Traverse Chamber Bulletin
Top Talk
September 16, 2015
2014 DSA recipient Susie Janis

Nominations Open for DSA
Do you know someone whose efforts have made a positive, lasting impact on the Grand Traverse region? Nominate that individual for the Chamber's Distinguished Service Award.
The Chamber has presented its Distinguished Service Award annually since 1929 to local residents who've worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people who live and work in the Traverse City area. The list of past DSA recipients is like a Hall of Fame of community and civic leaders and includes business people, public servants, patrons of the arts and a host of others whose commitment to the region have made an enduring impression.

Nominations are needed by October 23, and here's a link to the nomination form. Also, mark your calendars for January 15, 2016 for the Chamber's Annual Celebration where last year's honoree Susie Janis will present the award to this year's recipient.

Oblinger Honored by Davenport University
Congratulations to Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Oblinger for being among six Davenport University graduates to be honored at the university's Alumni Awards Celebration in October.

Oblinger, who took over as the Chamber's executive director this spring after 12 years as a vice president in the organization, will receive Davenport's Donald W. Maine College of Business Alumni Achievement Award. Oblinger and five other distinguished Davenport graduates are being honored for having "exemplified the vision and values of the university for their professional and community service," according to the university. They will be recognized at a ceremony coming up October 2 at Davenport's Robert W. Senden Center in Grand Rapids. Learn more.

IMPACT | Advocacy for Business
Pints & Politics Next Week
Are you registered for the next session of Pints & Politics, the Chamber's new government affairs series that gives our members personal access to our area's state and local elected and appointed leaders? Click here to reserve a seat at our next Pints & Politics event coming up Thursday, September 24 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at Right Brain Brewery, located at 225 E. Sixteenth Street in Traverse City. The Chamber will welcome various Traverse City officials, including city commissioners, the city manager, clerk, Light and Power representatives and others at this free event exclusively for Chamber members.
Pints & Politics will wrap up for the season on October 19 in a session with officials from Grand Traverse County, also from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at Right Brain Brewery. Register here.
The Pints & Politics series is supported by:

Enbridge President/CEO Al Monaco
Alliance Speaker Series Welcomes Enbridge CEO
Energy production and transmission is at the forefront of public policy discussions around Michigan, and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is on top of this key issue. Join us Friday, September 25 for the final installment in the 2015 Alliance Speaker Series, featuring Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge Inc. that operates various oil and gas transmission lines throughout Michigan including the Mackinac Straits. Monaco has more than 30 years of experience in the energy business, and has served as president and CEO of Enbridge since October 1, 2012.
The breakfast program is set for 8 - 9:30 a.m. at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls. The cost is $15 and it's open to member businesses with the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. Click here to register.

CONNECT | Events and Programs
See You at BAH Tonight
Fall is the best time of the year in the Grand Traverse region - in part because it marks the return of the Chamber's Business After Hours.

Following our annual summer hiatus, BAH returns tonight from 5 - 7 p.m. at Cambria Suites located at 255 Munson Ave. in Traverse City. Join us for the area's original after-work networking and business connection event that draws hundreds of attendees for an evening of socializing, food and refreshments.

Also mark your calendars for other BAH events this fall including:
  • October 21 at Incredible Mo's
  • November 18 at the Larkin Group
Business After Hours is sponsored by:

Boost Your Business Through the Chamber
Get to Know Your Chamber is a quarterly event that helps our members learn how to promote themselves through the Chamber. The Chamber's Business Directory is widely utilized by the public and the business community as a resource for connecting with Northern Michigan businesses. You can use it to promote special deals, post videos, list job openings, publish news releases and much more. Plus you can learn about meeting rooms and other resources here at the Chamber available to your company.

The next "Get to Know Your Chamber" event is set for Thursday, September 24 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Chamber Blue Room. Sign up for this free event.

YP Conference Takes to the Dunes
The Chamber's annual Young Professional Conference is set for Friday, October 9 at the Leelanau Outdoor Center in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It will be an exciting day of networking, team building, unique outdoor activities and inspiring ideas from the keynote speaker, Nathan Havey of Thrive Consulting.

The YP Conference offers a fulfilling day of professional development held at one of the country's most-scenic national parks. It's a great way to break free from the professional grind and connect with your fellow YPs. Register here.

Chamber Leadership Programming is supported by: 

The YP Conference is also sponsored by:

INSPIRE | Leadership Development
Fall 2015 LGT Class Orientation

Meet the Fall 2015 Class of Leadership Grand Traverse
Another engaged and talented group of professionals is participating in the Chamber's Fall 2015 semester of Leadership Grand Traverse, our flagship leadership development program. These 18 individuals will spend the next few months immersing themselves in the institutions and offerings that make the Grand Traverse region a special place to live and work. Meet the 2015 LGT Class and wish them well on their educational journey.
Chamber Leadership programming is supported by:

Welcome to our New Chamber Ambassadors
We've bolstered the ranks of our Chamber Ambassadors to create even more opportunities to connect with our local business community. Ambassadors serve as liaisons between the organization and our current and potential members. They meet with members and prospective members to help them understand the benefits of Chamber membership, and to assist the Chamber in developing programs and services to better meet their needs.

Welcome to these new Chamber ambassadors, listed here with their professional affiliations: Dennis Bean-Larson (ERG Foods LLC); Vic Geha (Wyant Computer Services); Dena Horvath (Elhart & Horvath, P.C.); Kimberly Purdy (Trion Solutions Inc.); Ginger Schultz (Bay Breeze Ad Specialties); Steven Strasko (State Savings Bank- Traverse City); and Tom Walczak (TC Office Express).

Click here to review a full list of all our Chamber ambassadors.

Partner News
Venture North Launches New Website
It's here - a new website specifically dedicated to the business financing products and services of Venture North.
Venture North was formed earlier this year through the merger of the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corp. It holds approximately $5 million in lending assets and has a current loan portfolio of more than $2.4 million being utilized by more than 40 area businesses.
The new Venture North website includes information on:
  • Venture North's five business financing funds and how to apply
  • A new Venture Up North professional talent portal
  • Contact information for Venture North staff
  • Other information including videos, funding partners and the Venture North board.
Click here to check out the Venture North website.

A Small Business Lending Roundtable
The U.S. Small Business Adminstration's (SBA) Guaranty Loan Program is being utilized by small businesses across the country to grow their operations. The SCORE Traverse City chapter and SBDC Northwest will host a SBA financing roundtable on September 25 from 8:30 a.m. - noon at NMC's Parsons-Stulen Building to explain the SBA lending process and share real-life examples of SBA loan recipients. Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith is among the presenters.
The event is $25 and pre-registration is required. Sign up online at or call (231) 922-3780.

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In Case you
Missed it...
Listen to the Chamber's Weekly Entrepreneur Focus on Newstalk 580

Read Chamber Executive Director Laura Oblinger's column in the Traverse City Business News
Get connected to more Chamber program info:

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