Nick Edson, local page editor and key accounts rep for Cherryland Electric Co-op, is retiring after 15 years of service and writing great stories for Michigan Country Lines magazine.

“When I started working at Cherryland, I was given the chance to do volunteer work and it changed my life,” Edson says. “My goal was to make Cherryland better known in the community for the kind of people who work here. I think as a team we made that happen, and much of that was because of the leadership of Tony Anderson. He not only encouraged us to be active in the community, he also led by example.”

“At Cherryland, I learned what a real team was,” Edson says. “I’ve never seen such dedicated and hard-working employees.”

Known for his ready smile, Edson has continued contributing to the community, both inside and outside the co-op. Through volunteering at Munson Manor, he initiated the participation of Cherryland employees as once-a-month volunteers at the residence for family members of out-of-town hospital patients; he also helped coordinate the Operation Round Up/Cherryland Cares effort and donation of $234,000 since 2009 to local nonprofits; is a past president of the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA Board of Directors and recipient of its 2010 Community Philanthropy award in recognition of the Cherryland Cares program; and served on the Rotary Board of Directors.

Edson also recently received the “BIG Difference Award” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Traverse City. While an outstanding “Big Brother” to six kids over 14 years at Blair Elementary School, he actually mentored hundreds, and gave this parting advice to the 5th Grade Class of 2015 at the School’s graduation:
1. Always walk with a smile.
2. Participate—Get Involved.
3. Have a ‘Plan B’—be prepared that things won’t go your way.
4. Own up to your mistakes—take responsibility.
5. Pick yourself up—don’t dwell on disappointments.
6. Always give someone a compliment.

Earlier in his career, Edson worked for 25 years as a newspaper reporter, including for the Traverse City Record Eagle, during which he ranks being introduced to baseball great Ted Williams by Ernie Harwell and having dinner several times with his boyhood heroes Al Kaline and Gordie Howe as highlights.

“One thing I love about Nick is he always introduces you as his friend,” Cherryland administrative assistant, Shannon Mattson shares, “Whether you’ve known him 15 years or just met yesterday.”

In retirement, Edson will continue freelance writing, volunteering, and spending time with family, friends, and on eBay with his sports memorabilia business.