MELISSA REED: A habit of excellence

By Melissa Reed, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce

On U.S. 31 North in Manistee, the chamber has a billboard with the headline “Business Excellence!” with details about the Business Expo and the 2011 Business Awards Dinner. Everyone knows I love a snappy title for chamber events and this one is especially apt.

Last week’s Business Expo was just terrific, with more exhibitors, visitors, prize winners and deals being made than ever before. And in just three weeks, we’ll again celebrate excellence in our business community with the 2011 Business Awards. (We’ll announce the “Titans of Industry” Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in about 10 days.)

Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” (Impressive, huh? I double-checked it on QuotationsPage.com.)

I’ve been thinking a lot in the last several weeks about excellence because of these two events and, in our community, we have a number of businesses and organizations for whom excellence truly is a habit. Every day, I drive past Miller’s Produce and when I do I am reminded of excellence — their pumpkin display is fantastic, their produce is grown in Michigan and the apple pie is especially good for breakfast!

A week or so ago, I visited Bear Lake and learned that the Bear Lake Promoters are gearing up for their annual Turkey Giveaway (you can fill out an entry form in any local business) and are enclosing the Pavilion at Hopkins Park.

Businesses and their employees throughout Manistee County are in the midst of the Annual United Way campaign economy that long habit of excellence continues to meet the needs of our community.

The electronic sign at Victorian City Car Port has flashed pink for weeks in support of West Shore Medical Center’s breast health efforts.

And in one final example of everyday excellence, check out the petunias that are still blooming in front of the chamber office thanks to Blossom Boulevard, Weesies Brothers and the dedicated volunteer who cares for them.

Indulge your habit of excellence this week!

News from the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee

The Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee board will hold a community forum on Thursday. The public event, with some 500 Manistee area volunteers already committed to contributing, will be held in the community’s historic Ramsdell Theater, starting at 6 p.m.

The campaign’s growing volunteer corps will be part of the gathering, on hand to witness a special announcement of the Vogue campaign’s thermometer. The 8-foot-high campaign revenue indicator will be posted at a prime downtown location to keep residents posted as the project grows. Ruth Cooper, Meg and Tom Voelker, Mary Russell and Joan Gamache, will preside over the unveiling.

Free QuickBooks training

West Shore Community College Entrepreneurship/Incubator Initiative is offering a three-day QuickBooks training for entrepreneurs. This training is open to all small business owners, managers or representatives.

The training will be held on Nov. 4, 11 and 18 on the WSCC campus in Scottville and is limited to the first 25 people who sign up. Please contact Julie Van Dyke at (231) 843-5903 or e-mail jlvandyke@westshore.edu.

Add Your Event to the Community Calendar

The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce maintains an extensive community calendar for Manistee County. Every year, residents and visitors use this online resource to find out what’s happening in our community. Organizations rely on this calendar when scheduling events to avoid conflicts. The Chamber is accepting event submissions from community businesses, clubs and organizations for the 2012 Community Calendar.

To submit your event e-mail Dianna at dianna@manisteechamber.com, fax the information to (231) 723-1515 or drop off your event information at the chamber office. Questions? Contact the chamber at 723-2575.

North Pumpkin Open 2011

Bear Lake County Highlands will host the 2011 North Pumpkin Open on Oct. 29. This event is a two-man scramble and the cost includes food, golf and cart. For more information call (231) 864-3817 or e-mail bearlakegolfassn@centurytel.net

Chamber seeks nominations for business of the year

The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals that have made significant contributions to the chamber of commerce, the business community and the quality of life in Manistee County. The awards will be presented on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the chamber annual meeting, to be held at the Little River Casino Resort.

The chamber will present awards in four categories: business of the year, small business of the year, business person of the year and the action award for community service. In addition, the chairman’s vision award will be presented to the individual who has made the greatest contribution to the work of the chamber.

New in 2011, the chamber will also present a lifetime achievement award to a business or individual whose contributions have spanned a decade or more and have significantly impacted our community. For more information about the business awards or to submit a nomination, visit www.manisteechamber.com or call the chamber.

Halloween fun at Shay’s Chop House

Shays Chop House will host a comedy and costume party on Oct. 27 beginning at 9 p.m. The party will feature comedian Wild Bill Bauer and there will be prizes, drink specials and dinner specials. For more information contact Shay’s Chop House at (231) 889-3121.

2-1-1 annual meeting planned

The action team, in partnership with United Way of Manistee County, is hosting the fourth annual 2-1-1 luncheon on Oct. 25 at the Manistee Intermediate School District Building. The guest speakers will include Carol Carpenter from Michigan Works and Michael Michaud from the American Red Cross. There will also be a testimonial given from a local resident and 2-1-1 caller.

2-1-1 is a three-digit telephone number with live call specialists who provide community resource information, agency referrals and problem solving during times of everyday need and unexpected crises.

The service was launched in Manistee County in February 2010 after a lengthy and stringent application process with the Michigan Public Service Commission and other accrediting agencies.

The 2-1-1 action team is a group of highly-trained volunteers and the driving force behind the implementation of the vital telephone service. The 2-1-1 service includes information regarding food, housing, utility payment help, senior programs, prescription assistance, health care and much more.

It is available 24/7 by dialing the three digits from home or cell phones. Call specialists can also be reached by dialing (877) 211-5253 from areas that are not connected to the 2-1-1 system.

For more information about 2-1-1 or to make a reservation for the annual meeting, contact Evelyn at (231) 398-0300.

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