ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The Michigan Municipal League awarded former Wakefield mayor Dick Bolen with the organization’s highest individual honor—the Honorary Life Membership Award.
Bolen received the recognition this week during the League’s 2021 virtual Capital Conference.
Bolen served his Upper Peninsula community of Wakefield for 11 years from 2004 to 2015, first as a councilmember, then mayor pro tem and mayor. During that time, he represented the city on various authorities and commissions vital to maintaining the quality of life in his community.
He was an active League member throughout his time as a Wakefield elected official and served as the Michigan Municipal League President (2014–2015), becoming only the fourth League President from the Upper Peninsula. Prior to serving as president, Bolen held various roles within the association including League Vice President and board member.. Bolen was also active with the Michigan Association of Mayors and was heavily involved with the League’s legislative committees.
“Dick Bolen is one of those rare individuals who has dedicated his life to serving every aspect of his community,” said Westland Mayor and League Board President William Wild. “From supporting children’s education and local veterans to advocating for local businesses and serving on municipal government bodies, every single corner of the Wakefield community has been impacted by Dick’s presence.”
Prior to his time as a municipal official, Bolen served as a member of the Wakefield School District Board of Education where he served as board president for nine years. Bolen is also known for being an active member of the Wakefield VFW and American Legion posts, and he is also past president of the Wakefield-Bessemer Rotary Club. In December 2010, he retired from Gogebic County where he served as the county forester (1978–2000) and as director of Forestry and Parks (2001–2010).
About the award: The Honorary Life Membership, first awarded in 1932, is the League’s highest individual honor, reserved for the most active and inspiring leaders dedicated to the League and its mission.
For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 and [email protected].
Michigan Municipal Leagueis 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 mml.org.