Business development is where you find it

Posted on August 2, 2009


ApricotsA couple of weeks ago my friend Carol Park came up to visit. We had lunch at the Blue Pelican and then meandered back to Eastport along M-88, taking in the sights—and some apricots from King’s. In mid-July the markets are humming, and we contributed our share of buzz. Those are my cherries and raspberries on the counter, and Carol was pretty well loaded down too. 

Scenes from a market5

Satisfied customer

That happy customer is Deb Nystrom of Reveln Consulting in Ann Arbor. (We traded business cards.) I visited her website and learned that one of the things she does is to “plan engaging, productive retreats and events.” Oh boy, I thought, here’s an opportunity to make an economic development pitch.

Deb! We are engaging! We are productive! There is no place better suited to retreating than Antrim County. You could open a branch office here and send stressed executives to us for a little fluffing up. They can spend their mornings in focus groups over at Sonny’s, where the wide-ranging conversation would be an eye-opener. Then we will pile them into boats for a cruise on Torch Lake. Dinner will feature produce picked that day. Evenings will be devoted to the art of gazing into a fire as the sun sets over Grand Traverse Bay.  They will go back home feeling like altogether new people.

I see that you also help your clients “build a platform for innovation and renewal during times of stress and transition.” Holy Wah, can we build platforms. Let me show you the cantilevered deck on the bluff at Jane and Salo’s place on the Bay. And innovation? You haven’t seen innovation until you’ve seen a cherry farmer fix a busted shaker on the Fourth of July.  Talk about fireworks.

Which brings us to stress and transition. But that’s another story entirely and it’s time to go to the other day job. So Deb, you should give this branch office thing some thought. Think how nice your drive to work could be.

Roadside riot

Note to local readers: If you’d like to engage in a little economic development activity yourself, you might join the Torch Lake Economic Development Partnership this Thursday, August 6, at Richard and Nancy Ellison’s East Bay Excavating conference room, 1843 N US 31 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.