"Is that Eric Jylha?
question made me giggle a bit because anyone who has met Eric Jylha
one of the nicest, most approachable guys around.
also one of the most sincere, generous and genuine people I know.
Still, I understood her
question, given Jylha's
local celebrity status as the long-time, affable weatherman and reporter for WNEM TV5
Through the magic of television and radio, he's
been a staple in people's homes for decades.
But now, here he
was, in the flesh ... in our rehearsal.
very presence set the tone for what became an amazing and memorable production of the Broadway classic.
Amazing and memorable - there are two more words that describe Eric Jylha
Come Monday morning, he'll have one more word to add to that list: Retired.
That's right, after countless stories and forecasts, Jylha
is stepping down following the 11 p.m. news broadcast on Sunday, March 30.
made the announcement on Thursday night during the 131st annual meeting of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
at the Doubletree hotel and conference center in downtown Bay City.
As has become custom, Jylha was at the event serving as the emcee and master of ceremonies.
It's a role Jylha has graciously taken on likely as many times as he's
been on the air over the years.
In 2012, it earned him the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
But on Thursday, Jylha
was honored in a different, most deserving way: he
was inducted into the Bay Area Chamber's Business Hall of Fame
, joining a distinctive list of outstanding business leaders who have been honored annually since the establishment of the Hall of Fame in 1986.
signature brand of humility, an emotional - and surprised - Jylha
Hall of Fame plaque high in the air and gave a humble "thank you" speech to more than 500 people gathered at the annual meeting.
As I sat listening, all I could think was, "No, Eric
, thank you!"
For the past 14 years, I've had the pleasure of working closely with Eric through our endeavors on the Bay Arts Council Board of Directors and Rotary Club of Bay City.
has become a true friend.
I know that many folks will miss seeing his
face on television and hearing his
voice on the radio, but something tells me that in retirement, Eric
will only find more time to devote himself to those other things he
holds so dear: his
friends and family, photography, local history, community service ... and, oh yes, cheering on his
beloved MSU Spartans.
is a special guy and I wish him all the happiness in the world as he
retires and offer congratulations on his
induction into the Business Hall of Fame