The Flint & Genesee Chamber and the University of Michigan-Flint School of Management (SOM) and Entrepreneurs Society on March 9 announced a broad-ranging partnership, focused on a series of new initiatives that will impact the community and stimulate economic growth in Genesee County.
“The Flint & Genesee Chamber is a determined network of community members. Its efforts bring a wide range of valuable resources to individuals and businesses in Genesee County, all for the purpose of supporting our local economy and community members. The Entrepreneurs Society and School of Management are delighted to work with the Chamber to amplify this effort,” said Dr. Michael Witt, PharmD, JD, UM-Flint Entrepreneur-in-Residence and lecturer in entrepreneurship and business law.
The Chamber is one of four divisions of Flint & Genesee Group, which supports the region through its commitment to developing business, talent and place. The organization – which also includes Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, Flint & Genesee Education & Talent and Explore Flint & Genesee – envisions Genesee County being a top-five community in Michigan based on jobs, talent, livability and equity by 2040.
The University’s partnership with the Chamber kicks off this collaboration with a new video and podcast series, Genesee County Visionaries. This series focuses on the role local business and non-profit leaders play in growing the Greater Flint area.
“This series is a great way to recognize the business leaders in our community and learn more about their visions and what drives them to succeed,” said Andrew Younger, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Chamber.
The first episode, launched on March 8 highlights Dick Skaff, president and CEO of Skaff Furniture Carpet One. A member of the Flint & Genesee Chamber, Skaff is renowned for its catchy family-orientated TV commercials and high-quality furniture and flooring products. Moderated by Witt, the pair discuss the over 100-year-old company’s roots in Michigan and its extensive philanthropic activities in the Flint Community. Skaff has raised over $180,000 through their Save and Share program to support local charities, which include the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Carriage Town Ministries, Whaley Children’s Center, and Communities First.
“The series will also highlight the many opportunities available for our talented young professionals to grow and have a successful career here in Genesee County,” said Younger.
“The Genesee County Visionaries series is just the beginning,” Witt continued. “In the near future, we want to invite hundreds of UM-Flint students to Flint & Genesee Group career fairs to keep top talent in the region, expand areas for student Chamber memberships, coordinate expert UM-Flint faculty presentations for Chamber members, and much more. We see this as a win-win for everyone, especially for our students. They are the future leaders of Flint.”