Attention CEOs and executives: Feeling lonely at the top?

Peer-to-peer networking opportunity is coming to northern Michigan with a roundtable event for CEOs of growing companies.

The Growth Company CEO Roundtable Peer to Peer networking events are facilitated by Michigan State University Extension partner, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), which focuses on the needs of executives from companies in growth mode. The roundtable events have become a resource to provide CEO’s 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 event features regional industry experts on topics relevant to today’s business climate. In addition to the educational component, the event 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.

This successful model, created by NLEA back in 2011, continues to generate enthusiasm and participation in northern Michigan. A key to its success is the "by invitation only" program and is limited to those local companies that are loosely defined as "growth stage companies,” such as those who have been in business at least five years in northern Michigan and is a "base job" provider with the desire and capacity to grow.

Past year’s forums included information on various topics including; Making the Next Big Decision, Targeting Niche Markets and Identifying Key Characteristics of High Potential employees. The most recent roundtable was hosted by Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (IMI) of Boyne City. The theme for this session was employee engagement. Host, IMI President/CEO Bud Shear, and his staff provided a 360 degree look at how IMI engages employees and their style of "open book" management and tour of their facility. In the works for this next event is a topic on passion and persistence.

This is a model that can be utilized across Michigan. Having a peer to peer group of executives in a comfortable atmosphere and learning about moving and growing their companies can help further the economic development of our communities.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.” 

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