Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk
May 21, 2014
Leadership "Fellows" Launched

Leadership Grand Traverse is the Chamber's signature leadership development program that just graduated its 27th class this week (see more below). Now the Chamber is taking LGT to another level with the launch of the Leadership Grand Traverse Fellows.


Who are the Leadership Grand Traverse Fellows? They are LGT graduates who are re-committing to the program through membership is this exclusive club. They'll connect with fellow LGT alumni, take on special projects and their financial support will assist with LGT programming and scholarship opportunities. Click here to learn more or join the LGT Fellows.

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:


Who will be Small Business of the Year?

It's just over a week until the 2014 Small Business Celebration Award Ceremony, set for Thursday, May 29 from 4:30-6 p.m. at NMC's Hagerty Center. It's been a fantastic year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Small Business Celebration, and 10 deserving companies are in the running to be honored as the 2014 Hagerty Small Business of the Year.


Register here for the SBC Award Ceremony and view more highlights from this year's Small Business Celebration, including a video from media sponsors TV 9&10 featuring this year's Top 10 Finalists. 


Congratulations to our Top 10 SBC Finalists:

  • BrightStar Lifecare of Northern Michigan
  • Captain's Quarters
  • Celtic Transport Logistics
  • Culver Meadows
  • LochenHeath Golf Club
  • Mad Mike's Computer Services
  • Northwest Michigan Surgery Center
  • Oryana Natural Foods Market
  • Short's Brewing Company
  • Williams & Bay Pumping Service Inc.

 The Small Business Celebration is sponsored by:


CONNECT | Economic Development
Forum Pushes Roads, Infrastructure

Fresh from a regional session in Traverse City this month, the West Michigan Policy Forum is calling on state lawmakers to push forward a bold, sustainable investment plan to repair the state's transportation infrastructure. The Grand Traverse region is well represented with the WMPF, with Chamber Director Jeff Connolly (BC/BS of Michigan) serving on its Executive Committee and Chamber President/CEO Doug Luciani on the Board of Directors.


Click here to view the Policy's Forum's recent letter to state Sen. Arlan Meekhof outlining its recommendations for a major infusion of dollars to Michigan's transportation network.


Last Call for Speed Networking
There are still a few slots remaining for the Speed Networking session today from 4 - 5 p.m. here at the Chamber - the last one until September! Click here to make a series of new business contacts in a fast yet friendly setting. 
INSPIRE | Leadership Growth
Graduation Day for LGT

Another first-rate Leadership Grand Traverse class completed its journey this week, concluding with its graduation ceremony Tuesday at the Hagerty Insurance building. Click here to meet this newest group of emerging community leaders and the folks who help guide them, and register for the Fall 2014 LGT semester.


Enjoy the 'Big Green' Outdoors

The Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative encourages local families to take part in healthy, outdoor activities this summer. To that end, the state Department of Natural Resources has partnered with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan to encourage everyone to get outdoors this summer with free, one-day passes to state parks available at libraries around Michigan. The Park & Read program kicks-off this Memorial  Day weekend and is a great way to explore any one of Michigan's 102 state parks with your family.  


Each pass is good for one day for one vehicle (not for camping or group events) and can be used any time before Sept. 30, 2014. They also allow visitors to participate in Recreation 101 classes offered at many state parks.  These free, intro-to classes include all the gear and expert instruction on everything from archery to windsurfing.


For more information on Park & Read and hundreds of free events in state parks, visit




IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Great Lakes Funding Moves Ahead

The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition - which includes the Traverse City Area Chamber - scored a huge win in Congress with Senate-House Conference Committee approval of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).  This breakthrough legislation will help maintain and improve Great Lakes ports and waterways, fix deteriorating locks and dams and help repair ecosystem damage. Learn more in this e-brief from the Coalition.


Senate Approves Minimum Wage Bill
The Michigan Senate passed a new minimum wage bill last week as the debate over the minimum wage heats up across Michigan. Read Government Affairs Director Kent Wood's analysis of this issue and what could happen as the bill moves to the State House by clicking here for his latest Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance blog.

The Chamber is gathering input from its membership on this issue. Questions or concerns about the minimum wage proposal can be directed to Kent via email at


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Upcoming Events
Click Event to Register

Today  - Speed Networking from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Chamber First Floor Conference  Room. 

Today  - Business After Hours from 5 - 7 p.m. at Integrity Home Health Care.
May 27, 2014 - Young Professionals Volunteering at the State Theatre.
May 29, 2014 - Small Business Celebration Awards Ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. at NMC's Hagerty Center.
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