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.
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…
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.
I enjoyed the brief stay in San Luis Obispo. I could envision living there, teaching at Cal Poly SLO, making the occasional trip to LA and SF, frequent visits to nearby Central Coast wineries. Now that would be the life!
It 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
Anyone 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
Saw the movie “Selma” last night. The events depicted formed the backdrop of my childhood, as I watched them unfold from the safety of our living room in Flint, Michigan. Watching the film, I was filled with a mixture of pride, sadness, inspiration, and determination. Continue reading
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.
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
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
1000 Beal Ave. ▪ Ann Arbor, Michigan ▪ 48109