Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk - Member Story
July 29, 2015

Votruba Celebrates 80 Years with the Chamber


Hundreds of businesses have come and gone in downtown Traverse City over the past 140-plus years - but one has been there the whole time. Chamber member Votruba Leather Goods Co. celebrates 80 years of Chamber membership this month, but it's actually been downtown a lot longer than that. Started in 1874 as a small harness shop along the banks of the Boardman River, Votruba's is a downtown landmark deeply entwined in the city's history. Learn more about this charter member of the Traverse City Area Chamber.


IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Kent Wood
Chamber Monitors Corporate Income Tax Petitions

The 2016 election cycle is already in motion, and the Chamber is tracking several issues that could impact its membership.  The latest is a new petition drive that could place a proposal to increase Michigan's Corporate Income Tax (CIT) in front of Michigan voters next year. Some business organizations have criticized the proposal, and the Traverse City Area Chamber and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance will review the issue in the coming weeks.


Learn more in the latest edition of Government Relations Director Kent Wood's Northern Michigan Business Blog.

Joins Us for 'Pints & Politics'

Do you know your elected officials? Do they know the challenges facing your business? The Chamber opens lines of communication between our members and their state and local decision makers. "Pints & Politics" is a new Chamber event giving our members the opportunity to meet with their legislative leaders in an informal setting to help them gain insight into the needs of the local business community. Join us on:

  • August 24 with state and federal officials
  • September 24 with Traverse City officials
  • October 19 with Grand Traverse County officials

Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City will host these events from 4:30 - 6 p.m. Registration is free for Chamber members. Sign up now. 


Pints & Politics is made possible by:




CONNECT | Events and Programs
Golf Outing Draws Near

Time is running out to register for the 2015 Chamber Golf Outing, set for August 19 at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Just a handful of slots remain for the event, which raises scholarship funding for the Chamber's Leadership Grand Traverse program.


Sign up now to enjoy 18 holes of golf, a fabulous dinner prepared by resort staff, a golf outing gift, raffle, 50/50 and drink tickets, and a box lunch. There are still a few foursome slots available, along with individual reservations. Prize donations and hole sponsorships are also being accepted and can be submitted by clicking here.


The Chamber Golf Outing is supported by:

July Member Anniversaries

A host of Chamber members celebrate their member anniversaries in July, including three members of the 50-year plus club of Votruba Leather Goods (see above), Bayside Beverage and White Birch Lodge. Other Chamber birthdays this month include Munson Medical Center, Northwestern Michigan College and dozens of others. See who else is part of this month's festivities.


Leadership Development

Spring 2015 LGT Class
Apply for Leadership Grand Traverse

The application deadline for the Fall 2015 Class of Leadership Grand Traverse is on the horizon.


Leadership Grand Traverse is the Chamber's signature leadership development program that's propelled hundreds of participants into prominent leadership roles in the community for almost 40 years. LGT takes a close-up look at the institutions and organizations that make our community special. Class members learn about state and local government, education, arts and culture, natural resources and more. They build lifetime connections with classmates and take on a special appreciation for what makes our community unique.


The deadline to apply for the Fall 2015 LGT semester is August 21, and the Orientation session takes place September 15. Here's the application form.

Chamber Leadership programming is supported by: 

Stories of Success

The Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on NewsTalk 580 offers the inspiring behind-the-scenes story of a successful business in Northern Michigan. Business owners visit with Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger and WTCM's Ron Jolly each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to talk about how their dreams, ideas and hard work are forged into business success in our region.


If you miss an episode, a Weekly Entrepreneur Focus archive is located on the Chamber website.


The Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus is sponsored by:


Partner News
Great Start up for Innovation Award

The Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative is among four finalists for a Regional Innovation Award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The award recognizes organizations that build stronger communities through breakthrough program development and collaboration among partners.


The Great Start Collaborative Traverse Bay, a partnership between Venture North and the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District, is the first of its kind in Michigan. It focuses on early childhood development as a driver of regional economic development, bringing together community leaders, families and caregivers to create advanced early childhood systems through the area that support family health, early literacy and expanded child care options.


"The finalists of the 2015 Regional Innovation Award exemplify the highest levels of civic entrepreneurship and economic stewardship," ACCE President Mick Fleming said.


Great Start Traverse Bay Collaborative Coordinator Mary Manner will attend the ACCE Annual Convention Aug. 11-14 in Montreal where the award will be presented. Learn more about the Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative by clicking here. 
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