Senior Citizen of the Year: Rita Laing
Mrs. Laing is one of Riverview’s most notable octogenarians, as she is extremely active in community events and the Riverview Seniors Club, even at the tender young age of 89! Rita grew up as an only child in Gibraltar and graduated from Slocum-Truax High School in Trenton with the Class of 1948.
After graduation, she worked at N.A. Mans Lumber for a year and then attended art school. She later worked for the Army Corps of Engineers perfecting her drafting skills, and then moved on to Michigan Bell where she worked in the engineering department.
In June of 1957, she married Arthur Laing and they were married nearly 49 years before Art passed away on February 7, 2006. Rita and her husband parented five children: Tom, Alan, Kevin, Kathleen, and Karen. Once she started her family, Rita took a leave of absence from her work outside the home, and she took on the duties of a full-time stay-at-home mom.
The Laings moved to Matthews Street in Riverview while Art was teaching in Lincoln Park, and when the fourth child came along, they moved to a bigger house on Stratford.
In addition to Rita’s participation in the Riverview Seniors Club, she bowls every week on a Golden Ages League, sporting a nice average of 122. Rita got her first bowling ball at age 12 and has bowled in many different leagues since 1960. She also enjoys crafting and has served numerous times as Chair of the Craft Bazaars at St. Cyprian, and she really loves making homemade gifts for her family and friends for Christmas and other holidays.
She currently serves as the Health Chairperson on the St. Cyprian Women’s Guild. Rita has seven grandchildren: Jason, Jennifer, David, Chelsea, Elizabeth, Matthew, and Birkleigh. She recently became a great-grandmother to a little girl named Freya.
American Legionnaire of the Year: Dennis Williams
Dennis was born on March 19th, 1950 in Detroit. (Happy 70th Birthday, one day late, Dennis!) He graduated from Riverview Community High School with the Class of 1968. About a year later, in December of 1969, Dennis was inducted into the United States Army, where he served until August 1971. Part of the time that Dennis was in the service, he was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany.
Though Dennis is currently a resident of Wyandotte, he is active in the American Legion, Post 389 on Quarry Road in Riverview.
Riverview Goodfellow of the Year: Kellie Mullins
Kellie has worked in accounting and auditing for 23 years in the moving industry, employed with a women-owned agency (Rose Moving & Storage) for Allied Van Lines. Her company is the eighth largest agent for the van line in the United States.
Kellie has been married to her husband Bob for 22 years. Bob is a lifelong resident of Riverview and he and Kellie have lived in Riverview since getting married almost 19 years ago.
Kellie and Bob have two sons, Jack and Michael, who attend Riverview Schools. Both boys play various sports and are active in football, basketball, baseball, rowing and golf. Kellie and her husband are both very involved in their children’s school sports, academics, clubs and activities, selflessly volunteering to serve on boards, coaching and helping the Riverview community whenever they can.
Kellie leads the annual food drive for the Riverview Goodfellows and she participates with her whole family in the Christmas shopping for needy families to ensure that “no child goes without Christmas” in the city of Riverview.
Kellie’s son Jack is a junior going into his third year of rowing at RCHS, and Michael is a 6th-grader at Seitz, who loves football and basketball. Kellie says that volunteering is important to the Mullins family, in order to give back to the community and schools.
Both Kellie and Bob said they feel that it is important to show their children through their own example how important it is to help others through acts of kindness, time and monetary support, whenever and however they can.
Police Officer of the Year: Jason Fell
Jason grew up in Southgate and graduated with the Class of 1997 from Southgate Anderson High School. He is married to his beautiful wife Mindy, and they have two lovely daughters, Kamryn, who is 13 years old, and Kendyll, who is eleven.
He has been a member of the Riverview Police Department for sixteen years and is currently a defensive tactics instructor with the department.
Officer Fell was awarded a Medal of Valor for life-saving actions during a fire at Belaire Senior Living in Riverview.
When Officer Fell is not on the job, some of his favorite things to do are spending time with his family and watching his daughters play travel softball. He is proud to say that he is a “huge Michigan Football fan!”
Firefighter of the Year: Lieutenant Greg Wooliver
Greg is 49 years old and has been married to his wife Lea for 10 years. He is the son of Karen, brother to Dean, Lisa, and Nicole and proud uncle to Katarina, Amber, Cooper, Kyle, and Logan, as well as master to two dogs, Daisy and Lewis.
Lt. Wooliver has worked for the Riverview Fire Department since Nov. 1, 1999, making him a “20-year plus” veteran of the department. He is also the Lab Coordinator in Fastener Engineering at FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) where he has been employed for 21 years.
Greg was promoted to the rank of sergeant on Dec. 20, 2013 and moved up to his current ranking in August less than two years later.
He holds certification as a State of Michigan Fire Instructor, Certified Company Officer III, and is licensed through the state as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Specialist. In his free time, Lieutenant Wooliver enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, golfing, bowling, snowmobiling, and boating.
City Employee of the Year: Barbara Antioch
Barb began working as the Administrative Assistant for the mayor and council and the city manager in July of 2005. She is the point of contact for residents, vendors and various other individuals needing information about the city or wishing to speak to city officials.
Barb is responsible for the preparation of Council meeting agendas along with all other Council related needs. As assistant to the city manager she interacts with other communities and organizations and keeps the office running efficiently on a day to day basis.
Barb assists the Human Resources Director with the needs of employees and retirees and the processing of new hires. Barb and her husband Bruce live in Allen Park. Their daughter Allison, son-in-law Mike and grandson Nolan live in Riverview and their son Brian lives in Allen Park.
Riverview DPW Worker of the Year: Justin Riley
Justin grew up in Huron Township and graduated from Huron High School before going on to Henry Ford College to obtain an Associate’s Degree with a Macro Stamp in Business Administration. He possesses an S-2 Water License, the second highest level, and is working toward achieving S-1 Water Licensure.
Justin has three sons, including a newborn. The boys, Jackson, Colton, and Cooper, keep him busy when he is not out working on water mains, tree-trimming, salting and plowing roads, maintaining buildings, and various other duties that are relegated to the DPW in Riverview.
Justin is engaged to be married to Amanda, and he enjoys hunting, fishing, hockey, and playing the guitar.
Although Riverview was not his hometown, Justin says that he has worked with the Riverview DPW long enough for him to feel as though Riverview is his second home, and he takes tremendous pride in the city. He expressed great pleasure in having the opportunity to work with so many nice people in the DPW and he emphatically stated that “anyone in the DPW could have gotten this award because they all deserve it.”
Riverview Kiwanian of the Year: Diane Kinlen
Diane hails originally from Allen Park where she graduated from Allen Park High School in 1962. She attended Central Michigan University for a year and a half before going to work at Burroughs, a company that manufactured office equipment such as adding machines and typewriters. She then went to work for Security Bank and Trust, which later became National City, then First of America. Diane retired from banking before it became known by its current name, PNC Bank.
When she is not working with the Kiwanis Club of Riverview, Diane enjoys spending time with her son and daughter, Sean and Jodi, her three grandchildren, Stephen, Zac and Sean, as well as her three great-grandchildren.
Diane was once married to Joe, the father of her children, but after they divorced, she married George Kinlen, who passed away 11 years ago.
Diane serves as the Kiwanis President this year, and is actively involved in the charitable programs that the Club undertakes, such as shopping for coat for kids, obtaining and distributing dictionaries for the third graders in Riverview, supporting RCHS with an annual scholarship, and putting on the big fundraiser of the year, the Spaghetti Dinner at Seitz .
Diane enjoys sewing and creating masterpieces with diamond art painting in her spare time. She is proud to be a “groupie” for the band Frijid Pink, especially since she will soon be married to the band’s drummer, Rick Stevers.
Frijid Pink is an American rock band, formed in Detroit in 1967, best known for their 1969 rendition of “House of the Rising Sun,” which reached top ten on US Billboard’s Hot 100 in the spring of 1970, selling over a million copies and earning a Gold Record. Diane says that she is just “busy all the time,” but she likes it that way, and has no plans to quit being busy.
Riverview Businesses of the Year: Riverview Mobil Auto Service and Michigan Fuels, Inc.
These two businesses are separate entities owned by brothers Bill and Nick Saad. Riverview Mobil Auto Service, located at the corner of Fort and Sibley, is a family-owned business headed by Nick. It was founded in 1986 as a gas station but has since expanded into the realm of complete auto service.
The Saad family has been very supportive of Riverview Schools and the entire community through their special promotions. For a time in the past, motorists stopping in on Tuesdays knew that their fuel purchase would provide “a penny a gallon” to Riverview Schools, and those needing an oil change saw $1 per service donated.
Nick and his family wish to thank the Riverview community for their “years of support at Sibley and Fort.”
Bill Saad is the CEO of Michigan Fuels and Fuels Transportation. Their business model is simple, yet effective: Connect with the community, set very high standards with exceptional customer service, establish fair and honest business practices and develop outstanding marketing initiatives and promotions.
The fuel distributor, founded in 2000, services 145 gas dealers under the names of Exxon, Mobil, Marathon, Shell, and Spirit in the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. They employ more than 400 people and deliver over 180 million gallons of fuel annually. What started as a rather simple gasoline distribution business has grown to become a leading marketer in Southeast Michigan and Ohio.
Bill has over 28 years of experience in the fuel and convenience retail industry, and he has a passion and formidable knowledge in the business. Bill leads by example as he spends many hours in the service of fellow petroleum marketers and his community. He has served for many years on advisory councils and business improvement councils, both locally and nationally. He has also spent a considerable amount of time with congressmen and other lawmakers in promoting laws and amendments that ultimately benefit both the petroleum marketer and the consumer.
Bill was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Underground Storage Tank Authority and is currently active in this position. He is also an active board member of the Michigan Petroleum Association.