Northern Michigan CEOs meet to share the secrets to their success

NLEA Growth Company CEO Forums provide the opportunity for like-minded executives to network and grow their business.

The Growth Company CEO Forum series, facilitated by Michigan State University Extension partner, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), focuses on the needs of executives from companies in growth mode. The forums have become a resource to provide CEOs the opportunity to network with like-minded executives and learn first-hand from other “growing” businesses in Northern Michigan.

Beyond information about start-up and survival, the quarterly forums feature national speakers or industry experts on topics relevant to today’s business climate. In addition to the educational component, each forum is hosted by a local Northern Michigan growth-stage company and includes an opportunity for the company to highlight their success and provide a tour of their facility.

Attendees of the CEO Forum

Photo: Allan Hopkins, Petoskey Plastics (right), speaking to Brent Ward, Drost Landscape and Ben & Steve VanDam, VanDam Boats (left to right) during the Growth Company CEO Forum.

This program, created by NLEA back in 2011, continues to generate enthusiasm and participation in Northern Michigan. Past years’ forums included information on various topics including: “Making the Next Big Decision,” “Targeting Niche Markets” and “Identifying Key Characteristics of High Potential employees.”

In 2013, the first of four series was hosted by Industrial Magnetics and Classic Instruments of Boyne City, Mich. The event included a success story and tour of each facility and two informative sessions on Branding and Communication Strategies. In May, the forum provided executives with valuable information on Tiered Accounting and Lean Management Systems. The event was hosted by Honeywell of Boyne City and offered them an opportunity to provide an overview and tour of their successful company. The third session, hosted by Petoskey Plastics, provided executives information on Succession Planning. The Petoskey Plastics Plant Manager led the attendees on a tour of the interesting plastic film/bag manufacturing operation.

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