2018-02-10 / News

Great Turtle Kayak Tours Receives Award

Paul Spata of Great Turtle Kayak Tours received the Client of the Year award from the Tip of the Mitt SCORE, an organization that mentors and provides help to local businesses. Mr. Spata has owned the kayak tour company on Mackinac Island since 2012 and expanded his business to Mackinaw City in 2017.

For about a year, Mr. Spata has been working with the organization, seeking guidance on the expansion to Mackinaw City. The mentors reviewed his agreement with Mackinac State Historic Parks, since the new launch is located at the Mackinaw City Visitors Center, and also gave insight on his budget, strategic plan, task lists, and other items. Going forward, Mr. Spata is seeking mentor advice about transitioning his company to a multi-stakeholder form of ownership.

“They’ve been really supportive and at the same time, very practical,” Mr. Spata said. “When things get a little too idealistic, they step in and say, ‘Why do you want to do this?’”

Tip of the Mitt SCORE President Margo Johnson said the Client of the Year recipient is given to a business that is trending toward success, like Great Turtle Kayak Tours.

“He’s a brilliant, brilliant businessman,” Mrs. Johnson said, adding that his work outside of the business to be an environmental advocate and provide affordable housing to his employees makes him worthy of the award.

Mr. Spata said the award indicates that his mentors recognize he has incorporated their advice into his business.

“At the end of the day,” he said, “it’s really important to have people you can kick ideas around with. I learn a lot form my mentors and people who look to me as mentors. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from on both sides.”

A SCORE chapter is now being established in Mackinac County, and for information, interested people may contact Alex Iseri at the Mackinac Economic Alliance at (906) 430-4774.

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