Marquette County’s Kaye Heibel was one of 15 people honored by the Historical Society of Michigan during its annual State History Conference, held in Big Rapids, this past weekend.  The agency presents the State History Awards every year to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history. The awards are the highest recognition presented by the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s official historical society and oldest cultural organization.

The recipient of the 2014 State History Award in the Lifetime Achievement category is Kaye Hiebel from Marquette. For the past 34 years, Hiebel has been at the helm of the Marquette County Historical Society’s (MCHS), now the Marquette Regional History Center’s (MRHC), dynamic and innovative educational programs and museum exhibitions. Hiebel began her career with MCHS in 1980 and was appointed executive director of the MRHC in 2005. At that time, she began the task of finding a new building for the society’s museum and library, launching a successful $3.75 million capital campaign. Today, the Marquette Regional History Center is a recognized state-of-the-art museum and historical research facility, second to none in the upper Great Lakes region.

The State History Conference explores significant people, places and events  in Michigan’s past through a diverse offering of keynote speakers, breakout  sessions, workshops and tours. Each year, the conference moves to a different  location within the Lower Peninsula to feature the local history of that area  and to address notable statewide historical matters. The Historical Society of  Michigan also hosts the Upper Peninsula History Conference, which focuses on the  history of the U.P., and Michigan in Perspective: The Local History Conference,  which concentrates on Southeast Michigan and statewide history.