Category Archives: #entrepreneurship

Unexpected Reunion with a Mentor

Jim Spaniola and me at French Laundry Fenton, more than 45 years after our time in the Ceramic Circuits Lab.

More than forty-five years ago, I began my college education at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan. This was back in Flint’s glory days, when world-class industrial production as well as ground-breaking research took place right in the midst of the city. My co-op sponsor was the AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors. My first assignment at AC was in the Engineering Research Center, which was located at the corner of Averill Avenue and Davison Road. I felt lucky and excited to have what seemed like a plum first assignment.

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2016: A Personal Pictorial Review

2016: Another Year in the Can

It is hard to find the words to describe all that has transpired in 2016. I have so much to say, but where shall I begin? In many ways, for me and my family, 2016 brought many new accomplishments and blessings, but as we exit the year, I feel an enormous sense of foreboding and concern. I’ll have more to say about that later, in a different post.

I admire my friends who have written eloquent essays and family updates at the end of each year.  I can’t match what they have done, so I’ve decided to share some pictures and just a few words to capture some of the highlights of my life in 2016. If you were connected to any of these happenings in any way, I thank you for sharing the journey.  Here we go…

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Speaking @ Christ The King Church Flint, This Sunday

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This Sunday, July 12, I have the honor of being the Festival Speaker at Christ the King church in Flint, Michigan. Always great to go back home and see so many long-standing friends. Thanks to Father Phil Schmitter for the invitation. I’m still settling on my topic .  The problem is that there are so dang many to choose from! If you’re in the Flint area this Sunday, come on over — we’ll have a good time. When? Immediately after 9:45 am service.

The prescription for Baltimore: jobs

471381728-1500x1000It was hard to watch the images coming out of Baltimore last week. Seeing Freddy Gray’s life cut short, a man who was the same age as my own son, was tragic enough. The ensuing protests, the riot, the wall-to-wall media coverage, the talk about urban hopelessness, lack of opportunity, poor education – all of this was unsurprising, if not downright predictable. This is a story that is getting very old, about a situation for which solutions exist, solutions that are not even being attempted. That is precisely why the story is so hard to watch. Continue reading

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative takes a (HUGE) new step!

UEIlogo_withTag.colorAnyone following my activities this past year knows that I have been consumed with the creation of something called the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative. Ever since returning to my home state of Michigan in 2007, I have been struck by the need to connect the intellect and resources of our entrepreneur communities with the needs, passion, and insight of people in our urban communities. Continue reading

Be My Guest at Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2014

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

For the past several months, I’ve been leading a talented team working to bring an important event to our area! Finally, this event is just around the corner — it’s the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium taking place on October 10, 2014.  Momentum is building, and we’re hoping you’ll attend and help us spread the word by emailing a personal invitation to your friends and colleagues. We have provided a template below.

Click here to get your own  ticket — space is limited! We appreciate your support and hope to see you at the event.

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You are cordially invited to attend the 2014 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium.  Join us as representatives from business, education, government, and communities gather to explore ways to apply entrepreneurship to benefit urban communities.

Key topics at the seminar will include:

  • Proven methods for engaging urban communities to determine needs, and for translating those needs into products and services
  • Vivid examples of sustainable, scalable, and disruptive businesses that are solving important urban problems
  • Student-led business ideas that show promise for changing the urban social and economic landscape.
  • Strategic, legal, and financial support systems needed to ensure the success of urban entrepreneurs.

The morning keynote speaker is Dr. Jeffrey Robinson from the Rutgers University Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), a leading figure in the urban entrepreneurship movement.  The luncheon will feature a talk by Jill Ford, special assistant to the mayor of Detroit for entrepreneurship initiatives.

The event is free, but space is limited.  Visit www.urbanei.net for tickets and see attached flyer for printing.

Friday, October 10, 2014
8am-2pm
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
1000 Beal Ave.  ▪  Ann Arbor, Michigan   ▪  48109

Thank you!

David Tarver Joins Ross Leaders Academy Board

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David Tarver has been appointed to an important new initiative in the U-M Ross School of Business.  The Ross Leaders Academy is an advanced leadership development program for select final-year MBA students.  In the coming year, Its core charge is to carry the Ross Impact Challenge venture from concept to creation in Detroit. This challenge entails creating a sustainable business that fulfills an important social purpose.  Students benefit from executive networking, executive coaching, and a year of activities that support learning from experience.

“I’m excited to join the Ross Leaders Academy Board, because the program dovetails nicely with the work we are doing at the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative,” David says.  “If we can encourage and facilitate business innovation in service to urban communities in Detroit and elsewhere, we can improve the economic environment, but more importantly, we can improve the quality of life for millions of people.”

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by Mr. Tarver, will hold its first symposium on October 10. Brian Flanagan from the Ross Leaders Academy project team will attend the symposium and will take part in the Community Engagement panel discussion.