Tony Pecha given 2018 VCC Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2004, the VCC Foundation Board of Directors established the Lifetime Achievement Award to annually honor a graduate of Ely Junior College or Vermilion Community College who has made a significant local, regional statewide or national contribution. According to VCC Foundation Executive Director Patti Zupancich, “The award demonstrates the important role Vermilion plays in the academic, career, and civic development of our graduates.”
The VCC Foundation Board selected Tony Pecha as the recipient of the 2018 award for his outstanding accomplishments and exceptional commitment to the business field. The Lifetime Achievement Award was announced at the VCC Foundation’s annual scholarship awards banquet on April 19 at the Grand Ely Lodge. Tony was in attendance at the banquet to accept the award.
Tony grew up in Tower, MN and received his Associate in Arts degree from Vermilion State Junior College in 1971. While at Vermilion, Tony was a two-year starter for the Ironmen basketball team earning All-State Team and All-State Tournament Team honors. He attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with minors in Math and Secondary Education.
Tony had a banking career that spanned forty years. He led Boundary Waters Bank in Ely as its President for almost twelve years, retiring in 2016. Tony also served as Vice President of American Bank North in Cook, President of State Bank of Tower, and Manager of the Babbitt Steel Workers Credit Union.
Tony is a committed volunteer serving for nine years on the Board of Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. He currently serves as a Board member of Ely’s Boundary Waters Care Center, a Trustee at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower, and a Board member of the Eagles Nest Township Lakes Association.
Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Simon Bourgin (2004), Jim Klobuchar (2005), Milt Stenlund (2006), Larry Klun (2007), Lee Anderson and Pat Groom (2008), Chip Elkins (2009), Dr. Luke Lukas (2010), John Artisensi (2011), Everett Laitala (2012), Theresa Popesh and Dr. Stefan Kapsch (2013), L. Patrick Markovich (2014), Emily Wahlberg (2015), Annette Horvat (2016), and Barbara Soderberg (2017).