PROGRAM: Anna Zinkel and Julia Upfal of Spark provided information about how the Economic Development Council of Livingston County markets the region and helps provide an engine for economic success.
PROGRAM: Anna Zinkel and Julia Upfal of Spark provided information about how the Economic Development Council of Livingston County markets the region and helps provide an engine for economic success.
  • President Adrienne Knack returns next week.
  • Jason Huntley and Jerry Hardesty reported that last week’s Friends of Rotary session had a great success and was a fine time at the shooting range.
  • Nancy Johnson said to reserve March 25 from 3:30-5 p.m. when the new members of the Brighton History Role of Honor will be inducted during ceremonies at the Brighton District Library as part of the city’s 150th anniversary.
  • Bill Anderson said Brighton Rotary has a great team to Bowl for Kids at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters fundraiser Saturday.
  • Brian Donovan said the Rotary Raiders ramp build was postponed until Friday and he and Piet noted that there nine families on the waiting list for ramps.
  • Nancy Johnson passed along word from Beth Walker that there is a 500 dollar anonymous gift waiting if enough Rotarians read the March Rotarian and find four references to Michigan.
  • Mike Bourke said social media activity for Dash or Crash has been high and that club members should both Like and Share to get the word out. Also, register at the web site to volunteer.
  • Stan Schafer says volunteers are needed Saturday for Gleaners.
  • Katherine Copp Lawrence promoted the Work Skills Golf Palooza which is the Monday after Dash or Crash.
  • Carol Bullion said that the popular Fur Ball is looking for an emcee after the tragic death of Detroit TV news personality Ron Savage.
Anna Zinkel and Julia Upfal both work for SPARK, and Ann Arbor-based organization that has contracted with the non-profit Economic Development Council of Livingston County to help spur economic development in the area. Their job includes marketing the region, business attraction, helping with site selection and “soft landings,” turnkey project management, and…possibly the number one issue facing employers today….finding talent.
In 2016, the Spark staff in Livingston County and 57 company visits with companies representing 7,192 FTEs. They also worked with 7 projects that resulted in 304 announced jobs and nearly 63 million dollars in capital investment.
Big challenges and opportunities for 2017 include the need for talent in a county with unemployment rate below 4 percent, and the huge pending health care investments.
Kim Coates, Dennis Kalio, and Tom Coates failed to find the Ace of Spades
Past Programs
Feb. 21 – The Rev. Sue Pethoud switched careers after 20 years as a middle school math teacher in Howell (her husband, Rick, was the long-time BHS band director). Retired at age 52, she felt the call to be a pastor and now helps run a social services agency out of a Methodist Church in Detroit. The church has a storied history of helping its community and now the agency focuses on food, housing, health care and jobs, thanks to a large cadre of volunteers. By collecting abandoned tires, the agency produces and sells doormats and sandals, and is building a community of tiny homes (365 square feet) for the homeless.
Feb. 14 – It was a fitting Valentine’s Day meeting with the Jesters, a barbershop quartet, starting off with “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Girl of My Dreams,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Then Maribeth Regnier…celebrating 40 years of marriage to Joe…led us on a Valentine’s Day theme that included some spirited literary readings and a competitive round of Name That Tune.
Jan. 31 – Jayson Boyers told of the many exciting things happening at Cleary University, the county’s only four-year university where Jayson has been president for slightly more than a year. They’ve seen enrollment growth of 31 percent in the last 18 months. Shifting to attract more traditional students, the university has built on-campus housing and has 12 (soon to be 14) sports teams. Next fall, Cleary will be competing in the NAIA level. The university if reaching beyond county boundaries with on-line courses and by establishing an educational center in Detroit.
Jan. 24 – With the speaker unable to show, Pam McConeghy and Carole Bullion told about their experiences attending the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 17 – Laura Goodwin, operations manager, told about the history and current status of the Humane Society of Livingston County.
Jan. 10 – A club assembly concentrated on Dash or Crash, which is the primary fund-raiser for Brighton Rotary. Sponsorships are doing well, but it is vital to get a lot of runners for the May 22 event.
Jan. 3 – John O’Malley has for 3.5 months been the president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems in Livingston County, responsible for both the hospital in Howell and the health care center and cancer center in Genoa Township just outside Brighton. He’s hit the ground running as the health system is in the midst of a 41 million dollar transformation investment that includes operating beds in Howell and Brighton, investments in the ER rooms at both location and the opening of the Michigan Bariatric Institute, which is doing its first surgery in January and is already booked out four months. “We are bringing health care back to the local community,” he said.