• Don Ryan Honored with first Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award

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    February 26, 2019
    Don Ryan Honored with first Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award
    Negaunee, Mich. –
    WLUC-TV6 and FOX UP are pleased to announce Don Ryan is the first recipient of the first Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award because of his dedication to area businesses and the community.
    Ryan's experience includes working in radio and television, government and private industry. He's also had a longtime interest in regional economic development.
    He started working in Marquette County radio when he was a sophomore in high school at WJPD in Ishpeming. Ryan also worked at WDMJ and WJAN in announcing, sales, programming and management positions (1957-1963). His early career in broadcasting included serving as news, sports and weather reporter at WLUC-TV in Marquette. While there, he was also promoted to management positions including Operations Manager and Station Manager (1965-1974).
    In 1975, Ryan was appointed District Representative for Congressman Phil Ruppe, which involved representing the Congressman at various activities, events and constituent meetings throughout the Upper Peninsula. His other government experience included serving for 12 years on the Ishpeming Board of Education and on the Marquette City Commission, from 2008 to 2014.
    Ryan joined the staff of The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company in 1977 as its Public Affairs Representative. He was promoted to District Manager Public Affairs in 1982 and served in that capacity until his retirement from the company in 2003.
    He returned to TV6 in 2003 as the Host and Producer of The Ryan Report, a weekly news interview program featuring leaders from government, business and the community. He left the show when he was elected to serve on the Marquette City Commission, but returned to the program when he completed that service in 2015.
    Ryan's interest in economic development included serving in leadership positions with the Lake Superior Community Partnership, Operation Action UP, the Lake Superior Jobs Coalition, the Ishpeming Chamber of Commerce and the Central Upper Peninsula Job Force Board.
    WLUC-TV6 and FOX UP Vice President and General Manager Rick Rhoades thinks he's the perfect selection for the first Pellonpaa Award.
    "This was the obvious first choice for this award. Don Ryan exemplifies the spirit of this award," said Rhoades. "I know Carl would be proud of this recognition for Don. He continues being committed to helping the community grow and prosper. Through his professional career and volunteering his expertise to a wide variety of community organizations." 
    Ryan will be presented the award on March 25, in recognition of the first air date, March 25, 1962, of the Finland Calling program on TV6.
    WLUC established the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of the late Carl Pellonpaa. The award will be given annually to one individual in recognition of their service to the Upper Peninsula over the course of a lifetime. It will honor their distinction in various business, volunteer, government, academic, artistic, and social fields. The award will acknowledge significant contributions to the advancement and development of Upper Michigan.
    "We are paying tribute to a broadcast legend, Carl Pellonpaa, with this award," said Rhoades. "Carl was all about serving the Upper Peninsula, and everything he did throughout his career was to achieve that goal.  Our intention is to remember him every year by recognizing an individual who has similarly dedicated a lifetime of service to Upper Michigan".
    Rick Rhoades is available for interviews about the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement award. He can be reached at (906) 475-4161 X 111
    For more information, contact Scott Zerbel at (906) 475-4161 X 127