Monday, June 25, 2012

Harvard Business School Club of Michigan - Training Leaders to Help Make a Difference in Our Great State

Harvard Business School Club of Michigan Announces 2012 Recipients of its Annual Strategic Perspectives for Non-Profit Management Scholarship

Executive Summer Education Program at Harvard will Provide Rigorous Training for Michigan’s Top Non-Profit Leaders

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications: 248.651.7536;

Bloomfield Hills, MICH ---June 25, 2012 --- The Harvard Business School Club of Michigan, comprised of Michigan-based members who are graduates of Harvard Business School, has named four Michigan non-profit leaders as the 2012 recipients of its 14th annual Strategic Perspectives for Non-Profit Management (SPNM) Scholarship. They are Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services; Ryan Hertz, Executive Director of the South Oakland Shelter; Jason Lee, Executive Director of Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP); and Rick Loewenstein, CEO of JARC.

The four scholarship recipients will attend Strategic Perspectives for Non-Profit Management, an intensive six-day course presented each summer at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s session will be held July 15th to 21st.  SPNM scholarships are offered through a nomination/application process for candidates who exemplify dedication, commitment and pursuit of excellence within the non-profit sector. Harvard Business School Club of Michigan board chair, Richard Shapack, commends the recipients for this recognition.

“Members of the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan have a passion for helping those in our community and so do Gilda Jacobs, Rick Loewenstein, Ryan Hertz and Jason Lee, as well as the 31 previous local SPNM graduates.  Our Club is proud of these exceptional dedicated individuals and our opportunity to support their efforts with this important training.  The Strategic Perspectives for Non-Profit Management program provides significant opportunities for these outstanding and committed non-profit community leaders to join with their national and international peers and further expand their skills and contributions for the benefit of the thousands of Michigan citizens they collectively serve,” says Shapack.  
Including this year’s class, 35 non-profit leaders from Michigan will have participated in SPNM. The first SPNM scholarship was awarded in 1999 to Cameron Hosner, then CEO of Vista Maria and currently CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.  

“The coursework, with case studies assigned before the session began and each night of the course, was very challenging but led to a vibrant, ‘fast-tracked’ learning experience that had immediate practical application for the leadership of our charities.  During the course of the program, the Harvard Business School instructors were not only extraordinary educators and unparalleled experts in their fields, they also served as dynamic facilitators of “Socratic style” group learning as students bounced innovative ideas and case solutions off each other,” recalls Hosner. “Our class was comprised of non-profit directors from around the world, so the international input brought a richly diverse, new perspective to our mission-driven business discussions.”  

In addition to SPNM participation, scholarship recipients meet with Harvard Business School Club of Michigan members on a regular basis to collaborate, be a resource for each other and continue their exposure to various HBS concepts, such as performance measurement and the balanced scorecard. HBSMI members also liaison with SPNM alumni to apply private sector and non-profit management solutions to state agency issues. 2011 SPNM Scholarship recipients were Penny Bailer (City Year Detroit), Kyle Caldwell (Michigan Nonprofit Association), Michael Tyson (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work) and Kari Walker (The Guidance Center). For a complete list of all previous scholarship awardees, visit   

Major funding for SPNM scholarships is provided through proceeds from the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan’s annual Business Leader of the Year dinner event. This year’s honoree is Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System. The event will be held on August 22nd at the Atheneum in Detroit. Sponsorship and ticket inquiries should be directed to Maria Chasins,  

About the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan (HBSMI)
With a 70+ year history, the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan (HBSMI) is an official member of the Global HBS Club Network and supports the mission of Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration to train leaders who will make a difference in the world.  HBSMI offers diverse business and social activities including opportunities to network and collaborate with local and national business and civic leaders. Learn more at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vista Maria

I had the privilege of attending the annual recognition breakfast and public meeting for Vista Maria at the lovely Dearborn Inn last week. Led by CEO Angela Aufdemberge (left in photo), Vista Maria’s mission is “To heal victimized girls and women with best-practice treatment programs designed to meet their unique needs while restoring vulnerable children and families within Michigan.” Every visit to Vista Maria or a Vista Maria event is an inspiration. The love of the staff for their clients is palpable and the support for their efforts by volunteer leaders is impressive and long-lasting. 

Growing up on the west side of Detroit, I was familiar with the intimidating presence of Vista Maria on West Warren in Dearborn Heights, but it wasn’t until I walked inside the fortress that I could really “see” Vista Maria. For that introduction, I have client and friend Patricia Nemeth (right in photo) to thank. Pat, a founding partner of employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, is the Vice Chair of the Vista Maria board and has been volunteering her time with the organization for more than ten years.  Before Angela Aufdemberge, Pat introduced me to Vista Maria’s then CEO, Cameron Hosner, who is now applying his dynamic CEO talents to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. What a privilege to interact with leaders like Cam, Pat and Angela. They remind us all in their own subtle way that we have a responsibility to contribute our time, talent and financial resources to Southeast Michigan’s non-profit community, which plays such a critical role in meeting our duty as a society. 

Do you have a non-profit organization that you support? If not, why not? If yes, thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Praise of Collegial Relationships

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”  

I find this sentiment particularly applicable in today’s business environment.  More than ever, it’s almost impossible to achieve success without some sort of strategic alliance, informal partnership or strong network of colleagues and referral sources. 

I am fortunate to have that type of relationship with Jason Brown, Principal of PublicCity PR.  On the surface, one might consider us competitors; however, our business rapport is much more collegial than that.  I first met Jason around 2008 when he was a new solo PR entrepreneur and our respective clients asked us to collaborate on a project. Since then, the beauty of our association is not only the ability to share information and bounce ideas off one another, but also refer potential clients and media sources and opportunities.  Never underestimate the power of collaboration.

I recently witnessed firsthand the evolution of Jason’s company from a one-person operation to a growing PR phenom when celebrating the milestone of his new Southfield office digs. I’m always up for a celebration and isn’t that one of the best parts of collaboration…celebrating the triumphs?  

Congratulations and much continued business success, Jason!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meeting Michigan's Own David Tarver

One of the most rewarding experiences I have working in the field of public relations is the opportunity to meet and connect with a number of distinguished individuals who claim Michigan as their home. It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of knowledge I gain from my encounters as they eagerly share a passion for their disciplines. You can’t help but be inspired by their work. W. David Tarver is one of those professionals. David is a very successful businessman/entrepreneur and now, author. He recently wrote the book Proving Ground, which traces his story about how an ambitious African American from Flint and the University of Michigan left his job at Bell Telephone Laboratories, created a company in his basement with two African American colleagues and sold it less than 12 years later for $30 million. These days, David’s goal is to inspire others, but also to give some very practical advice on how to achieve dreams. Proving Ground not only reveals David’s compelling story, but teaches the myriad lessons he learned along the way. Do you find yourself in need of a bit of inspiration? Proving Ground will hit bookstores and online starting July 2 in paperback and e-book formats. Special hardcover editions are available now from his website. For more information on Proving Ground and David Tarver’s story, please visit