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 www.bbcc.com, 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 joeb@bbcc.com 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 www.bbcc.com

Joe Bauman is President of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at joeb@bbcc.com

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