The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is again pleased to announce the second installment of its popular Bi-Monthly Luncheon Series for 2010. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. on April 12 at Boulder Creek Golf Club, located at 5750 Brewer Avenue, Belmont. As always, Amy Pollack and her staff look forward to hosting this event and providing an excellent lunch for area business leaders and speaker George A. Erickcek. Erickcek is the senior regional analyst for the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on analyzing issues in regional economics, preparing regional forecasts, and evaluating regional public policies. He also writes the Business Outlook for West Michigan, the Institute’s quarterly report which examines the economic conditions in West Michigan. Erickcek received his M.A. in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. Prior to joining the Institute in 1987, he served as economic analyst for the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission. He has been a presenter at several Grand Rapids area programs including those hosted by The Right Place Inc., The Employers Association, Grand Rapids Lions Club and others. He has strong ties to West Michigan and is very familiar with the economics of our area. Please register by Friday, April 9 by contacting the Chamber office at (616) 866-2000 or e-mail Jeannie at firstname.lastname@example.org with your reservation. The luncheons are open to everyone, so Chamber members are encouraged to invite a friend. Cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-Chamber members. Please note that if you are unable to attend the luncheon and have registered, it is necessary to contact the Chamber office prior to the luncheon to avoid being charged. This is a great networking event so please make sure that you bring a lot of business cards.
Rockford Chamber of Commerce
Four people left $500 richer, but no one was able to claim the big prize of the day, the Chevy Malibu offered by drawing by John Decker Chevrolet. No one left empty handed, unless by choice however. The sixth annual Community Expo held March 20 was as well-attended as in past years. Booths of all types offered coupons, information, free gifts and goodies. Mike and Vanessa Carroll, along with daughter Jade, said the event has become like a reunion, a chance to interact with friends and talk with business owners they know. A day-long cold snap may have helped attendance by making an indoor event sound more appealing. Next year will be the seventh for the Community Expo, sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
Free educational workshops to be offered at EXPO The Rockford Chamber of Commerce recently announced the presentation of 10 free educational workshops to be held at Rockford’s 6th Annual Community EXPO. Businesses with various backgrounds are excited to share their knowledge with the community. Topics range from Financial and Estate Planning, to Tax Developments, to How to Stay Young the First 100 Years, to Fruit Juice, and Monsters! The half-hour presentations begin at 9:30 a.m. and will end at 2:30 p.m. during the EXPO on Saturday, March 20, at Rockford High School. Holistic Care Approach embraces technology with facility expansion With the addition of new technologies Holistic Care Approach (HCA), Grand Rapids, embarked on a construction project to add 1,200 square feet to their existing building. This expansion adds six additional treatment rooms for the many new services now being offered under the guidance of HCA’s new medical director, Dr. Laura Tinning. Growth of services into areas of technology by adding high-tech equipment while maintaining a foundation of hands-on services is the business’ vision. Rockford Construction plans completion of the project by early March, and an open house is being planned for this spring. HCA is a multidisciplinary wellness center specializing in natural health care. The center is located at 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids, and also features nutritional products and health and wellness classes. For more information, call (616) 361-9221 or visit www.holisticcareapproach.com. John Ball Zoo reopens After being closed for a little under three months for the first time ever, John Ball Zoo has reopened for the 2010 season on March 1. The zoo closed on December 6, 2009, due to Kent County budget restrictions. The zoo will host a “Welcome Back” event on Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to mark the grand reopening. The event will feature strolling animals, kids activities and special discounts in the gift shop and concession stand. Spring admission prices apply now through May 7, 2010. They are an affordable $3.50 for adults, $3 for children 13 and under, and free for kids under 2. The zoo is located on Fulton Ave. NW, one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids. Current spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit […]
Danny Beckett Jr. of Spearia was the featured speaker at the Rockford Chamber February luncheon. He talked about the value of social media and how to go about using the technology available in business. The talk began with a Wikipedia definition of Social Media: Content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. Beckett corrected the definition, which, in his opinion, should be considered more of an interactive relationship development tool. “People make content and content is important, yet is it not about people and relationships first?” he stated. Beckett talked about the popularity of social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others. He compared using these Internet tools to dating and gave examples of how relationship building through such media happens. Step Three: The pursuit, and “pursue, pursue” of his program for social media networking sound a little stalky, but are about building trust and common ground. As with all good networking, following up is critical. The comparisons between dating and building business and personal relationships through social media was an interesting analogy that went well with good food served from Sam’s Joint. As with all Chamber luncheons, the event was open to Chamber members and future Chamber members. Attendance at these luncheons, as with Chamber After Hours events, have been strong. The next event for the Chamber is open to the public and is the sixth annual Expo to be held Saturday, March 20, at Rockford High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. As always, local celebrities, live entertainment, giveaways and four $500 cash giveaways will take place. Admission is free, shuttle parking is available, and new this year will be educational workshops by local professionals, also free to attend.
Rockford Chamber of Commerce members and guests met for a gala evening of honors and dining on Friday, January 29, at the Chamber’s annual meeting and awards ceremony. The guest speaker was Dan Gaydou, publisher of the Grand Rapids Press and a Rockford resident. Gaydou offered what he called “a brief synopsis of a serious topic” and spoke of the current conditions in Michigan. “Facing reality, we have to admit we are in terrible shape in Michigan,” he said. On any list of economic vibrancy, the state ranks low, yet Michigan has a lot going for it. Michigan is the second highest boating state, has very giving residents, and is rich in innovation and new technology. “I see a lot of things going on that are good, but I do believe our political system is broken,” he stated. “We have to get back to the business of people finding jobs.” Gaydou said our state’s industrial revolution has become a technical revolution and the days of low tech, high-pay jobs are gone. “We can’t live in denial. We have to start to learn to compete in this environment. I’m sick and tired of hearing that our kids are not as smart as the kids in Japan, Europe, India, China. Our urban school districts are failing our children.” Gaydou said entrepreneurship is the heart of development in this area, and that small business may be the future of the economy. He mentioned changes at the Press, symptomatic of changes in the state, saying it is “going through a tremendous amount of upheaval.” “Is it going to be fine? Yes. Is it easy? No.” Gaydou said. With 60 legislators to be term-limited out, Gaydou said, “Half the elected officials in the state could be new people. Change is up to me and you.” Gaydou’s speech was followed by board member elections, the year in review and the Business of Distinctions awards. Nominated in the Quality of Life Category were Herremans and Bosscher Orthodontics; Huntington National Bank and Wolverine World Wide YMCA. Nominated in the New Business Category were Double Take Resale, LLC and Nance-Martin Accounting Service. Nominated in the Retail Category were Baskets in the Belfry; Gild the Lily, LLC; Kimberly’s Boutique and Pegasus Sports. In the Service […]