Where Did You Go and What Did You Learn?

CEDAM is a partner in planning several conferences and other opportunities to advance collaboration, networking and resource development opportunities throughout each year. We also regularly participate in them for professional development and to better support you. Earlier this month, three conferences took place across Michigan relating to different areas of the industry, and CEDAM staff is eager to share their experiences.

NACEDA 7th Annual Summit: What’s Working
Detroit October 2-4

jamie schriner-hooperJamie Schriner-Hooper, Executive Director of CEDAM says, “I was able to take part in CEDAM’s national partner, the National Alliance for Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), summit in Detroit the first week of October in Detroit. This was a monumental occasion both for NACEDA and CEDAM. It was the first time that their annual summit expanded on issues that impact statewide CED associations like CEDAM other than federal policy. It was also the first time the that summit was held outside of Washington DC. While this may seem like a minor matter to most, this was huge for Michigan and Detroit. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I heard “this isn’t the Detroit I see on the news,” or “I had no idea that so many good things were going on in Michigan.” While we all know that Michigan has its issues, we in Michigan also know all of the amazing things that are going on to address those issues. Outside of Michigan, all that most see is ruin porn and the impacts of the economic crisis. CEDAM, along with the amazing CDAD staff and numerous other Michigan partners jumped on the opportunity to show off all that our amazing state has to offer. And, show off we did! We featured financial empowerment work, neighborhood revitalization, communications, urban agriculture, placemaking and more. I can’t say thank you enough to all who participated and supported this great event. And, I can’t wait to bring the NACEDA partners back in the future to show them all of the great changes your efforts continue to bring!”

Lisa BenckLisa Benck, Communications & Training Specialist at CEDAM says: “Our national partner NACEDA chose Detroit to host their annual summit, allowing us to proudly showcase Detroit and providing me with the opportunity to attend and participate. As a visual and written communicator and training coordinator, I get excited about connecting people with meaningful resources and articulating ideas and information in a way that resonates with people. I was able to meet others from across the country with job skills and functions that overlap my own and form a network that I can utilize for collaboration.

The sessions that were offered seemed structured just for me. I participated in a session led by Jennie Grau related to communication planning and messaging. Jennie is a dynamic and engaged trainer who consistently leaves me wanting more. I learned from other statewide associations about providing quality technical assistance to members along with their processes and best practices. One of my favorite sessions was led by Aaron Wolowiec of Event Garde where we discussed event planning and training coordination. Each session gave me ideas, things to consider and colleagues to collaborate with. I was grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and learn how to continuously serve our industry in a meaningful way.”

More information about NACEDA and their annual fall summit can be found at naceda.org.

Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference
Marshall October 3-4

Keith-LambertKeith Lambert, Coordinator of the Microenterprise Network of Michigan says,The 2013 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference was an all-in-all wonderful experience, providing a great chance to meet and share with people from around the state who are passionate about their work supporting entrepreneurs. This year the conference took place in downtown Marshall, a historic little town of about seven thousand people that has maintained a bustling main street packed with microbusinesses.

The conference ran from noon to noon, with plenary sessions at the Franke Center beginning and ending the conference. Outside of those keynotes, the conference sessions were held in locations throughout the community and downtown, all within walking distance. It was quite a unique and fun way to spend a couple autumn day s; the first day I ventured from the American Museum of Magic, where I took part in a presentation on the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet, to Quality Engraving where I heard from ProsperUS about their place-based entrepreneurial development model for three Detroit communities. The breakout sessions ranged from five to 12 participants, providing an intimate setting for presenters to open up discussion and really engage the audience.

The initial day ended with a reception at a beautiful art gallery, where local wines and beers were served, and conference participants were continuously encouraged to plan the rest of their evenings with members of other communities in a “date-like” fashion. Everyone had a great time with this, and most ended up at either Dark Horse Brewery or Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub to continue their sharing and networking experience in a less formal manner. The following day began with two breakout sessions, again at local business venues around the downtown. After the morning breakouts, everyone again congregated at the Franke Center for Gar Kelley’s final plenary on green opportunities for microbusinesses. Gar’s national perspective through his work with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity was a great wrap-up, as everyone was left with a bigger picture of what engaging and supporting entrepreneurship is all about.”

Next year’s conference will be held in Tawas; if you have any interest in fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in your community and learning from others how to become more entrepreneur-friendly, it is encouraged to form a community team and be a part of CEC!

W.K. Kellogg Foundation 3rd Annual Michigan Communities in Action Convening
Grand Rapids October 2-4

YednockRoss H. Yednock, Director Michign Economic Impact Coalition says,I was fortunate enough to attend the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) 3rd Annual Michigan Communities in Action convening in Grand Rapids earlier this month (actually, I consider myself fortunate to have been able to be at all three). The roughly 54-hour event was truly a unique opportunity for the roughly 400 attendees (WKKF Michigan grantees, staff and consultants) to interact with each other and work collectively toward improving racial inequity and conditions for families and children across Michigan.

The day we arrived we looked at the issue of racial equity from each of our own personal perspective, observation and experience. It was a great way to get to know a little bit about each person in our small breakout groups. The second day, the focus grew as each attendee–with the help of consultants–worked to self-assess their own organization and its approach toward greater racial equity and diversity. This was the most eye-opening exercise of the three days. The final day concluded with a focus on racial equality in our communities and featured an thought-provoking panel discussion moderated by Michigan Public Radio’s Jennifer White. Sociologist Dr. Manuel Pastor and civil rights attorney and public policy advocate Maya Wiley where the two panelist and challenge the preconceived notions of all in attendance.

The reason I look forward to this annual convening by the WKKF is that it provides an incredible opportunity to learn from others grantees across state. While each of our individual projects and efforts may be different in scope, goals and outcomes, we discover thought our interaction that we are all working toward the same thing–better and more equitable outcomes for Michigan communities, families and children.”

For those interested in some of the resources, presentations and materials from the WKKF Communities in Action Convening, visit http://www.wkkf.org/where-we-work/united-states/michigan/conference.aspx#0