Traverse Connect Bulletin
Top Talk
June 3, 2015

Pine Hill's Jeanine Rubert with Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger


Pine Hill Nursery - the 2015 Hagerty Small Business of the Year!

Another fantastic year of the Chamber's Small Business Celebration was capped off last week with the crowning of Pine Hill Nursery & Landscaping as the Chamber's 2015 Hagerty Small Business of the Year. Thanks to all our Top 10 SBC finalists and the 200-plus Chamber members who came out for last week's SBC Award Ceremony held at NMC's Hagerty Center. Thanks also to McKeel Hagerty for his inspiring words at the event, and to the Hagerty family for their support of the SBC.


Learn more about our 2015 Hagerty Small Business of the Year - Pine Hill Nursery & Landscaping.


The Small Business Celebration is supported by:




Venture North's Laura Galbraith (left) with Board Chair Sara Harding and David Mengebier of Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy Powers Up Venture North

Venture North Funding & Development - the Chamber's sister economic development organization that offers business financing across the 10-county region - received a major boost this week with a $30,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation. David Mengebier, president of the foundation, presented the grant at the Venture North annual meeting in Traverse City this week. He also called on other community partners to support economic development efforts in the region. Here's more about the Consumers grant.


Venture North was formed through the recent merger of the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation. It's currently administering more than $2 million in loan funds assisting more than 40 businesses across Northwest Michigan.


Learn more about Venture North's programs and services through  this video. 

You can also get more information at

CONNECT | Economic Development
New Chamber, Venture North Bulletins in the Works

Exciting things are happening at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce following its recent organizational restructuring under the TraverseCONNECT umbrella. Starting later this month, the weekly Chamber Bulletin will roll out a new look with a stronger focus on Chamber events, leadership and related programming and our effective legislative advocacy efforts.


Also in June, we'll debut a new monthly newsletter from our economic development affiliate Venture North Funding & Development. It will offer information on Venture North's access to capital resources available to businesses in the 10-county region, links to other business development resources and the latest information on its lending activity.


Follow the Chamber's information outlets for updates on these exciting developments.

INSPIRE | Leadership Growth
Are You an LGT Fellow?

Another successful semester has been completed in Leadership Grand Traverse, the Chamber's flagship leadership development program. If you're among the hundreds of individuals who've participated in LGT over the years, there's a new way to re-engage with the program and connect with available leadership opportunies in the Grand Traverse region.


The Leadership Grand Traverse Fellows is an alumni program for past LGT participants. LGT Fellows launched a new discussion series to serve as a refresher course on local topics featured in Leadership Grand Traverse. Here's how to sign up for LGT Fellows.


Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

Ron Jolly of NewsTalk 580
Tune in to Weekly Entrepreneur Focus
The return of the Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580 each Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. brings inspiring stories of business success and ingenuity. This popular half-hour show hosted by Ron Jolly and a member of the Chamber staff features some of the region's most successful entrepreneurs with stories and anecdotes about how they've built their success. Tune in each week and if you miss a show, you can click here for a full library of past episodes on the Chamber's website.


The Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is supported by:



IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Pints & Politics Coming Up
The Chamber works hard to connect its members to decision-makers at the local, state and national level whose decisions impact Northern Michigan businesses every day. Our new "Pints & Politics" series which kicks off June 24 from 4 - 6 p.m. will give our members an opportunity to connect with our area's elected officials to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing their business. It's free event open exclusively to Chamber members, and the opening program will feature state and federal office holders from our region. Sign up today.

The series will continue on Aug. 26 with Grand Traverse County officials, and Sept. 30 with representatives of Traverse City government. Learn more.

Duggan Coming Next Week

We're just over a week away from welcoming one of the state's top decision-makers to Northern Michigan - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.


Duggan's made headlines and gained national acclaim for his deft and dogged efforts to lead the historic financial reorganization of the City of Detroit. Now he's coming to Northwest Michigan as part of the new Speaker Series of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. The June 12 event from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa promises a dynamic presentation from one of the Michigan's most innovative and energized political figures. The program is $15 and includes lunch - you don't want to miss it. Seats are filling up so register today.

The event is supported by:

Division St. Input Needed

Major changes are in store for Division Street in Traverse City, and state transportation officials want to hear from city residents and business owners on how best to rebuild this major thoroughfare.


The Michigan Department of Transportation is accepting public comment on the various design options through June 15. You can click here to review the plans and also link to the public comment section. 

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Chamber program info:

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Upcoming Events
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June 24, 2015 - Pints & Politics; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. in the Traverse City Area Chamber Blue Room.
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