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Rick Derf, Guest Speaker at Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

April 25, 2012
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  04/26/12 The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce still have a few tickets for the Annual Dinner .  This year the event will be held at the Swan Lake Resort on Thursday, May 10th.

To keep true to their theme, “Embracing the Past, Moving Towards the Future,” they will honor all living past Board Presidents, many of them will be in attendance.    A brief review of  the 2011activities will be followed by the presentation of the Program of Works for 2012.

The 2012 Annual Dinner will be headlined by former WTCA sportscaster, Rick Derf.  Mr. Derf will be speaking about his time spent in Plymouth, sharing many life lessons and memories along the way.

Rick Derf was born in Plymouth, the middle son of three boys of Dick and Hattie Derf.  The family had become a well known name in Plymouth, as Rick’s grandfather, E.V. Derf, founded Derf Jewelers in 1929 and the entire family worked in the business.

Rick graduated from Plymouth High School in 1963 and enrolled at Indiana State University that fall.  That was the same year that Plymouth got its first radio station, WTCA.  In 1966 Rick approached the station owner Ken Kunze about employment.  He needed to obtain a first-class Radio-Telephone license from the FCC and studied in Chicago at the Elkins Radio Institute, after which he was given a position with WTCA.  Rick met his wife, Marty, also employed at the radio station and they were married in June of 1967.  He was also advertising manager for The Pilot News from 1979 to 1985.

In January of 1967 Rick performed his first play-by-play broadcast at the LaVille High School during the Bi-County basketball tourney and his sportscasting career was launched.

Rick went on to broadcast over 1500 high school football, basketball, and baseball games over the next 20 years.  He made a very difficult decision to follow a calling and moved his family to West Lafayette, IN in 1987 to assume Regional Coordinator duties with Aflac, a company that has grown to be one of the Top 150 corporations in America.  In 1990, Rick moved to Grand Haven, Michigan, where he continued to serve in Regional Coordinator capacity.  Today Rick and Marty, his wife of 45 years, still live in Grand Haven and he’s founder and President of a benefits company named Profitable Solutions, LLC.

Rick and his radio partner, Corky Lingle, were presented with a special honorary Distinguished Media Award from the Indiana High School Athletic Association for their 20 years of dedication to high school sports in 1995.  He also served as public address announcer at five auto racing speedways in northern Indiana and southern Michigan for 16 years, including the Plymouth Motor Speedway.  And he worked one year on the announcing crew of the American Racing Radio Network.

Rick and Marty have two daughters, Kim and Erica, both of whom are married.  Kim lives in Muskegon, Michigan and Erica resides in Lexington, KY.  The two have blessed Rick and Marty with seven grandchildren.

The event will begin with a social hour and Market Place of Ideas at 5:30PM, followed by dinner at 6:30Pm.  Guests will enjoy dinner entertainment by the Lincoln Legends.  The evening will conclude at approximately, 8:00PM, with an awards presentation.

The Annual Dinner is open to all; admission is $35 per person.   Please call the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and RSVP, 936-2323.

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