It takes a team to make Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference come to life

Only through collaboration, cooperation, partnership and commitment can the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference continue to be an ongoing success.

Annually, Michigan State University Extension educators partner with local host community teams to bring the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) conference to life. None of this is the direct result of any one individual or singly organization. It is a true example of collaboration and partnership at its finest.

A conference of this magnitude could not be accomplished without the great support of local sponsors. These sponsors exemplify the concept of CEC as well as support the mission of the conference and the local CEC team as well. In year’s past, the offerings have increased at this conference and that is in great part due to the commitment of these gracious sponsors.

This year, CEC is doubling down on its commitments by holding two conferences in October 2015 in two separate communities located nearly 600 miles apart. On Oct. 7-8 the conference will be held in the Upper Peninsula communities of Houghton / Hancock, which is known as the “Birthplace of Professional Hockey.” On Oct. 21-22, the conference will set up shop in Sturgis near the southern border of Michigan. Sturgis was once known as a stopover while traveling between Detroit and Chicago.

Last year I was honored to serve as one of the hosts for the CEC Conference held in the East Tawas and Oscoda communities in October 2014. I learned firsthand how much effort goes into hosting this conference and the countless hours and favors that are put in by the local team of volunteers. It was truly an honor to be involved and to see the commitment of the local team to not only showcase their home community, but to also do whatever it took to make the conference the best one to date!

So if you haven’t put your community team together yet and haven’t signed up to join us at one of these great locations, it’s time to do so today. Registration is open for both conferences.

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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