The Millennials: Community pride stemming from family pride.

April 25, 2015
Carrie Kosla

Carrie Kosla

Editor’s Note: Sustaining a community and keeping it vibrant requires diversity on many levels, especially among age groups. An unintended movement the last few years has been the increased number of millennials who have taken a role in community and business leadership in Mason County. A millennial, also known as Generation Y, is defined as a person who was born from the early ‘80s to the 2000s.. This generation grew up in the digital age and often offers a unique and fresh perspective to leadership.

This is the 11th story in our series on the area’s millennials who are making an impact in our community.

Sponsored by All Access Care of Ludington. Located at 329 N. Jebavy Dr. in Ludington; 231-425-4544;www.all-access-care.com.

By Kate Krieger. MCP Correspondent.

LUDINGTON – With a long history of a strong work ethic created by a positive family dynamic, Ludington resident Carrie Kosla is no stranger to working with people in many different forms.

The 2001 Mason County Central High School graduate started working at a very young age as she was involved in the music industry, singing with her family’s band.

“I graduated early in ’01,” she said. “I had already spent six years in the music business and then we got a big recording contract and we went to Texas and I spent the next three years continuing doing music.”

all_access_sponsorship_100114Spending around a decade touring and performing with her family, Carrie started to see what was once a passion start to become a business and she didn’t want her love for music to turn sour. After her brother left the band two years prior, Carrie decided to turn to other things as well.

Carrie got married and then got pregnant with her son, David and she knew traveling with a family wasn’t what she really wanted for herself or her child.

“I did really enjoy it,” she said. “I thought though, ‘I have a family now and I didn’t want to put my boy through this.’”

Attending Davenport University briefly, Carrie said the music industry was really all she known for basically her entire life so far and being a stay at home mom wasn’t really in the cards.

“I thought, ‘what do I do?’ she said. “I went to Manpower and told them that I needed a job. I had built a certain skill set in the music business and knew they would be valuable somewhere.”

Manpower sent her to Lenz and Associates insurance agency in Ludington where Carrie then embarked on the next nine years of her life as an insurance agent and getting more involved in the community as well.

“Four years in, Mark Lenz wanted to be part of the community more and we started more community involvement. I really started to develop a huge passion for it. I wanted to be a part of what was already a great community and help make it even better.”

Getting involved on the hospital foundation board, Carrie was personally invested in helping the hospital help out the community more.

“I had two very difficult pregnancies (David, 10 and Selena, 4),” she said. “Without the hospital, I probably wouldn’t be alive. I became invested in women and children’s health. It’s a personal passion.”

Joining the Downtown Ludington board in 2007, Carrie got even more opportunity to help in her community’s development and changes towards the better.

“It was something I could do to help out businesses,” she said. “I could really invest in them and where they choose to be. It really gives me an opportunity to make a better place for people and for my family.”

The Miss Ludington Area pageant scholarship is also something that Carrie has also been involved in and she believes the scholarship is a great way to help mold girls into great young women.

“I’ve been doing Miss Ludington Area for six years,” she said. “What we try to do is build confidence and strength in these girls. It’s a great organization and we’ve had some great Miss Ludingtons.”

If that isn’t enough, she also has been involved in creating and performing with the Lakeside Civic Players, where she and Heather Tykoski formed the group in 2009. She said she has been very lucky to be able to have an outlet for her music and to be able to help others share their talents with the community.

This week, Carrie was notified that she had been chosen as one of the Ludington and Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Future Five and she said she was very humbled by the announcement.

“I was shocked and I feel undeserving,” she said. “I read what Erica Karmeisool wrote and I felt so grateful. At the heart of it all, I’m just trying to make it a better place for my family. I’ve been very lucky to be hooked up with people who make the city better and I am so proud of this generation for doing the things they do. It has something to do with how people are raised here and the volume of people who aren’t selfish.”

All the experience and volunteering has led Carrie to her dream career as the COVE (Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters) fundraiser and outreach coordinator. She has worked there for a little over one year and she calls that year, “the year of COVE.” With assisting in fundraising for a new facility and advocating for clients all across the community, Carrie is so proud of the staff at COVE and to be a part of the family that has developed there.

“I’m proud of what I have done there in the last year,” she said. “They needed someone like me to come in and everyday I was there made me realize how insane the issues are here. I didn’t really know. I took a leap of faith and non-profit is where I want to be. Everything I’ve done has been a part in who I am now. I’ve always said if I’ve made someone say ‘wow, if she can do one of those things, so can I.’”

 

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