Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award: Judy Truesdell
Judy Truesdell was recognized with the Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award in 2019.
Her first day on the job as a Lake Michigan College Trustee was spent breaking ground on the new Niles campus. It was the first of many notable college milestones she would take part in during her 22-year tenure from 1997-2018.
The college continued to grow under her leadership with the establishment of the South Haven Campus, and the introduction of M-TEC, Hanson Technology Center, Beckwith Residence Hall, Todd Center, and the soon-to-be-opened Welch Center.
In addition to leading the college as a board member (most recently as secretary), Judy helped grow college resources on LMC’s Foundation board from 1997-2014. She worked on four campaigns raising over $14 million and saw the college through three successful millage renewals and the historic capital millage campaign in 2016.
Judy left her mark on countless life-changing student programs and services over the years, most notably helping to usher in the Early College program at LMC. Because of this opportunity, thousands of high school students got a head start on college, saving area families millions of dollars in tuition costs.
Judy has extended her generosity, leadership and civic engagement beyond LMC as a founding member of the Niles Education Foundation, a Michigan Gateway Community Foundation trustee where she chairs the Niles Fund, and by serving on the boards of the Huizenga Foundation and the Lakeland Health Foundation.
She and her husband, Terry, founded several Niles-based businesses including the IDI Design Group, Tree Play, Inc., one of the first wooden playset companies in the country, and Cupcaketree.com, which created eco-friendly cupcake stands.