Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rewarding Business

The 12th annual Business Enterprise Awards Gala presented Oct. 25 by the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce was a nice evening for not only the recipients -- Bemis Farms Preschool and JAC Products Inc. -- but all local business owners, community leaders and business professionals as they came together as a group to recognize innovation, strong business tradition and a commitment to community. I was impressed with both winners and was particularly touched by the emotions deeply felt by Tammie and Priscilla King, who became teary-eyed while accepting the award for small businesses. Video of the presentation can be viewed on our Web site.

The selection criteria for the Business Enterprise Awards includes a substantial history as an established, successful business; demonstrated commitment to the overall health and productivity of the Saline area; demonstrated commitment to provide customers/clients the best possible service and/or product; consistently follows ethical and fair business practices; contributes to the betterment of the community through volunteer effort; and a Saline Area Chamber of Commerce member in good standing.

The Saline Reporter won the award in 2000. Last year's winners were American Aqua and Evangelical Home-Saline and Brecon Village.

Larry Osterling, executive director of the Saline chamber, and Tim Simpson, chairman of the Business Enterprise Awards, served as masters of ceremonies. Bill Martin, director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Michigan, was guest speaker. Martin, a captivating speaker, even to someone who's not a big sports fan, was to speak on the subject, "Collegiate Athletics Today," but seemed to concentrate more on renovations at the Big House. He talked about the $70 to $80 million project, which will get under way Nov. 17 and wrap up in 2 1/2 years, and how it will be paid for. Check out the video below, where he says the premium seating that will be provided will pay for the project at the 80-year-old stadium. Martin also talked about the $13 million in athletic scholarships the athletic department, with no help from the general budget, pays for annually to attract the best athletes from across the country.

The night's program was interesting and it was exciting to see local businesses recognized for all of their hard work, dedication and contributions to the community. The dinner at Stonebridge Golf Club was excellent, as well, and I, as well as my tablemates, were appreciative of the mints provided after our garlicky mashed potatoes and green beans.

I encourage you to mark your calendar for next year at about this time for the 13th annual Business Enterprise Awards Gala. This event is a great networking opportunity for business professionals, as well as a nice evening out for any community member. Let's show our support of local businesses, not only by using their services and buying their products, but also celebrating their successes.

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