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Professor wins Pure Michigan contest

  • From left: Patty Janes; Steve Yencich, Michigan Lodging and Tourism; Maia Stephens, DNR; Sara McFarlin, GVSU student

Posted on April 17, 2013

Patty Janes, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Grand Valley, won the Pure Michigan Jump Start Competition with her idea called Michigan Cares for Tourism. Janes beat four other finalists to win $5,000 to implement her idea.

The competition was part of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center April 14-16. The finalists had three minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Janes said Michigan Cares for Tourism is modeled after the national program Tourism Cares, which brings volunteers and the tourism community together to help clean up and restore important historic sites.

“It is such an honor to be selected as the first Pure Michigan Jump Start recipient,” said Janes. “It allows us to fulfill a dream. A dream for Michigan’s tourism industry to unite as a team and come together to restore Michigan tourism treasures, ultimately enhancing the experience for Michigan residents, visitors and our industry.”

Janes said the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division, Tourism Cares, Grand Valley and Pure Michigan are working as a team to make an economic and environmental impact on Michigan’s tourism industry.

Michigan Cares for Tourism will clean up and restore one Michigan historic site each year. The first is scheduled for October 6-7 when volunteers will work to restore Historic Mill Lake in the 20,000 acre Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea.

“Built in 1936, this cabin community complex is in need of our care,” said Janes. “This served as the first travel and outdoor recreation experience of Detroit inner city youth and has been closed since 2000. It will be restored to make an impact for urban youth, family reunions, conference retreats and so much more.”

Michigan Cares for Tourism has a Facebook page and can be found on twitter @MICares4tourism.

For more information, contact Patty Janes at or (989) 424-0123.


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