineworkers

Petoskey Plastics:

Taking Recycling To A New Level


Jennifer Quail


You don’t need a telescope to find intelligent life...it’s closer than you think. A WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system taps into the clean, renewable energy found in your own backyard to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today and show your neighbors that intelligent life is right next door. YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS

Bad Axe B & D Htg (989) 269-5280 bdheating.com

Caro Kozy Home Htg & Clg (989) 673-4328 geo4less.com

Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 mm-plumbing.com

Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich geothermal.com

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sandusky geothermal.com

Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717 stratzgeocomfort.com

Hart Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating cooling.com

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 aireserv.com/ southern-michigan Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating cooling.com Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 mwphonline.com

visit us at waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. ©2020 WaterFurnace International, Inc. *26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021

Contents countrylines.com

April 2020 Vol. 40, No. 4



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.

Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please

notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.


6 CULTURED KOMBUCHA CO. Courtney Lorenz’s Cultured Kombucha Co. combines her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for nutritious food.

14 WHO IS JENNIFER QUAIL? Jennifer Quail, a Midwest Energy member, went from faithful “Jeopardy!” viewer to an eight-time winner.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN A compilation of not-soordinary pizza recipes.

18 BEST OF MICHIGAN: PIZZA Members share where they go to find heaven in a slice.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

It’s hard to tell if they are playing or fighting. Either way, amazing action shot by @smileschx, Julie Christiansen.

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Contests, reader-submitted content & more! Visit countrylines.com/community for guidelines and submission information.




Up Next: Farm-To-Table, Kid-Friendly Cooking Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Campgrounds Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!



Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Vice-Chairman, District 6 7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4

Pictured are Great Lakes Energy lineworkers with employees from neighboring cooperatives. They all worked together to restore power in the Upper Peninsula after a major snowstorm hit in early January.

1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-370-2786 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Howard Bowersox Director, District 8 23779 8 Mile Rd., Stanwood, MI 49346 219-670-0977 • hbowersox@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Thank A Lineworker

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

John LaForge Director, District 9

7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Lacey Matthews 231-487-1316 lmatthews@glenergy.com

Boyne City Headquarters 1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537

gtlakes.com Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

facebook.com/greatlakesenergy facebook.com/jointruestream

4 APRIL 2020

Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO


e depend on our entire staff to keep Great Lakes Energy running smoothly, but on April 13, we honor lineworkers. They often find themselves in dangerous and challenging situations so that our lives may be a little bit brighter and safer every day. They repair damaged lines and maintain critical infrastructure so that we have a reliable service. Without their hard work and commitment, our co-op would not thrive. No matter the time— day or night, weekday or weekend—if the lights go out, so do they. Great Lakes Energy lineworkers maintain 14,508 miles of line in our 26-county service territory. We are the third largest electric co-op by line miles in the United States, which means our crews have their hands full when large storms knock down lines throughout our system. The only thing bigger than the challenges they face is their determination to get the job done. Perhaps you have seen them raising their bucket trucks in howling winds and torrential rains, or in freezing, icy conditions. They work around the clock near high-voltage power lines until electricity is restored to every member of our co-op community. In addition to aiding members in our local service territory, lineworkers are always willing and eager to help when a neighboring electric co-op is affected by a major outage. This winter, a snowstorm struck the Upper Peninsula and left thousands without power. A group of GLE lineworkers were quick to answer the call for mutual aid to help our fellow cooperatives restore power to their members. We truly appreciate our Great Lakes Energy lineworkers! They are committed and critical to our success. We hope you will join us in thanking the many lineworkers—both locally and around the country—who light our lives. Remember, your power works because they do!

Three Openings On GLE Board N

ominating petitions are available in three districts for Great Lakes Energy (GLE) members who wish to seek election to the cooperative’s board of directors.

Three board positions, each for three years, will need to be filled. Qualifying GLE members who reside in districts 3, 4, or 5 can seek election to the board.

Richard Evans, District 3

Counties by district are: District 3 – Antrim County District 4 – Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego counties District 5 – Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties The terms of directors Ric Evans of Ellsworth, Larry Monshor of Gaylord, and Dale Farrier of Kalkaska expire this year. The three incumbents plan to seek re-election. To get a name on the ballot, qualifying member-owners of the electric cooperative who maintain a primary residence within its service area must file a nominating petition.

Larry Monshor, District 4

Petitions must be signed by at least 50 active GLE members within the candidate’s district. Completed petitions are due June 12, 2020, by noon to the GLE office in Boyne City. Visit gtlakes.com/board-of-directors to request a petition or learn more.

Dale Farrier, District 5

When Do We Vote?


Beaver Island





























Great Lakes Energy members elect a candidate from within their district to the cooperative’s board of directors once every three years. Find the district you reside in below to determine when you will receive a mail-in ballot that is mailed in July with the annual election issue of Michigan Country Lines. 2020 Election District 3 – Antrim County District 4 – Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego counties District 5 – Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties 2021 Election District 1 – Emmet County District 2 – Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties District 7 – Muskegon and Oceana counties 2022 Election District 6 – Lake and Mason counties District 8 – Clare, Mecosta, Newaygo, and Osceola counties District 9 – Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa counties



Photo by: Courtney Kent Photography

Growing A Business Organically:

cultured kombucha co. By Emily Haines Lloyd

hen Courtney Lorenz first tried her hand at brewing W kombucha, an effervescent fermented drink of sweetened tea that is made from cultures of bacteria and yeast, she tracked her progress in a journal. Lorenz would take notes on the gut-healthy drink chock-full of probiotics, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and of course, flavor. After her first batch, she made a simple, but direct note—“FAIL.”

Five years later, as the owner and operator of Cultured Kombucha Co. in Traverse City, Lorenz has stepped up both her brewing game and her own business acumen to build on that initial “FAIL” and create a business that is winning on several fronts. Lorenz originally went to culinary school at Northwestern Michigan College, eventually focusing on her passion—nutrition. In her studies, Lorenz challenged the typical food pyramid that was still being taught—heavy on the meat, dairy, and starch—and came to realize it didn’t quite line up with her own beliefs of a cleaner and healthy lifestyle. She boldly switched to a degree in entrepreneurship and hospitality at Central Michigan University.


APRIL 2020

“Kombucha is how I connect. This is taking what I believe about health and wellness and finding ways to reach people. This is how I help others make lifestyle changes--one sip at a time.” Directly out of school, Lorenz was offered a job at a Fortune 500 company that checked all the boxes— successful company, great pay, benefits—but Lorenz still felt disconnected from her first love—real, nourishing food.

in Traverse City and the more than 180 outlets that sell the kombucha in storefronts in summer months, Cultured Kombucha Co. is growing at a rate that puts even the most aggressive SCOBY to shame.

“If I was going to make it at this corporate job, I knew I was going to need some balance,” said Lorenz. “So, I worked on a farm on the weekends that paid out in produce shares. One week, there weren’t enough vegetables to pay me out. The owner noticed I was always toting around a national brand of kombucha to drink in the fields. So she gave me my first SCOBY.”

While success in her field is welcomed, it isn’t what drives Lorenz. “Kombucha is how I connect,” said Lorenz. “This is taking what I believe about health and wellness and finding ways to reach people. This is how I help others make lifestyle changes—one sip at a time.”

A SCOBY, or Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, is the base of every kombucha. A SCOBY is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that eventually transforms sweet tea into the tangy deliciousness that is kombucha.

With a business model rooted in healthy living, sustainability, and treating others, as well as yourself, with love and respect, it’s inspiring to see how an endeavor that started with an epic “FAIL” could turn into nothing short of a success story.

It was the beginning of a love affair. What started as a fun, at-home hobby that kept Lorenz and her friends in tangy kombucha eventually became a bit of an obsession. “I couldn’t keep up with the amount I was making,” said Lorenz. “One week, back in 2015, I decided to bottle up 15 gallons of kombucha and see if maybe I could sell it at the local farmers market over the course of the day.” The anticipation of whether or not the kombucha would sell didn’t have long to build. “Within 15 minutes, we’d sold out,” remembers Lorenz. “That’s when I thought, ‘this could really be something.’” Lorenz leveraged her right- and left-brain tendencies and started working on a plan. When she went to get her first line of credit, the bank employee handed the paperwork to the gentleman seated next to her. “It was sort of shocking. I’m a young woman and I suppose I expected a certain amount of preconceived notions about my readiness to take on my own business,” recalls Lorenz. “But even now, I’m amazed that after the experiences I’ve had in business, people still openly doubt the competence of a woman.” Perhaps there was a whisper of those early journal notes—“FAIL “—but Lorenz listened only long enough to piece together her wide variety of experiences, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion for kombucha, and take a leap of faith. In herself. That initial leap led to a solid landing. What started as 15 gallons of kombucha brewed in a shared kitchen space in 2015 has led to Lorenz and Cultured Kombucha Co. taking over 5,000 square feet of production space with one dozen 450-gallon tanks for brewing. With the tasting room

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT KOMBUCHA? Courtney and her team offer classes onsite at Cultured Kombucha Co., including a fermentation series that includes kombucha homebrewing, sourdough bread-making, and pickling. Visit drinkcultured.com to learn more, find locations and check out the events page.

Cultured Kombucha Co. Taproom 3842 Jupiter Cresent Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49685



Find Comfort And Savings With ENERGY STAR® A

pril showers may bring flowers, but they can also bring unwanted mold, mildew and odors into your home. So, what can you do?

Purchase a new ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier. A certified dehumidifier will help control excess moisture in your home, lower your utility costs, and make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable to live in.

Less Energy Use = Lower Utility Bills An ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier uses nearly 15% less energy than a similarly sized conventional unit. In fact, the annual energy saved by one of these models could power your ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator for nearly two months!

Size Matters

Condition Without Dehumidification

Recommended Capacity Range, Pints Per Day Small– Medium Room (2,000 sq. ft.)

Large Room (Over 2,000 sq. ft.)







Slightly to Moderately Damp:

Space feels damp and has musty odor that may be intermittent. 50–75% relative humidity.

Very Damp: Space

consistently feels and smells damp. Damp spots appear on walls and floors. 75-90% relative humidity.

Wet: Walls or floor

sweat, or seepage is present. High-load conditions such as laundry drying may be present. 90–100% relative humidity.

A dehumidifier’s “size” or capacity is usually measured in pints per 24 hours. The capacity you need depends on two factors: the size of the space that needs to be dehumidified and the conditions of the space without dehumidification.

So, stop and smell the flowers and relax knowing your ENERGY STAR® appliance is working for you.

Use the chart to estimate the minimum capacity for your portable dehumidifier.

Visit michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319 for additional energy-saving information and incentives.



Fight the damaging effects of excess moisture in your home with an ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier. • 15% more energy efficient than similar sized non-certified models • Reduce excess moisture and mildew smells • $15 rebate for ENERGY STAR dehumidifiers

APPLY ONLINE michigan-energy.org P H O N E : 877.296.4319 ONLINE:

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Most Votes On Facebook!



GLE Photo Contest Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Nightscapes” Photos!

Each month, members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our photo contest. The photo with the most votes is published here along with other selections.





Bridges of Michigan 1. A tmospheric Mackinac Bridge— Patty Green, Big Rapids 2. T he Mighty Mac at its best— Debbie Andrews, Reed City

Our April theme is Nightscapes. Photos can be submitted by April 20 to be featured in the June issue.

3. P ennsylvania Truss Bridge over the Dead River in Marquette— Debbie Andrews, Reed City

How To Enter:

4. B ig Blue—Beth Fiederowicz, Baldwin

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes. com/events. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2020 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2020.

5. P eaceful straits beneath the Mackinac Bridge—C. Ronald Cooper, Mackinaw City 6. O ur beautiful Mackinac Bridge— Jakki Caviness



Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


Th eb es th om e


MI CO-OP Recipes

Win a


energy bill credit!

10 APRIL 2020


r than e t t be s— a izz p e ad m



Farm-To-Table due May 1 • Kid-Friendly Cooking due July 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information.


SPINACH LOVER’S PIZZA Jackie Lambka, HomeWorks Tri-County

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small red bell pepper, chopped ¼ cup onion, chopped ¾ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon garlic, minced 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped 1 12-inch prebaked pizza crust 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Sprinkle pizza crust with 1 cup mozzarella. Distribute spinach mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup mozzarella over the spinach layer. Bake 10 minutes. Slice into pieces and serve.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

CHICKEN, BACON & RANCH ALFREDO PIZZA Toni Monton, Great Lakes Energy 1 8-ounce can pizza dough ALFREDO SAUCE: ¼ cup butter 1½ ounces cream cheese ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ pint heavy whipping cream ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon flour, optional ¹⁄³ cup prepared ranch dressing • salt and pepper to taste 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled ¼ cup red onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F, then roll out pizza dough as directed on can; set aside. Do NOT prebake. To make Alfredo sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and garlic powder. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Then decrease heat and simmer, stirring often. Add flour as needed if sauce does not thicken as you would like. Stir and cook until it reaches a nice gravy-like thickness. Remove from heat. Spread ranch dressing on the rolled-out dough, then spread the Alfredo sauce on it. Sprinkle ½ the mozzarella cheese on, then add shredded chicken, bacon, and chopped onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust appears done on the bottom. Let cool a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!

PIZZA CASSEROLE Emilie Stawiarski, Presque Isle

2–3 cups macaroni or penne noodles 1 jar favorite tomato pasta sauce 1–1½ pounds lean ground beef 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 ounces mushroom slices 1 cup thinly sliced red or sweet onion, optional 1 green or red bell pepper, sliced thin 1 tablespoon oregano 1 tablespoon basil 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ½ –¾ cup pepperoni slices Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking oil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain; return to bowl. Add pasta sauce and mix together. Cook beef until brown, about 5–7 minutes, in a deep pasta pan. Drain and add pasta and sauce. In a skillet, heat olive oil and add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and spices. Cook until soft, approximately 7 minutes. Stir vegetables into pasta/sauce/ beef mixture. Stir in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with pepperoni slices and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Spray a foil sheet with cooking oil and cover the baking dish, spray side down. Bake 25–30 minutes or until heated thoroughly and cheese topping is melted. Remove foil; let rest 5 minutes, then serve. This dish is excellent for reheating in the oven with the foil covering.

WILD BILL’S PIZZA Susan Schreffler, Presque Isle 1 1 1 2 ¼ 1 3 ¹⁄ ³ 2 1 1 1 ½ ½

package powdered yeast tablespoon sugar cup lukewarm water tablespoons olive oil cup vegetable oil teaspoon salt cups flour cup olive oil cups shredded mozzarella cheese medium onion, chopped sweet green bell pepper, chopped container fresh mushrooms, sliced teaspoon fennel seeds pound fried bacon, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add yeast and sugar to lukewarm water. Add the oils, salt and flour; mix well and knead on countertop until smooth (approx. 10 minutes). Add to greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour. Punch down, let rest 15 minutes, then spread onto rectangle cookie sheet and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread olive oil over entire top. Add the mozzarella cheese. Sauté the onion, green pepper, and mushrooms, then add fennel seeds. Add the sautéed vegetables and bacon to the pizza topping. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.



All Your Account Information,

Right At Your Fingertips

etting up your online account makes it easier and more convenient than ever to manage your Great Lakes Energy or Truestream account. Sign up today by visiting gtlakes. com and selecting “Login to My Account.”


• 24/7 account access • Peace of mind by reporting your outage online • Monitor your usage • Pay your bill from anywhere Want access to your account wherever you go? Download our app by searching “GLE” on the App Store or Google Play.

COVID-19 Office Closures: As of press time, all GLE offices are currently closed to the public and nonessential personnel. Business operations for GLE and Truestream will continue. Please visit gtlakes.com/blog or jointruestream.com/news to learn more about our response to COVID-19.

HISTORIC FARM HONORED Congratulations to Dorthy Grein, whose farm in Osceola County received state centennial farm certification. Great Lakes Energy (GLE) is a sponsor of the Michigan Centennial Farm Program that honors GLE members and other Michigan residents whose farms have been owned and operated by the same family for 100 years. Once a farm is certified through the program, the owners receive a certificate as well as a display marker for their farm.

GLE members can request an application or receive more information about the program by contacting the Historical Society of Michigan, 517-324-1828, or by visiting its website, www.hsmichigan.org/programs/centennial-farm-program.

When the power goes out, we go to work right away to get your power turned on as quickly and safely as possible.

2019 Annual Standards And Results

Meeting High Standards GLE exceeds state performance standards.


reat Lakes Energy exceeded nine out of the 10 state-mandated standards for electric service and reliability in 2019.

Thousands of Great Lakes Energy members are benefiting from improvements in reliability and service. It has led to our success in meeting all 10 state performance standards in eight of the last 13 years. The addition of more line protection devices, use of new technologies, improvements to major power line circuits, and ongoing vegetation management to limit tree damage to power lines are all helping to get the lights back on safely and more quickly for members during storms. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) requires electric utilities to annually report how well they are able to meet standards established to protect consumers from unacceptable levels of electric service and reliability. Standards to help measure utility performance in emergency outage situations are included.

Complaint Response. A utility must respond in three business days or less to at least 90% of any formal complaints filed against it with the MPSC. GLE score: 100%

Outage Restoration (Normal Conditions). At least 90% of the customers should have their power restored in eight hours or less. GLE score: 98.4%

Call Blockage. No more than 5% of incoming calls should receive a busy signal. GLE score: 9.04% due to storm-related call volume during the months of Feb, July, and Dec 2019

Outage Restoration (Catastrophic Conditions). At least 90% of the customers should have their power restored in 60 hours or less. GLE score: 97.9%

Meter Reading. At least 85% of the meters must be read within the approved time period. GLE score: 99.49% Wire Down Relief Factor. At least 90% of the time, a utility must respond within four hours to nonutility employees, such as firefighters, who request relief from guarding a downed power line. GLE score: 100% New Service Installation. At least 90% of new services must be installed in 15 business days or less. Great Lakes Energy handled 859 new service installations last year, excluding those installed in combination with primary lines. GLE score: 98.6% Average Call Answer Time. Calls must be answered on average in less than 90 seconds. In 2019, the cooperative handled over 234,697 calls through its call center, and outage and operator queues. GLE score: 42 seconds

State rules define catastrophic conditions as either severe weather conditions that result in service interruptions to at least 10% of a utility’s customers or events of sufficient magnitude that result in a government-issued state of emergency declaration.

Outage Restoration (All Conditions). Power should be restored to at least 90% of the customers in 36 hours or less under normal and catastrophic conditions. GLE score: 99% Same Circuit Repetitive Interruption. No more than 5% of the utility’s electric circuits should experience five or more outages in a 12-month period. GLE score: 0.07%

Getting the lights back on quickly is another way Great Lakes Energy looks out for you.



W�o �s Jennifer Quail? By Emily Haines Lloyd

Quail has a penchant for the unique and unusual, as seen in the vintage amber necklace she’s wearing that became a bit of a talisman after her other necklace broke in the green room during the shooting of “Jeopardy!” The earrings are favorites from a friend and artist, Kendra, who sells on Etsy as Half-Lucid Jewelry. Quail plans to wear the earrings if she attends the Tournament of Champions.

Jennifer Quail is an old pro at winning competitions. She was pretty excited when

she submitted a recipe to Michigan Country Lines’ online contest and won a $50 credit on her Midwest Energy bill. Her Southwest Mac N Cheese was a hit, but she had no idea then that her winning streak was about to go to a whole new level. Quail grew up on the east side of Michigan near Detroit but found herself in Dowagiac, Michigan, after taking a museum educator position at Southwest Michigan College. Quail’s interest in facts and details certainly directed her in pursuing her museum studies degree. Those same interests were just as instrumental in her transition into a wine-tasting consultant for Domaine Berrien Cellars (Berrien Springs, Michigan), where she currently educates visitors on the nuances of the wine varietals offered. Quail, a lover of details and trivia, can put her knowledge to the test on the daily, but she always had her eyes on the ultimate trivia test. “I always loved ‘Jeopardy!’ when I was younger,” remembers Quail. “If we got our homework done as kids, we would eat dinner and then get to watch ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ It was the ultimate treat.” For 35 years, Quail watched contestants compete to ring in and dazzle host Alex Trebek with correct answers. Quail decided to take on the try-out process for the show—which consists of an online test, a face-to-face audition, and finally, an invitation to be a contestant. She made it as far as the in-person audition three times but didn’t advance to appearing on the show. Her fourth try proved to be the lucky one, and she was selected to compete on “Jeopardy!” Quail flew out to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed, and sat next to the other contestants, as they patiently awaited their turn to pick up a buzzer and show their smarts. “It was the only time I was really nervous,” said Quail. “You’re sitting there waiting for your name to be called. Otherwise, I felt pretty calm. Once you’ve worked a room of third graders on a museum field trip, you’re pretty much ready for anything.”

When Quail’s name finally was called, the nerves seemed to fade into the background. Once she won her first match, her confidence built, and Quail was off. Quail ended up with an impressive eight-game winning streak, going out on her ninth round. Her final earnings were $228,800, but Quail was equally proud that she correctly answered every Daily Double that she rang in on and nailed each “Final Jeopardy!” question except for one. Quail’s impressive run qualifies her for the Tournament of Champions, which she’s quick to admit she’d love to participate in. While the prize money and local notoriety were certainly a nice outcome, Quail has a sincere love of the game and is glad she didn’t give up on auditioning for the show. “It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing,” said Quail. “I’d encourage anyone who is thinking of auditioning for the show to do it. Just take the first step—because you never know where it can lead.”

“It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Petoskey Plastics

Taking Recycling To A New Level By Brittany Kielbasa

n the shores of Lake Michigan, a different kind of plastics company draws inspiration from the natural resources surrounding the heart of its organization. For 50 years, Petoskey Plastics’ environmental focus has been to be a leader in recycling, sustainability, and polymer blending.


Petoskey Plastics began in 1969 with a single production line and five employees. Today, the film, bag, and resin manufacturer provides plastic products and recycling services to more than 5,000 customers in 49 countries. The award-winning operation’s footprint spans three states, including 40 production and recycling lines in more than 480,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Petoskey Plastics’ headquarters in Petoskey is home to one of three of the company’s manufacturing facilities and produces a variety of custom-engineered bags and film—including more than 32 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastic going through the company’s wash line process in the last year.

16 APRIL 2020

Sustainability At The Center As an innovator in its field, Petoskey Plastics began recycling in 1978 and has continued to expand that portion of its business ever since. The recycled materials Petoskey Plastics produces are a product of its innovative Greencore® closed-loop recycling program. The program takes used plastic that would otherwise become waste and puts it back into its products. “We are able to produce a product that helps our customers reach their sustainability goals,” said Allan Hopkins, Petoskey Plastics plant manager. “We get to provide our customers with high-performance products that are good for them and good for the environment.” Petoskey Plastics’ Greencore® plastic contains up to 70% recycled plastic at its core—a standard unsurpassed in its industry. Its multilayer formula maximizes the use of recycled materials while ensuring the strength and integrity of the end product. By utilizing these recycled materials,

Petoskey, Michigan is home to the Petoskey Plastics headquarters and one of three of the company’s manufacturing and recycling facilities.

“We get to provide our customers with highperformance products that are good for them and good for the environment.”

Petoskey Plastics reduced carbon emissions by the same amount as driving a car 30 million miles in 2019.

Cooperative provide the company with electricity that is more than 60% carbon-free.

A Bright Future

“Our relationship with the co-op has been wonderful,” said Hopkins. “The service we receive from Great Lakes Energy is outstanding. The co-op has been a great partner and provides us with reliable service—which is very important for a 24/7 operation like ours.”

In addition to Petoskey Plastics’ revolutionary recycling efforts, the manufacturer has made significant energy efficiency investments in its facilities. In partnership with its electric cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, Petoskey Plastics has replaced all the lighting at its Petoskey location with high-efficiency LED lighting systems, and in 2017 installed a new state-of-the-art chilled water system. “The upgrades to our lighting system have been wonderful,” said Hopkins. “The new system performs better, creates a more comfortable work environment, and helps us meet our sustainability goals.” Also helping Petoskey Plastics’ to reach its sustainability goals is the power it receives from its electric cooperative. Great Lakes Energy and power supplier Wolverine Power

For more than 50 years the plastic manufacturer has taken great pride in the products it produces, and the sustainability measures taken in its production. From the lighting at its facility to the recycled products it produces and the eco-friendly processes it employs, Petoskey Plastics continues to be a leader in its industry and in sustainability. To learn more about Petoskey Plastics, visit petoskeyplastics.com, or visit gtlakes.com/yourpower to learn more about how other Great Lakes Energy members are making a difference.


MI CO-OP Community



Best Of Michigan


We’ve rounded up the best places to grab a slice with this member-recommended list.

1 8 2 6 3

10 4



5 9

They have a big selection of delicious pizzas and toppings. This family-friendly restaurant gives up-close views of trains coming through and of Lake Michigan, where you can take your pizza to the beach. Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications silverbeachpizza.com


CAMPGROUNDS! Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best. Go to countrylines.com/ micoopcommunity for more information.

18 APRIL 2020

J&B’s Bar + Grill, Johannesburg

Without a doubt...this is the best pizza. Vernon Fry, Great Lakes Energy jandbsbarandgrill.com


Silver Beach Pizza, Saint Joseph

Big John’s Pizza, Whitehall

This is the best pizza with a great amount of toppings. Dianne Waruszewski, Midwest Energy & Communications bigjohnsmi.com


Enza’s Pizza, Dorr

Sarah Stanton, Great Lakes Energy enzaspizza.weebly.com


Pete’s Patio, Niles

They offer the perfect crust on perfect pizza. Gray Shelton, Midwest Energy & Communications



Don’s American Pizza, Lake City


Onondaga Pizza Company, Onondaga

This is simply the BEST mom and pop pizza ever! The pizza is superb and so are the other menu items. Perry and Jane Piccard, Great Lakes Energy donsamericanpizza.com

This place gets top-notch ratings and is inside Clones Country Store. Bob Noble, HomeWorks Tri-Country


The Saloon, Gladstone

Pizza is the only food item they sell, and I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s the BEST! Maryann Severyn, Alger Delta


Sherry Lee’s Bar and Grill, Vandalia

The best pizza outside of Chicago. Michael Maloney, Midwest Energy & Communications


Main Street Pizza, Lakeview and Edmore

They have absolutely the best pizza and the best cheesy bread too. Patty Esch, HomeWorks Tri-County eatmainstreetpizza.com

Hybrid Geothermal There’s a Well-Connect in your Neighborhood.




— Charles S, PIE&G



“My home is so much more comfortable. No more drafts or cold rooms in my house. I no longer need space heaters and only burn wood when I want.”

“Iʼm saving over $130 per month versus propane and I financed my Well-Connect for under $80 per month.” --- Randy B, Great Lakes Energy

“My propane deliveryman said, ʻWhatever it is youʼre doing to reduce your propane use, itʼs definitely working!ʼ” -- Glynnis P, Cherryland

“Turns out, my results are even better than advertised. The monthly cost to operate my Well-Connect unit is ridiculously inexpensive.” -- Jack F, Great Lakes Energy

CALL FOR A FREE HOME VISIT 989-356-2113 989-356-2113


gtlakes.com facebook.com/greatlakesenergy

Lineworkers know how to get the job done. Let’s thank them for powering our lives.

Lineworker Appreciation Day April 13, 2020 #ThankALineworker