by JEANNIE GREGORY Lisa Orchard, a Rockford author, is ready to share her love of writing—and some important information for those who are interested in e-publishing. Orchard was able to accomplish her dream of publishing a book, and is working on her second book. She will be sharing her insight during Reading Rocks in Rockford August 11 at Arnie’s Bakery in downtown Rockford. The author has always loved intrigue, cutting her teeth on the Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins mysteries. She began her fledgling career when she was in fifth grade, writing her own stories and dreaming of someday becoming a published author. The Central Michigan University graduate, wife and mother of two sons, finally realized her dream in March. Orchard’s book, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer,” was published. It is going to be part of a mystery series and Orchard is already working on the second book, “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.” The series is written for the 10-18 age group and is action-packed enough to appeal to both boys and girls. According to Orchard, becoming a published author is a process that starts prior to even completing a manuscript. In today’s age of the computer, it is important to establish a presence in the literary world. “You need to learn the market before publishing,” Orchard said. “You have to establish an online presence and have a website, blog and interact in social media. You need to build a fan base; publishers are looking for that. Internet publishing is in its infancy, but it is going to explode.” Orchard is excited to share her knowledge with the community during Reading Rocks. She will be hosting a special informative lunch upstairs at Arnie’s at noon. For only $10, participants can enjoy a lunch and a personal narrative from Orchard on the steps to take to become a published author. To sign up for the informative luncheon, contact email@example.com. For more information about Orchard and her books, visit her website at lisaorchard.com.
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that Jeannie Gregory has been hired as the new Executive Director of our organization. After a three month interim period, the board removed the interim tag from Jeannie’s title and is proud to announce that she is officially our new Director. “Jeannie has been our interim director for the past three months and has truly excelled in that capacity. Her interpersonal skills, work ethic and dedication to our area have been evident to not only our board of directors, but to our membership as well. “ We have really thrown in her into the fire over the last three months which is typically one of our busiest times of the year. Our biggest Chamber events each year are the Rockford Business Expo at Rockford High School and The Start of Summer Celebration in downtown Rockford. We also have had many other events that she has adeptly overseen including our annual golf outing that benefits our Chamber Scholarship, the creation of a map of the entire Rockford school district that will be in print soon, numerous networking events, our new Chamber University classes, The West Michigan Healing Fields project, our interactive Chamber Web Site and a Chamber Facebook page. “We have the utmost confidence in Jeannie’s abilities and are looking forward to working with her in the coming years.” She is a life-long Rockford resident and has numerous established relationships with area residents and businesses. “I am very excited to be able to take all the information that has been gathered through focus groups, surveys and our newly established Strategic Plan and help to promote and grow Rockford businesses,” Gregory said. “There is no place I would rather be than in a position to let people know what a wonderful and highly supportive community Rockford is.”
“The times, they are a-changin’…” and that’s very true for the Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) office. As many already know, Charylene Powers recently retired from her position as the Chamber’s financial “guru.” RCC is happy to announce that Kristie Keyes has joined the RCC team as the new financial administrative assistant. Keyes is an expert in QuickBooks, has a lot of accounting experience, and is a Rockford resident. Together, she and her husband Mike have three children. Yes, there’s more. In addition to Keyes’ arrival, the RCC is also very happy to announce that Jeannie Gregory has accepted the RCC’s new full-time communications administrative assistant position. Gregory will be working with the social media and the RCC’s new website as they prepare to enter into the exciting world of social networking. “The Chamber organization is very fortunate to continue to have a talented staff,” said RCC Executive Director Brenda Davis. “Between Jeannie’s communication skills and Kristie’s financial skills, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce can look forward to a strong team effort.” For more information, please visit their website at www.rockfordmichamber.com.