City of Bridgman Voted Winner of Statewide Community Excellence Award

Morgan Schwanky
Michigan Municipal League
[email protected], 734-669-6320


TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – The city of Bridgman was voted the winner of the 2023 Community Excellence Award (CEA) – the most prestigious Michigan Municipal League community honor.

Bridgman is a small beach town located along the coast of Lake Michigan. It is a part of Berrian County and located in the southwestern part of the state. For additional information on City of Bridgman’s project, visit their page on our CEA website: The Bridgman Courtyard.

The submission period for projects was April 19 to June 5 and preliminary voting to determine this year’s four finalists (Bridgman, Coldwater, Port Huron and Westland) was done by a small voting board in July. The top four projects competed at the League’s Convention, where they presented their projects on the main stage and marketed their projects at designated CEA finalist booths. This year’s Convention took place in Traverse City, October 18-20, and Convention attendees voted for their favorite project.

The City of Bridgman received the most votes and was awarded the official Community Excellence Award during the closing general session.

“On behalf of the entire League, I want to congratulate the City of Bridgman on receiving this year’s Community Excellence Award,” said Bob Clark, the president of the League’s Board of Trustees and Mayor of Monroe. “Each entry transformed their communities into vibrant, sustainable, and exceptional places to be proud of. These projects and the ideas are all accomplishments to be proud of. The variety of ideas submitted serve as inspiration for Michigan communities.”

Since 2007, the CEA has been the League’s most prestigious community award. It’s also affectionately called “The Race for the Cup” because the winning community gets a large trophy and bragging rights for the year. The 2022 winner was the Imagine Cass Project: Small, Rural, and Exceptional, which was submitted by the Village of Cassopolis. View all past winners here. The CEAs are sponsored by the Plante Moran accounting firm.

Juan Ganum, the city manager of the City of Bridgman said “Peter Kageyama knows that love of place matters. Bringing the Courtyard to life gave our community an opportunity to show just how much love its residents and supporters have for Bridgman, which we hold dear as an exceptionally special place. We came together through the power of collaboration, inspiration, shared dreams, and most importantly – love.

Receiving the Michigan Municipal League’s Community Excellence Award is a thrilling validation that our small but mighty community’s belief in itself can lead to meaningful change. We are truly grateful for all of the partners who shared their hearts and their generosity to make it possible. We invite everyone in Michigan and beyond to visit Bridgman to share their own stories in a beautiful place that will always be known as the Courtyard.”

This year’s competition had 9 total entries, and all were award worthy. The League would like to thank and recognize all the projects that were entered this year: Bridgman, Coldwater, Hart, Holland, Port Huron, Wayne, Grandville, Meridian Township and Westland.

To learn more about the other projects submitted this year, see the League’s past press release about all of the 2023 entries. You can also find more information on this year’s finalists through our other past press release.

View and download photos here of Bridgman winning the Community Excellence Award.

For additional information contact the League’s Morgan Schwanky, Content Developer, Marketing and Communications, at (734) 669-6320 and [email protected].

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at


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