FROM STAFF AMD WIRE REPORTS
Grand Vision grants
TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments in partnership with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce has announced this year's recipients of New Designs for Growth: Community Growth Grants.
Provided in part with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the grants offer funding and/or technical assistance to local units of government for projects designed to increase economic prosperity and growth.
Projects from each of the six Grand Vision counties were awarded as follows:
n Village of Ellsworth, $12,500 to help promote and build the farmers market and strengthen ties between the agricultural and educational sectors.
n City of Frankfort, $12,500 to implement community WI-FI within the Main Street and Lake Michigan Beach corridor.
n Grand Traverse County Parks & Recreation, $10,000 to advance the efforts of two new regional collaboratives (the Parks and Recreation Network and the Up North Experience Partnership) with the goal of fostering a "sustainable, world-class parks and recreation system."
n Village of Kingsley, $5,000 for a public outdoor art display project to coordinate artists, donors, volunteers, businesses and the public.
n Kalkaska County, a NWMCOG technical assistance grant that will bring in planning staff to organize and execute the creation of Kalkaska County's recreation plan in a manner that supports and reinforces township plans and planning efforts.
n Village of Kalkaska, $7,500 to assist with the purchase of property in the 300 block of downtown.
n Village of Empire, $12,500 to identify and create transportation opportunities and alternatives.
n City of Cadillac, a NWMCOG technical assistance grant for the creation of a Complete Streets policy to guide transportation project decision-making.
The Grand Vision is a citizen-led initiative focused on land use, transportation, economic development and environmental stewardship in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Wexford counties.
DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have expanded access to health care plans for Medicare-eligible seniors and persons with disabilities in 11 new counties.
Already servicing all Michigan counties, BCBSM has added a fourth option to its current lineup of Medicare Advantage PPO plans serving more than 274,000 Michigan citizens. Medicare Plus Blue PPO EssentialSM includes Part D prescription drug coverage.
Now offered in 31 Michigan counties, BCN Advantage's four HMO-POS plans will now extend to Clare, Crawford, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Huron, Isabella, Kalkaska, Mecosta, Missaukee, Roscommon and Sanilac counties.
Menzel to speak
TRAVERSE CITY — The Center for Coaching and Leadership Development is hosting a series of lunch and learn opportunities for local leaders and business owners at the Traverse City Country Club.
Tom Menzel, executive director of the Bay Area Transportation Authority, will speak on "Leading Strategic Change" Nov. 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The featured book will be "Leading Change" by John P. Kotter.
Cost is $25 and the deadline for registration is Nov. 5. Details and registration are at www.leadershiplunchclub.com
PETOSKEY — The 3rd Annual Small Business Conference will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Inn at Bay Harbor.
Three seminars are geared for business professionals and are eligible for CPE for accountants. Jeff Korzenik, senior vice president & chief investment strategist for Fifth Third Bank will present "The Election and the Economy: A Look Ahead"; Wayne A. Isaacs, Fifth Third Bank vice president & legal counsel, will present "Retirement Plan Options for Small Businesses in 2012"; and local CPA, Kevin Christman, will lead "Small Business Financial Checkup."
Three technology seminars are geared for marketing professionals and also small business owners. Sommer Poquette, owner, SLP Connections will present seminars on "Online Etiquette" and "Pinterest & Google + For Your Business"; Marcie Wolf, founding partner at AlphaGeek Web Design, will present a "Monitor and Manage Your Online Reputation" seminar.
Human Resource focused seminars include "Stress Interventions/Corporate Health" with Dr. Kim Aikens, owner, The Aikens Approach; "Charting the Course" for future leadership through succession planning by Eugene Kaminski, vice president of human resources, McLaren Northern Michigan; and "Creating Excellence — Leadership Development" with Anne Kirvan, owner, Steps to Success.
Luncheon speaker Walt Stasinksi will present "The Power of Fun At Work."
Registration, coffee and networking is from 7:30-8 a.m., and the kickoff/general information session begins at 8-8:25 a.m.
The cost is $50 for Petoskey Chamber members ($40 for additional attendees from same business) and $75 for non-members. For conference information, call 347-4150.
DETROIT —- The Small Business Administration's Michigan District Office is now accepting nominations for its 2013 Small Business Awards.
The Michigan Small Business Person of the Year will be in contention for the National Small Business Person of the Year award as well.
Categories include the Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. Criteria can be found at www.sba.gov/mi. Direct questions to 313-226-6075, Ext. 274.
Breakfast and expo
Traverse City — The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Economic Outlook Breakfast and Business Expo on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.
The breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The registration fee is $32 for chamber members and $45 for non-members, which includes breakfast and all presentation material.
The Business Expo will take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Expo exhibit booths are $500 for chamber members; $800 for non-members; and $250 for nonprofit organizations.
Registration for both events is available at www.tcchamber.org, or by calling Andi Wagenschutz at the chamber office, 995-7101.