CEC Octoberfest Lunch and Learn Series

To ensure the safety of all, we have adopted a new approach in 2021. 


This year we will be featuring best entrepreneurial practices across the state in a month long, lunch and learn webinar series held on Tuesday and Thursday throughout October  2021. We invite you to register for our Octoberfest Lunch and Learn series where you can learn about successes and challenges in entrepreneurial Resilience, Recovery, and Reconnection. Pick your lunch adventure- attend one, two, five, or all of the sessions. It’s up to you! Cost is only $20 for all eight sessions. 


SESSION INFORMATION (all programs 11:30am-12:30pm)

Tuesday, October 5: Strengthening Community Through Community Engagement. Community intelligence is key to strengthening your community. Hear about the variety of powerful digital tools at your disposal and how each can be used to achieve your goal to build understanding, strengthen alignment, shape planning, and credibly measure success. Do it right. William St. Amour, Cobalt Community Research

Thursday, October 7: The Re-Imagining of Food in Cereal City. In Battle Creek Michigan, partners are reimagining how Cereal City serves food and farm-based businesses of all sizes. With a USDA Regional Food System Grant (Food SPICE) through MSU, support from the WK Kellogg Foundation, and the City of Battle Creek an entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing. Maria Graziani, Center for Regional Food Systems, MSU Extension

Tuesday, October 12: Next Steps in Resiliency: Design to Prevent Crime. Crime can impact our downtowns, public spaces, and neighborhoods every day. This session will review criminal tendencies and analyze how our built environment invites or prevents crime. Attendees will gain an understanding of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Harmony Gmazel, AICP, Government and Community Vitality Planner, MSU Extension

Thursday, October 14: Ready ... Action: Lessons from Co-Creating Change. Community planning can be tough, but moving to action is often even more difficult. The Indiana Communities Institute has developed a two prong approach aimed at supporting community development training and community-based action planning. “Democratic community change management” is put into practice during this interactive session. Brian Blackford, Indiana Communities Institute, Ball State University

Tuesday, October 19: Farming: A Strategy for Community Resilience. Farms can be an afterthought when communities plan for business development and economic success. With more growers focusing on local markets and/or providing agritourism experiences, it is increasingly the case that what is good for farms is good for towns and cities. Learn how to strengthen ties and support this important business sector. Wendy Wieland, MSU Extension and MSU Product Center

Thursday, October 21: Outdoor Industry Assets for Economic Development. Michigan has a legacy and opportunity in an outdoor industry that is creating new business opportunities. The Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office has been working with MEDC, to assist Michigan communities in inventorying and understanding their outdoor recreation assets as part of a more robust economic development diversification strategy. Brad Garmon, Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Michigan DNR

Tuesday, October 26: Community + Collaboration + Connection = Progress. The community foundation and the SBDC partnered on outreach to minority-owned businesses in St. Clair County. We learned that we need to do things differently to succeed. Hear the story of how partners come together to solve problems to create an ecosystem to grow a thriving community of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Shannon Schwabe, Michigan SBDC and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County

Thursday, October 28: Building Strong Tribal and Local Economies through Unique Partnerships. Across Indian Country in Michigan, there are relationships and mechanisms underway that propel both local economic activity and tribal sovereignty. This session will explore what a successful tribal and non-tribal economic venture looks like. We will highlight unique examples of tribal/local economic ventures and share the impacts these ventures are having on Michigan’s communities and downtowns. Emily Proctor, Tribal Educator, MSU Extension