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Rotary’s Paul Harris Award Given to Don Ulsh

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Don Ulsh receives the coveted Paul Harris award from Skip Knowles at the Rotary Club’s Charter Night celebration.

By Sue Moore

The Vicksburg Rotary Club gave its highest award to Don Ulsh, Schoolcraft township supervisor, at its Charter Night meeting recently. The award is named after Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary. It’s given to one Rotarian each year who epitomizes outstanding service to Rotary and the community.

Ulsh served as treasurer of the club for five years and has been a member for eight years. He has been the township supervisor for 12 years and before that was the township clerk and trustee. Ulsh currently serves as a trustee for the South County Community Services, the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority, and the South County EMS board. He has also been board president of the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.

Previous to being an elected official, he spent 40 years in the paper manufacturing industry, beginning with summer jobs at Simpson Paper while in college. He is a Vicksburg High School graduate from 1958, and attended Western Michigan University. He began his career as a laboratory assistant in quality control at Simpson. He worked in several different departments, primarily in customer service and sales management. He was transferred to the west coast by Simpson and then returned to the area to work for Hawthorne Paper and Plainwell Paper, which was later sold to Simpson. Don was named Technical Sales Manager for Simpson and eventually became the manager of the Vicksburg Mill. When the Vicksburg mill was sold to Fox River, Don stayed on for 2 years and then accepted a job as general manager of Ivex Paper Company in Detroit. Don eventually retired from Ivex and moved back to his Schoolcraft Township home.

The Vicksburg club has been choosing one person to be honored each year since 1973. Rotary International’s motto is “Service Above Self” and Ulsh richly demonstrates this quality, said club president David Aubry upon announcing the 2016 recipient.

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