Upcoming Events

Our guest for lunch this week was Teri Arbenowske, the Economic Development Director for the City of Farmington Hills. She functions as an ombudsman for new, expanding, and established businesses in our City. Her role is to seek out new economic opportunities by recruiting businesses to Farmington Hills. She also works to retain existing businesses by helping to meet their needs to expand or their desire to prosper in the community. Teri helps lead companies through the processes at City Hall, whether they need a permit, guidance with financing, or development of a business plan. She regularly makes on-site visits, provides references to knowledgeable local resources, researches available incentives, and acts as a valuable contact person in City government. Teri’s efforts are instrumental in improving the economic well-being and quality of life in Farmington Hills. She helps to create and retain jobs in our City while working to sustain the healthy tax base that a thriving business sector provides. There is intense competition between communities and states for economic development. Teri and the City of Farmington Hills go the extra mile to recruit businesses, aid with start-ups, assist with expansions, and encourage retention of business operations. To learn more about economic development and business opportunities in Farmington Hills, contact Teri at (248) 871-2500.

Our guest speaker for lunch this week was Karen Batchelor, a certified professional coach who provides inspiration, encouragement and support to 50 plus women and men. After more than 20 years in corporate and legal careers, she completely reinvented herself after 50 and started getting what she really wanted out of life – personally and professionally. Now as the premier coach for 50 plus women and men, Karen combines her diverse and extensive skills with her natural blend of creativity, enthusiasm and humor to help others like her make their fifties the gateway to the best half of life. Although, it is worth noting that many in our group would argue the Xemplar Club IS the gateway to life after 50.

Karen is also a Social Networking Guru. She spent some time talking with us about the future of the technology and the role it plays in business. We learned that here are over 500 million people on Facebook, including John Richardson and Nancy Cook (who would like you to friend them). That number is expected to double in the next 2 years, when one in two internet users will have some form of Facebook presence. You can read more about Karen or pick up her book at www.amazinglifeafter50.com or learn more about social networking at www.colormesocial.com.

Our guest for lunch this week was Jennifer Charron Ward, fiction author and animal lover. Born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan, she inherited her love of animals from her parents and always had a passion for their welfare. She earned a microbiology degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and then completed her Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies from the University of Detroit-Mercy. While she works weekends as an emergency medicine PA, she devotes her weekdays to writing. Jennifer resides in Berkley with her husband, two children, and many adopted pets, including her German shepherd, Byron, and a black cat named Benny. Jennifer and Byron's speaking events have been enjoyed by many audiences. Other than schools, Jennifer has presented at animal rescue events, church fundraisers, state educator conferences, family reading nights, and book club discussions. Through ongoing recommendations, Jennifer has continued to travel and spread the word to kids and adults about developing their creative potential while making the dreams of homeless animals come true. Her book "Running Home" was named Finalist in the 2009 USA Book News Best Books Awards in Children's Fiction.

Our guests speakers for lunch this week were Todd Lipa & Kitty Ostach from Farmington Hills Youth & Family Services. They spoke with us about the great successes of our After School Program. The program is now open to Middle and Upper Elementary School children, grades 5-8. There are 3,600 students in four schools: Dunckel, East, Power and Warner. Enrollment in the program is the highest ever. The program charges just $35 per year per student, and offers free transportation to centers at Warner, Prince of Peace Church, Founder's Ice Arena, Jon Grant Center, the Costick Center and the YMCA. Over 9,000 kids have participated in the program in the past 15 years. After School Youth centers offer ice skating, swimming, Wii or Xbox, 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, tutoring help, scrapbooking and more. There are specialty programs designed just for Youth Center Members like Girl Power. There are even field trips on school half-days, like this past week when the kids went to Michigan Stadium for a tour and a chance to run around on the field.

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