Monday, September 20, 2010

Investepreneurs will share success stories

Everyone loves a success story. Especially in these economic times when our daily dose of news tends to be negative regarding the state's unemployment rate, companies shuttering their doors and our young professionals fleeing for greener pastures in other parts of the country, being able to share good news about local business success stories is particularly refreshing.

And when the architects of these success stories are willing to share their insights on how others can follow them down the path of prosperity, well, to trot out a tired clich√©, that's a “win-win.”

Two such shining stars — Jeffrey Hakala of Birmingham-based Clarkston Capital Partners, and Lisa Toenniges, owner and president of Innovative Learning Group Inc., will be featured at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber's next installment of Investepreneur Roundtable, sponsored by the Miller Canfield law firm.
Both firms are considered “second-stage” companies that have successfully transitioned from startup operations to established and thriving operations. Hakala and Toenniges will be joined by Jeff Barry of Plymouth Venture Partners who will discuss how startup businesses can attract and obtain necessary financing to reach second-stage status, and Miller Canfield's Megan Norris, a leader of the firm's labor and employment law practice group.

Both Hakala and Toenniges have fascinating stories behind how they conceived and built their businesses. Their insight is invaluable to any small business owner/operator struggling to take their operation to the next level.

Investepreneur Roundtable is set for 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28 at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. Cost is $65 for Chamber members and $85 for nonmembers and includes post-program networking cocktails and appetizers. For more information or to register for the event, please visit the Chamber's Web site at
Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at