Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Family Fun - October 23, 2011

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Halloween Parade in Downtown Shain Park, Birmingham. Save the Date for the Halloween Parade next year on October 21, 2012.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time to shine the light on area’s unsung heroes

I have opined many times in this space that it is the tireless work of an army of volunteers and community minded business leaders that make the greater Birmingham-Bloomfield area the best place in Michigan and beyond to live, work and raise a family. The folks who live in these communities have fierce pride for their hometown, and are willing to work – and sometimes fight – to keep them truly special places.

More often than not, the men, women and young people behind these efforts go unnoticed because, well, they avoid drawing attention to themselves and their efforts. They simply do what they can to help a neighbor in need, a grassroots nonprofit or a civic organization attain the goal of improving the quality of life for their community and its residents.

The Birmingham Eccentric has a long history of gently nudging one of these outstanding individuals out of the shadows and into the spotlight by recognizing a “First Citizen of Birmingham Bloomfield.” The newspaper does this not to embarrass or draw unwanted attention to the individual, rather to hold them up as a shining example of what the rest of us could be doing, and should be doing to help improve the lives of our neighbors and the greater community.

Here at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, we try to do the same thing with our “Business Person of the Year” award. The annual award, which is bestowed at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and in conjunction with the awarding of the Eccentric’s First Citizen Award, is given to an individual who has demonstrated personal and professional leadership within the business or nonprofit community. The person also has realized considerable professional success in their chosen field, and uses that success to give back to the larger community.

As 2011 is quickly crashing to a conclusion, the Chamber is seeking nominations for the 2011 Business Person of the Year. We rely on the community to tell us who is deserving of such recognition by nominating a friend, colleague, business partner or loved one for the award.

Nominating forms with all of the appropriate details can be found on the Chamber Web site at, and also are available at our offices at 725. South Adams, suite 100, in the Adams Square shopping center in Birmingham. Forms must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, and can be emailed to with a subject line of Business Person of the Year. Or, simply stop by the office and say hi.

Please take the time to give a deserving person his or her due by nominating them for this award, and plan to join us on Thursday, Dec. 1 at The Community House for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Details, as always, are available at

Joe Bauman is President of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall events showcase ‘The Town That Time Forgot’

Well, there is no denying it: Fall is here in all its’ splendor….and cold….and rain…and…

Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. In fact, it might be my favorite of Michigan’s (sometimes) four seasons. We just are getting off to a little bit of a bumpy start, but I always look forward to the still-warmish days, cool nights and the amazing fall colors this state is blessed with.

Fall is full of traditions in Michigan. Here in Oakland County, one of the biggest is the annual trek to a cider mill for sweet cider, crunchy local apples and to-die-for doughnuts.

The Franklin Cider Mill is a landmark in the otherwise sleepy Franklin Village, drawing thousands of people– and millions of bees! – every weekend to “The Town That Time Forgot.” I had the good fortune of living in Franklin for a couple of years when I was but a mere sprout, and still have warm feelings toward my old playground.
I’ll be heading back to the Village on Oct. 11, when the Chamber partners with Main Street Franklin for a FRANKLINstein Friendzy pre-event. The morning of fun begins at 8:30 a.m. with a meet-and-greet at the Farmhouse Coffee & Ice Cream shop, followed by a “Discover and Experience Franklin” walking tour of the downtown business district.
The pre-event is a precursor to the second-annual Frenzy, scheduled for Oct. 22. The full day of fun includes several new events this year, including the Crazy Bill Coffin Races, the Great Pumpkin roll, and the Franklenstein Beer Garden. The festivities conclude with the village bonfire at the beer garden that evening where guests are encouraged to share spooky stories. Chamber Members register for the FRANKLINstein Friendzy here.