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MYPros On the Town November 2015

4 Nov

Maru Sushi & Grill! Conveniently located in the East End building across from the Dow Diamond, this restaurant is the new hot spot in town. Being the only sushi restaurant in Midland to offer such a wide range of options for those who are new to sushi or love the traditional style of sushi, Maru takes pride in their ability to create something for everyone. From their sashimi, nigiri, omakase chef creations to their chicken, shrimp, or ribeye hibachis, you can enjoy a nice variety of fresh and modern Japanese cuisine. Striving for the best quality of service, whether you’re in for a quick lunch or extravagant dinner, Maru wants you to experience it all. Support Maru by participating in this month’s event and see what all the buzz is about!

Print or show this post to your server anytime during the month of November and receive 10% off your entire order!


maru maru2


It’s hip to MOCK gov!

14 May

By Heather Litle

I love the month of May. Spring has arrived (hopefully!) and the promise of a great summer filled with family, friends and fun is just around the corner. The sun is finally shining, the flowers are blooming and with that comes the possibility of more date nights and girl’s nights out!

May also kicks-off the 2014 MATRIX:MIDLAND Festival and it’s tagline: ‘It’s hip to be HERE’ couldn’t be any more true this season. With a lineup featuring Huey Lewis and the News (SOLD OUT…sorry!), Tiempo Libre, ChefSteps and Brian Regan just to name a few, it is no wonder this is one of the hottest Festivals in the region. To kick it all off, though, is Capitol Steps, with a wickedly funny cast that holds nothing back and where it doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, they will MOCK both.

capstepslive-reyna2014-jumpingstepsPhoto courtesy of Midland Center for the Arts

Capitol Steps has been satirizing current events, politics, and the latest scandals from Capitol Hill for the last 30 years. These former Washington insiders will take a stab at anyone within reach and will win everyone’s vote of approval.

Don’t take my word for it though. Take a look for yourself. Below is my favorite YouTube clip of Capitol Steps called Lirty Dies. I promise you will be hooked by the 1 minute mark, although you shouldn’t stop there!

So call the babysitter or grab your friends and get down to the Midland Center for the Arts on Saturday, May 31st at 8:00pm. You won’t be sorry!

Plymouth Park Fun Zone Renovation [Guest Post]

13 May

Fun Zone

By Stacey Urbani, City of Midland

Big things are happening in Midland and we’re excited to be part of it! After 20 years of children running and playing, the community will come together to renovate the Plymouth Park Fun Zone on June 4-8, 2014. It takes a lot of hands to renovate a playground and we could not do this without the help of volunteers and skilled professionals.

We are looking for volunteers to donate their time to help with the build, or provide food or tools for volunteers during the event. Below you will see a short description of each role that will be filled in order to complete the renovation.
Volunteer Roles

 “Skilled” (MUST BE 18yrs of age, cutting a straight line with a circular saw, familiar with power tools, measuring, cutting)
 “Unskilled” (carrying, assembling, sanding, shoveling, carpenter’s helper)
 Food Service
 Food Donation
 Tool Donation

To wrap up the project and celebrate the Fun Zone we hope you will join us for the ribbon cutting and picnic Sunday June 8 at 5:30pm. To register to fulfill a volunteer role contact Stacey Urbani at or call at 989-832-3256 or register online at

Fun Zone Volunteer Flyer


9 Reasons You Know It’s Spring in Midland

28 Apr

 By Mark Kawiecki

With spring in the air, MYPros have finally been coming out from winter hibernation. Here are the top 9 reasons that you know its spring time in Midland!

9. You’ve seen your neighbors for the first time in 5 months.

8. Mobs of people are blocking streets downtown to walk to Great Lakes Loons baseball games.

7. A standard conversation involves discussing how high the Tittabawassee River is flooding.

6. The Farmer’s Market opens!

5. Hundreds of people start planting flowers along major roadways.

4. You can kayak around Chippewassee Park and see the statue family ‘walking on water.’

3. You’ve got your heat on in the morning and A/C on in the afternoon.

2. Great Lakes Ice Cream Company opens and the waiting line stretches down the street.

1.  The Rail Trail becomes a thing again.

Once the weather breaks, the Rail Trail is a great spot for biking or running. Photo by C Hanchey from Some rights reserved.

Once the weather breaks, the Rail Trail is a great spot for biking or running. Photo by C Hanchey from Some rights reserved.

On behalf of the Communications Subcommittee, we hope all MYPros have been able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Are there any things you think we missed? If so, comment below!


Moving Day…What to do and not to do [Quarter Life Crisis]

14 Apr

By Heather Litle
Midland Center for the Arts

I just finished the process of buying and selling my first home. Now, I know you must be thinking, “How is that possible? How could I sell my first home, when I am only just now buying my first home?” Well, I guess technically, we are selling my husband’s first home and buying ‘our’ first home. Having never done this before, I immediately started asking myself a million questions, where do we start? How do we find a realtor? Do we buy first and then sell? Where will we live if we sell our house before we find a new one? All of these questions, and many more, raced through my mind and as a first time buyer I really had to rely on my friends and family for advice. I’d like to share with you some of the advice I received that I found helpful (and some that I found not-so-helpful).

Tip #1: Go with what you know…or who you know
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to finding a realtor. Ask friends and family who they’ve used, who they liked or didn’t like, and the results and communication they received from that person/company. Communication is key. Red flags should start waving if someone mentions, “Oh, I didn’t hear from them for 2 months when I was selling my house” or “they were nice but it was hard to get in touch with them. I was always leaving messages and it’d be days before I got a call back.”

Tip #2: Go the extra mile…you won’t regret it
At the advice of our realtor, my husband and I paid the extra money to get both an appraisal and inspection of our house prior to putting it on the market. This helped us in 2 very beneficial ways. First, everyone has an emotional attachment to their home, especially one in which you brought your first child home to, and therefore you may think it is worth more than it really is. Needless to say, we weren’t overjoyed with the results of the appraisal but because we got that unbiased feedback (yes! your realtor is biased…and should be) we put our house on the market at a more realistic price and it sold within 8 days! Second, an inspection is a contingency on EVERY (see Tip #3) sales agreement and can create quite a bit of stress when trying to sell your home. We fixed all the minor things that turned up on our inspection and when it came time for the buyers to inspect our house, it turned up nothing – and man is that a load off your mind!

Tip #3: Always, always, always add a contingency for a satisfactory inspection to your purchase agreement
When buying a home, it is vital that you include a satisfactory inspection to your purchase agreement. Things go wrong with houses all the time, like a leaky kitchen sink 6 days after you move into a new house – yes this is happening to me right now – but you can seriously lessen the number of things by having a professional come in and look over everything prior to you committing 30 years of your life to a mortgage.

Tip #4: Don’t move when you are pregnant…NOT!
Ok, so this one sounds like a good piece of advice but I found it to be incorrect. My husband and I knew prior to having our first child that we would need a bigger house but we were told that we shouldn’t move while I was pregnant. And therefore, we waited – big mistake. Moving with an 11 month old is NOT fun! She is mobile and into everything! By now, she is aware of her surroundings and a big, empty house that she is not used to was not conducive for a good nights’ sleep for some time. She has adjusted nicely and now loves her new home and playroom but it was definitely an experience that I would have done differently had I known what we were getting into. For many this is unavoidable but for those of us whose timeframes are more flexible it’s something to keep in mind.

Tip #5: Do your research and stick to your guns
This might seem like an obvious piece of advice for many of you. Often; school districts, safety of the area, and distance to/from work, school, hospitals, etc. are factors when purchasing a home but sometimes these things are overlooked when presented with an updated kitchen, walk-in closets or amenities, such as that hot tub you’ve always wanted. Things you need to keep in mind when you start to sway are; why did you put certain things on your need/want list in the first place? What will the resale market look like? And no matter how strongly your family/friends/realtor try to sell you on a place, if it doesn’t feel right…it probably isn’t right.


On Tap: Maple Syrup

17 Mar

By Beth Bauer
ZENTX Media Group

Imagine the perfect stack of pancakes with a sweet, velvety maple syrup slowly making its journey across every bite.  These heavenly bites can’t be recreated by some “maple flavored syrup” created in a lab or test kitchen, it only can come from nature, and most likely a tree you have in your very own yard.  The art of making maple syrup has been around for thousands of years and it’s a fun, hands-on activity that you should try at least once in your lifetime.

Maple syrup making has become an annual tradition every February through April for my husband and I since we bought our house in Midland five years ago.  Although, I am by no means an expert (and with full disclosure I rely on my husband to do the brunt of the work, but someone has to taste test, right?), there are eight main steps you need to know in order for you to make your very own maple syrup too.


Step 1: Select Trees & Buy Equipment
Identify and mark your maple trees while the leaves are still in tact before winter begins so that they will be easy to spot in the midst of winter.  Also, obtain the equipment you will need for making maple syrup, which includes: taps (also called spiles), buckets, storage bins, filters, and bottles.

Step 2: Make Sure Timing is Right
February through April are the main months for collecting sap, ideal timing is when temperatures are warm and above freezing during the day and below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night.

Step 3: Tap Trees & Attach Buckets
Tap your maple trees by drilling a hole on the side of the tree that receives the most sunlight.  An electrical hand drill works the best.  The hole should be the diameter of your tap and should be at a slight downward angle.  Once the tap is in place, also attach your bucket or collection container.

Step 4: Collect Sap
Make sure to check your buckets every few days and transfer whatever sap has collected to your storage container.  Keep collecting sap until the season has ended or you have gathered enough sap.

Step 5: Filter & Boil Sap
Syrup is made by removing the water from the sap, so only the sugar remains.  Sap contains only 2% sugar, so it’s important to boil out all of the water.  But before you begin evaporating the water, you should first filter the sap to ensure any unwanted items like bugs or twigs are removed and discarded.

Step 6: Filter Again & Bottle
Filter the syrup again to ensure you haven’t missed any unwanted items and then poor into your sanitized bottles.

 Step 7: Remove Taps
It’s important to remove the taps from the trees.  There is no need to plug the holes, they will close by themselves.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Making maple syrup is an activity you should definitely add to your bucket list.  But if you want to celebrate the season without all of the work, I recommend checking out The Chippewa Nature Center.  They have numerous fun activities based around making and eating maple syrup made on their premise.  What’s your favorite thing about maple syrup?

Summer Breeze: Pure Michigan Campaign Highlights Great Lakes Bay Region

14 Mar

By Mark Kawiecki

Pure Michigan ads aren’t anything new. In fact, the Pure Michigan campaign has now been active for nearly 10 years! Launched in 2006, the campaign has been highly recognized for its effectiveness at bringing tourism and attention to the wonderful state of Michigan.

Pure Michigan’s most recent television ad focuses on the Great Lakes Bay Region. I have really enjoyed all of the Pure Michigan ads, but this one is especially exciting because it will be bringing positive attention to our region. You might recognize some familiar places that are featured in the video like the Tridge, Dow Gardens, Currie Municipal Golf Course, Bay City’s Riverwalk and Frankenmuth’s downtown.

Michigan deserves a big pat on the back from the success of the campaign through the years. Statistics for 2013 show that the Pure Michigan campaign drove more than 4 million trips last year, generating $1.2 billion in economic impact. For the $13 million that was spent on out-of-state advertising, the campaign generated $86.5 million in tax revenue from visitor spending, a return of $6.66 for ever dollar spent.

The 2014 Pure Michigan national campaign will be launching March 17. Due to the success of their efforts, Michigan will also be increasing their international marketing in new areas like Toronto. Presence in global markets like Great Britain, Germany and China will also be increasing.

What do you think of the new ad? Does it represent the region well? Comment below with your thoughts.

Millennials are Entitled and Self-Centered, Right?

13 Mar

By Jennelle Maki
Midland Area Chamber of Commerce

WRONG! As a member of the millennial generation myself, I always feel I have to combat the stereotype that we are self-centered, entitled and only care about who we are texting. Last year the MYPros Steering Committee and the Midland Area Community Foundation worked together to come up with the idea of starting a young professionals giving circle as a way for YPs to learn more about the needs in the community in which they live and to do something about those needs. When we started this club, it started out small but we have grown quite a bit in our first year. This giving circle is a great way to help put that stereotype to rest and show that we are a generation that cares, and not only do we care, but we are taking action! The 100 YP Club only takes two hours and $100 a year. It’s amazing how with a little time and money we can truly make a huge impact in our community.


By now you’re probably thinking, “OMG, I have got to join this club, but I need more info!” The 100 YP Club started a year ago in April, 2013. In our first year, each member donated $100 annually and we gave a total of $3,900 to help local non-profits in the community. This year we hope to double that amount, and that’s where you come in. How the club works: We meet twice a year and each member contributes $50 at each meeting ($100 annually). We then take the pooled money and vote on a local cause in the community to donate our collected funds. The more people we have in the club, the larger impact we will have on the community.

Joining the club is easy; just come to our next meeting on Wednesday, March 26th at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn. All you need to do is donate $50 and bring a signed application to the meeting and you’re in! For more information on the meeting, donating and to get the application form click here.

Now I have to give a big shout out to the Holiday Inn. They have allowed us to use their facility at no cost to hold our meetings. The best part of being at the Holiday Inn is heading to Big E’s and buying a beer, wine or whatever and bringing it into the meeting room so we can all enjoy a nice beverage or food during our meeting. If you ask me, you really can’t beat a tasty beverage, meeting new people, enjoying time with friends and giving back to your community in one hour of time. I hope you’ll join us on March 26th to show this town that us Millennials give a shh… crap and we take action! Because if you don’t give back, no one will like you.

5 Apps to Help Maximize Productivity

4 Mar

There’s nothing like a dependency on technology to make us incredibly more productive. I fully intend to strengthen our obsession with technology and make you more effective while doing it by sharing my 5 favorite productivity apps for any aspect of your life. Thank me later.

Evernote – Free

Evernote is completely brilliant once you start using it and best use its features. The best and most complicated part is that the sky is the limit and everyone will use it differently. Evernote can be installed in your browser, on your PC or Mac, and on your phone syncing wherever you have it installed. The ability to categorize “notebooks” offers some segmentation to shared and private content, and work and professional content. Of course, each piece can be tagged making it easier to find and navigate your content. On top of all of that, there is an additional layer of features like reminders to help juggle all of the ongoing things in one’s life. Lives have been changed with Evernote.

Reminders for iOS – Free; Pre-Installed

Are you an Android user? Skip this app entirely. Sorry.

Reminders app is a super simple stock application already installed in any Apple device and like Evernote, syncs throughout all iOS devices. Not to be confused with how Evernote works, it’s a simple, listed way to help you keep on track for more things than you can imagine. For example, set up a shared list for groceries so you and your roommate or partner can work from the same list while at the grocery store. My favorite is the location based reminders and the tool’s ability to connect with Siri. “Siri, remind me to start the dishwasher when I get home” will alert you when you arrive at the address that you’ve set as “home.”

Captio – $1.99

captioDo you often email yourself to remember to do something or send yourself a quick note to remember ideas? Captio is made specifically for capturing an idea or task as fast as possible, with minimum distractions. When setting it up, you choose the email you’ll send your notes to and you never have to type in your email address or a subject in the future when using the tool. The experience is even faster, when using voice to text.

Stitcher– Free

Stitcher is a podcast app that allows you to subscribe to favorite podcasts like Freakenomics, Market Place Radio, and Radio Lab (all my favorites!) and also allows you to listen to aggregated snippets of top news. This tool doesn’t directly help you maximize productivity but it can, however, be productive to listen to the news while you’re commuting into work or while you’re getting ready in the morning. It saves you time by consuming the news while you’re doing something else like driving or getting dressed.


Now that you’re completely productive, have some wine anremember it later.

Delectable – Free 

Delectable is a database of wines making it quicker and easier for you to capture, remember, and find wines that you or your friends have tried and enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy! You don’t want a repeat experience). It’s is actually founded by a prominent defense contractor used for anti-terrorist technology. Delectable’s comprehensive database of wines is combined with unparalleled photo recognition and a team of wine experts to guarantee accuracy making remembering the wines you are drinking, learning about them, and buying them again easier than ever.

Do you think you’ve got something better? Please challenge this list by sharing some of your favorites in the comments.

Behind the Scenes: Selecting Scholarship Recipients [Guest Post]

20 Feb

By Ben Tierney

Director of Communications, Midland Area Community Foundation

As a high school senior, I was the recipient of what I’m convinced is the most specific scholarship on our planet. It’s called the USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Fund Scholarship. To be eligible, you must be “a direct descendant of a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis”, per the scholarship website.

How rare is it to be a descendant of a survivor? For those non-WWII history buffs, the Indy (as my grandfather refers to her) was a heavy cruiser that was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine while on her way back from delivering the world’s first operational atomic bomb. Of nearly 2,000 men on board, 317 ultimately survived – after treading water and fending shark attacks for four days in the Pacific Ocean. It remains the single worst loss of life at sea in the history of the US Navy. My grandfather was a Marine on board the ship when it sunk. Incredibly, he was one of the 317.

While writing that scholarship essay to the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, I remember thinking that I could have drawn them a picture of the boat in crayon and still received the award, because, honestly, how much competition could there be?

As it turned out, several other students did apply, and a group of volunteers reviewed every scholarship application to ultimately determine a winner. Looking back, I’m glad I took it seriously. I think my Grandfather was too (“I didn’t jump off a sinking ship and fight sharks for four days so you could throw your future away…”). By the way, the USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Fund Scholarship now accepts applications from descendants of non-survivors, which I believe was a positive change.

While that particular scholarship is held at the Grand Traverse foundation, the Midland Area Community Foundation holds nearly 200 individual scholarship funds. Some are very specific (though not quite “descendant of USS Indy Survivor” specific), others are very general. They all, however, have one thing in common: they need committees to review the scholarship applications.


Midland Area Community Foundation 2013 scholarship recipients

How it works

Scholarship review committees are made up of community volunteers. That’s you. Here’s how it works: you contact the community foundation at 989.839.9661, ask for our scholarship coordinator (Heather), and let her know you’d like to help decide who receives scholarships in 2014. The time commitment can be small (review 4-5 applications) or large (review 80-100 applications) or pretty much anything in between. That part’s up to you.

You’ll read short essays from high school seniors, current college students and adults seeking to further their education. You then work with your committee to vote on which students are most deserving of the award. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll be doing a great service to youth in your community.

If you have ever received a scholarship for college, you remember the feeling that went along with it. It’s an outstanding opportunity, and thanks to many donors over the past 40 years, the community foundation has been able to give more and more scholarships each year to Midland County students – totaling well over $4 million to date.

Contact the community foundation no later than March 17th to sign up. Feel free to click on my email address below and ask me anything you’d like about this or other volunteer opportunities through the Midland Area Community Foundation. Happy volunteering!

Tierny, BenBen Tierney is the Director of Communications for the Midland Area Community Foundation. His job is to tell the story of the community foundation to the public, keep donors informed, and take pictures of people holding those giant checks. Ben earned his BBA in Marketing/Management from Northwood University in 2008. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Midland and serves on several local committees including the Midland Area Marketing Partnership, mi-Vibe, Midland’s Open Door “Dine on the Doors” event, Riverdays and the Inter-agency Network. You can contact Ben at