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April 13, 2013

Snyder: Residents need to talk up Michigan

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

Michigan has a bright present and future on its hands, the residents just have to work a little harder to get the message out.
       
Gov. Rick Snyder discussed that idea, among others he has for Michigan, to a packed crowd at the annual 10th annual awards dinner for the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce April 12 at Shenandoah Country Club, where he gave the keynote address.
       
He highlighted the importance of not looking in the rearview mirror at Michigan’s past financial woes, and to be encouraged by the state’s 200,000 private sector job growth, along with a boost in population — but, he cautioned, don’t remain passive and stagnant because of Michigan’s progress.
        
“Personal incomes are going up again,” Snyder said, “and growing faster than the rest of the United States. And we are adding population again. We are growing again, and we have a bright future, but we can’t take that for granted. We need to keep going.”
        
To bolster the state, Snyder said locals need to do the legwork and market the Michigan, especially to outsiders.
       
“We’ve done a lot of great things, but we haven’t marketed it well about how great we are doing it,” he said. “Quite often when people come to visit people in Michigan, they would get pretty excited. They would first arrive and stay excited — until they talk to a bunch of us. Now you’re laughing because you know it’s true. One of the things is we need to get the message out. Good people who get the message out tend to take charge of things and take a risk … the bigger word is entrepreneur, but a better word is someone from the Chaldean community.”
        
Chamber member Andrew Keina said he gleaned a lot from the event, including the opportunity to network and grow professionally.   “The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce amazes me every year as they surpass all of their goals and raise the bar each and every year by creating different business opportunities for everyone that is a member of the chamber,” he said. “Michigan is the land of opportunity, and no matter what anyone says, through hard work, you can achieve all of your dreams.”
        
During the event, Business Person of the Year John Loussia, Value Wholesale and founder of Detroit Independent Grocers, was honored.  Loussia was selected for serving as the main force behind establishing DIG.
        
The Humanitarian of the Year award was given to Bishop Bashar Warda, who spearheads infrastructure and educational projects in the Nineveh province of Iraq.

Learn more about West Bloomfield at www.wbtwp.com or by calling (248) 451-4800.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.