Leadership Recognition Banquet (LRB)


The 36th Annual Leadership Recognition Banquet (LRB) is back in-person this year! Over the years this has become a very special occasion and tradition at Northern Michigan University. The LRB is an awards ceremony where students, advisers, and active student organizations are recognized for their contributions on campus and in the community. It occurs every April with over 500 student leaders and their advisers in attendance.

Watch the 2023 Leadership Recognition Banquet Live Stream here!

Student Organization and Involvement Awards 

Winners of eight special awards for student organizations are honored at the LRB.

  • Organizations of the Year (2): Recognize two outstanding organizations (one university funded) that have demonstrated unity in their membership and have achieved success in accomplishing their goals. 
  • Community Service Award: Recognizes the organization that has demonstrated a high degree of volunteer service contributions to the surrounding Upper Peninsula communities during the academic year.
  • Event of the Year: Designed to recognize an outstanding effort by an organization to plan, implement, and promote a single event during the year.
  • Project of the Year: Recognizes an outstanding effort by an organization to plan and implement a project that benefited the campus and/or community during this past year.
  • Diversity Event/Project of the Year: Recognizes an outstanding effort by a student organization to plan, promote, and implement a single event/project during the year that promoted the understanding, appreciation, and embracement of diversity.
  • Adviser of the Year: Recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job in her/her role as an adviser to a student organization.
  • Michael D. Nunnally Individual Student Volunteer Award: Recognizes an outstanding NMU student volunteer who has made an impact on the community through service.

How to Apply?  

Award Descriptions and Criteria

Award Applications are closed for 2023. Award applications will open up again during the 2024 Winter Semester. 

Special Note:  Show off your student organization at the Leadership Recognition Banquet by submitting photos of your group in action throughout the year!  Student organization photos will be displayed during the banquet’s slide show, which is a highlight of the event. Your photo(s) can be sent anytime to ckamps@nmu.edu

NMU Puckheads

Congratulations to the NMU Puckheads for winning the Organization of the Year - General for 2022-23! 

Recognizes an outstanding student group that has built a solid organization and has achieved success in accomplishing its goals.

2022-23 recipient:  NMU Puckheads
2021-22 recipient:  Native American Student Association (NASA)
2020-21 recipient:  South Superior Climbing Club
2019-20 recipient:  Conservation Crew
2018-19 recipient:  Health Promotion Society
2017-18 recipient:  EcoReps
2016-17 recipient:  Marquette Ending Hunger
2015-16 recipient:  Elementary Education Math Club
2014-15 recipient:  Figure Skating Club
2013-14 recipient:  Relay for Life
2012-13 recipient:  Club Baseball
2011-12 recipient:  Student Nurses Association
2010-11 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2009-10 recipient:  Women for Women
2008-09 recipient:  Student Athletic Training Organization (SATO)
2007-08 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2006-07 recipient:  Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals
2005-06 recipient:  Tau Kappa Epsilon
2004-05 recipient:  Public Relations Student Society of America
2003-04 recipient:  Black Student Union
2002-03 recipient:  Culinary Students of NMU (CSNMU)
2001-02 recipient:  Crew
2000-01 recipient:  NASA
1999-00 recipient:  Phi Sigma Sigma
1998-99 recipient:  Circle K
1997-98 recipient:  Copper Country Pride
1996-97 recipient:  American Marketing Association
1995-96 recipient:  Catholic Campus Ministry

Northern Arts & Entertainment

Congratulations to Northern Arts & Entertainment (NAE) for winning the Organization of the Year - University Supported Award for 2022-23! 

Recognizes an organization that receives substantial support (financial, advisement, etc.) from Northern Michigan University, has a campus-wide mission, has built a solid organization, and does an excellent job of performing its defined role. Organizations included in this category are:

  • Campus Cinema
  • Eco Reps
  • NAE
  • NoMAD
  • The North Wind
  • Platform Personalities
  • Primetime Productions
  • Special Events Committee
  • Student Art Gallery
  • Student Finance Committee
  • Wildcat Marching Band
  • WUPX

2022-23 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment (NAE)
2021-22 recipient:  Northern Michigan Artist Discovery (NoMAD)
2020-21 recipient:  Campus Cinema
2019-20 recipient:  Special Events Committee
2018-19 recipient:  Campus Cinema
2017-18 recipient:  The North Wind
2016-17 recipient:  ASNMU
2015-16 recipient:  Wildcat Marching Band
​2014-15 recipient:  Campus Cinema
2013-14 recipient:  PrimeTime Productions
2012-13 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment
2011-12 recipient:  Special Events Committee
2010-11 recipient:  Student Finance Committee
2009-10 recipient:  The North Wind
2008-09 recipient:  First Aid Productions
2007-08 recipient:  WUPX - Radio X
2006-07 recipient:  Primetime Productions
2005-06 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment
2004-05 recipient:  Campus Cinema
2003-04 recipient:  Platform Personalities
2002-03 recipient:  Platform Personalities
2001-02 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment
2000-01 recipient:  Primetime Productions
1999-00 recipient:  ASNMU
1998-99 recipient:  AITP
1997-98 recipient:  WUPX
1996-97 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment
1995-96 recipient:  First Impressions​​​​​

Conservation Crew

Community Service Award for 2022-23 - None Given

Congratulations to the Conservation Crew for winning the Community Service Award for 2021-22! Following their mission statement, Conservation Crew consistently advocates for outdoor involvement and environmental protection through their yearly HIKE for Mental Health fundraising campaign. During the past two campaigns, they have collectively hiked over 829 miles and raised over $835 for HIKE for Mental Health 501 (c)(3).

Recognizes the organization that has demonstrated the highest degree of volunteer service contributions to the surrounding Upper Peninsula communities during the academic year. Factors such as quantity of participants and quality of project outcomes will be considered. The award can also be given to an organization that has done one outstanding project.

2022-23 recipient:  Not Given
2021-22 recipient:  Conservation Crew
2020-21 recipient:  NMU Food Pantry
2019-20 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2018-19 recipient:  Food Recovery Network
2017-18 recipient:  Beta Alpha Psi
2016-17 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2015-16 recipient:  Marquette Ending Hunger
2014-15 recipient:  EEGS Garden Club
2013-14 recipient:  Pre-Veterinary Club
2012-13 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2011-12 recipient:  Mu Beta Psi
2010-11 recipient:  Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
2009-10 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2008-09 recipient:  Power Sports Club
2007-08 recipient:  Relay for Life
2006-07 recipient:  Student Social Work Organization
2005-06 recipient:  Northern Michigan Constructors
2004-05 recipient:  Lambda Chi Alpha
2003-04 recipient:  Tau Kappa Epsilon
2002-03 recipient:  Lambda Chi Alpha
2001-02 recipient:  Circle K
2000-01 recipient:  Copper Country Pride
1999-00 recipient:  Alpha Phi Omega
1998-99 recipient:  Copper Country Pride
1997-98 recipient:  Lions Club
1996-97 recipient:  Above & Beyond House
1995-96 recipient:  Student Habitat for Humanity
1994-95 recipient:  Student Social Work/Sociology Organization
1993-94 recipient:  Phi Sigma Sigma

Primetime Productions

Congratulations to the Primetime Productions for winning the Event for the Year Award in 2022-23 for sponsoring Wildwest Bingo! 

Recognizes an outstanding effort by an organization to plan, promote, and implement a single program or event during the year.

2022-23 recipient:  Primetime Productions - Wild West Bingo
2021-22 recipient:  Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) - CATivities Halloween Bash
2020-21 recipient:  Special Events Committee & NMU Greek Council - Trunk or Treat
2019-20 recipient:  Platform Personalities - Kristian Nairn "Game of Thrones"
2018-19 recipient:  Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) - Marquette Women's March Post-Reception:  "Waves of Feminism"
2017-18 recipient:  Birch & Cedar East Halls & Magers Hall - Condomonium
2016-17 recipient:  Marquette Rotaract Club - Marquette Mobile Food Pantry
2015-16 recipient:  Women for Women - LeadHERship
2014-15 recipient:  Marquette Ending Hunger - NMU Fights Famine
2013-14 recipient:  Culinary Students of NMU (CSNMU) - Memorial Chili Challenge
2012-13 recipient:  Honors Student Organization - Bill Nye
2011-12 recipient:  Platform Personalities - The Buried Life
2010-11 recipient:  Graduate Student Association - Graduate Professional Development Conference
2009-10 recipient:  Student Law Forum - People's Law School
2008-09 recipient:  OUTlook - 12th Annual Drag Show
2007-08 recipient:  Northern Entrepreneurship Organization - Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour
2006-07 recipient:  Platform Personalities - Jodie Sweetin
2005-06 recipient:  PRSSA - Entertainment at USOEC Short Track Speedskating Trials
2004-05 recipient:  All Nations Club - International Food Fest
2003-04 recipient:  ASNMU - Higher Education Letter Program
2002-03 recipient:  VOX - The Vagina Monologues
2001-02 recipient:  ASNMU - Consignment Book Sale
2000-01 recipient:  Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Club - What's in a Doctor's Bag?
1999-00 recipient:  Golden Z - Celebrity Auction
1998-99 recipient:  OUTLook & Identity - Gloria Steinem
1997-98 recipient:  Tri Beta Biological Honor Society - Chocolay River Project
1996-97 recipient:  Mortar Board - Grades of Bay Cliff
1995-96 recipient:  Alpha Phi Omega - Lake Superior Village service
1994-95 recipient:  Golden Z - Parkview School service
1993-94 recipient:  Hunt Hall - Hunt Hall Havoc
1992-93 recipient:  ASNMU - Rock the Vote

Hospitality Club

Congratulations to the Hospitality Club for winning Project of the Year in 2022-23 for Brew Fest! 

Recognizes an outstanding effort by an organization to plan and implement a project that benefited the campus and/or community during this past year.

2022-23 recipient:  Hospitality Club - Brew Fest
2021-22 recipient:  Animal Club - Peas on Earth Challenge
2020-21 recipient:  Alpha Psi Omega - Hollywood Speaker Series
2019-20 recipient:  COVID-19 None Selected
2018-19 recipient:  Ripple Effect - Winter Weather Clothing Drive
2017-18 recipient:  Marquette Ending Hunger - Empty Bowls
2016-17 recipient:  Surgical Technology Club - Heart Project
2015-16 recipient:  Black Student Union - Recruitment Trip to Detroit & Chicago High Schools
2014-15 recipient:  PrimeTime Productions - Sexual Assault Awareness Programs
2013-14 recipient:  Student Psychological Association - Brain Awareness Week
2012-13 recipient:  Wildlife Society - Wolf Awareness Week
2011-12 recipient:  Circle K - 10th Annual 24-Hour Service Project
2010-11 recipient:  Relay for Life - Relay for Life
2009-10 recipient:  Chemistry Club - Science Night
2008-09 recipient:  Catholic Campus Ministry - Adopt a Family
2007-08 recipient:  Women for Women - Operation Save 2nd Base
2006-07 recipient:  ASNMU - After Hours Study Lounge
2005-06 recipient:  Phi Sigma Sigma - AIDS Mural
2004-05 recipient:  Blast from the Past House - Relay for Life

Queers & Allies Drag Show

Congratulations to Queers & Allies for the winning the Diversity Event/Project of the Year Award in 2022-23 for the 26th Annual Drag Show! 

Recognizes an outstanding effort by a student organization to plan, promote, and implement a single project or event during the year that promoted the understanding, appreciation, and embracing diversity.

2022-23 recipient:  Queers & Allies - 26th Annual Drag Show
2021-22 recipient:  Pride Rock - Barbary Lane House
2020-21 recipient:  Native American Student Association (NASA) - Indigenous Peoples' Day
2019-20 recipient:  COVID-19 - None Selected
2018-19 recipient:  Best Buddies - Inclusion Week
2017-18 recipient:  Black Student Union - Black History Month
2016-17 recipient:  Best Buddies - Spread the Word to End the Word
2015-16 recipient:  All About Korea - Cultures of Korea
2014-15 recipient:  Black Student Union - A Piece of Black History
2013-14 recipient:  Social Justice Committee - An Evening of Class
2012-13 recipient:  Black Student Union - Campus Transformation
2011-12 recipient:  Volunteer Center - Rural/Urban Service Exchange
2010-11 recipient:  Women for Women - Self-Acceptance Week
2009-10 recipient:  Platform Personalities - Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Refuse to be Silent
2008-09 recipient:  Honors Student Organization & Platform Personalities - The Girl in the Picture
2007-08 recipient:  Promoters for Non-Violent Peace Resolution - Invisible Children
2006-07 recipient:  Platform Personalities - John Dau
2005-06 recipient:  Black Student Union & Northern Arts & Entertainment - Step Afrika!
2004-05 recipient:  Phi Alpha Theta - 2nd Annual Holocaust Awareness Project
2003-04 recipient:  OUTlook - Debra Davis
2002-03 recipient:  Black Student Union - Soul Food Dinner
2001-02 recipient:  Northern Arts & Entertainment - Mystical Arts of Tibet
2000-01 recipient:  NASA - Pow Wow
1999-00 recipient:  Platform Personalities/Northern Arts & Entertainment/Honors Club - Maya Angelou
1998-99 recipient:  NASA - Native American Heritage Month

Chad Allard

Congratulations to the Magers Hall's Chad Allard for winning Adviser of the Year in 2022-23! 

Recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job in her/her role as an adviser to a student organization.

2022-23 recipient:  Chad Allard, Magers Hall
2021-22 recipient:  Mark Shevy, Marquette Ending Hunger
2020-21 recipient:  Heather Isaacson, National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
2019-20 recipient:  Evelyn Massaro, Radio X
2018-19 recipient:  Stephen Grugin, Wildcat Marching Band
2017-18 recipient:  Michael Joy, Quiz Bowl Team
2016-17 recipient:  Marsha Lucas, Pre-Physician Assistant Club
2015-16 recipient:  Chris Kibit, Culinary Students of NMU (CSNMU)
2014-15 recipient:  Andrew Poe, Northern Lights A Cappella
2013-14 recipient:  Michael Joy, Quiz Bowl Team
2012-13 recipient:  Henry Balfanz, Circle K
2011-12 recipient:  Kate Sartori, Women for Women
2010-11 recipient:  Faith Nelson, Student Nurses Association
2009-10 recipient:  Steve Nelson, Student Law Forum
2008-09 recipient:  John Kiltinen, Finn Club
2007-08 recipient:  Wally Niebauer, PRSSA
2006-07 recipient:  Steve Thompson, Circle K
2005-06 recipient:  John Lawrence, Alpine Ski Team
2004-05 recipient:  Don Peterman, Lambda Chi Alpha
2003-04 recipient:  Daryl Davis, Crew
2002-03 recipient:  Wally Niebauer, Public Relations Student Society of America
2001-02 recipient:  John Frick & Charles Ganzert, WUPX
2000-01 recipient:  April Lindala, Diversity Student Alliance/NASA
1999-00 recipient:  Claudia Orr, Alpha Kappa Psi
1998-99 recipient:  Ed Niemi, ASNMU
1997-98 recipient:  Sister Cathy Mills, Catholic Campus Ministry

Phoebe Martin

Congratulations to Phoebe Martin who is the 2022-23 winner of the William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Scholarship. Phoebe is a junior majoring in nursing. It should come as no surprise that she has excelled through her compassion and empathy as a hospice volunteer at the Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice Center. In just six months, Phoebe has already made a significant impact on the lives of her patients and their families.

She has also found purpose in volunteering at Camp Star, a summer camp for children dealing with grief after a loss and supporting foster youth at the YMCA and Camp Fashionista.

She is also active in several student organizations who do a lot of volunteering in the community including the Student Nurses Association, Superior Edge, and the Student Leader Fellowship Program.

William Joseph Balconi and Josephine Agnes Butokovich were born and raised in the Houghton area. There was a strong sense of unity in the community and both learned the importance of helping people. They married during World War II before Bill shipped out to the Pacific in the Army. He was wounded during a landing, losing several fingers, and received a Purple Heart. Josephine did a stint as Rosie the Riveter building bombers at Willow Run near Detroit.

After the war, they stayed in the Detroit area to raise their family, but they always considered the Upper Peninsula their home. They both felt that helping those in need benefited both those being helped and those performing service. People committed to doing community service are often unsung heroes who work quietly and consistently trying to make the world a better place.

This annual community service award, in memory of Bill and Jo Balconi, is to be given to the NMU student who best represents these principles in thought, and most importantly, in action.

2022-23:  Phoebe Martin

Amber Essenmacher

Congratulations to Amber Essenmacher for winning the Michael D. Nunnally Individual Student Volunteer of the Year Award in 2022-23! Amber has accumulated over 3,1239 hours of service! Some of Amber's community service projects include:

  • Co-chair of the Barbary Lane committee, provided the first gender inclusive/LGBTQ+ housing option in the fall of 2022
  • Officer roles in hall government, Primetime Productions, and Platform Personalities
  • Participated in the Student Leader Fellowship Program and Superior Edge
  • Volunteered with the World Wide Organization for Organic Farming in New York where she volunteered over 400 hours participating in trail maintenance, animal care, foraging, and learning about sustainable farming and practices. She brought this information back to campus and spread information through informational discussions and workshops.
  • Assisted with planning and implementing large-scale volunteer events such as Make A Difference Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, and Spread Goodness Week

Recognizes an outstanding NMU student volunteer who has made an impact on the community through service.

2022-23 recipient:  Amber Essenmacher
2021-22 recipient:  Katie Cothran
2020-21 recipient:  Hannah Jaworski
2019-20 recipient:  Elizabeth Mansfield
2018-19 recipient:  Maija Mattson
2017-18 recipient:  Michaela McLeod
2016-17 recipient:  Matthew Trefilek
2015-16 recipient:  Benjamin Harris
2014-15 recipient:  Katy Meade
2013-14 recipient:  Sara Hujar
​2012-13 recipient:  Brendan Franklin
2011-12 recipient:  Rachael Williams
2010-11 recipient:  Courtney Brown
2009-10 recipient:  Kurt Brandly
2008-09 recipient:  Meghan Connell
2007-08 recipient:  Danielle Foulks
2006-07 recipient:  Jeron Schmidt
2005-06 recipient:  Mary Raymond
2004-05 recipient:  Nathan Lehman
2003-04 recipient:  Christopher Leemon
2002-03 recipient:  Eric Chase
2001-02 recipient:  Chris Mosier

1995-96 recipient:  Loren Snyder (Board of Control Student Achievement Student Volunteer of the Year)
1994-95 recipient:  Polly Luoma (Board of Control Student Achievement Student Volunteer of the Year)