Monday, November 21, 2011

Richard Astrein: This year's leading business person

It is hard to believe the holidays are upon us and 2011 is crashing toward a conclusion. It has been a very busy year here at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, and we are grateful to our members and sponsors for helping to make it a memorable and successful year.

We have lots of exciting plans for 2012, all geared toward helping our members increase their spheres of influence and ultimately grow their business. And we will continue to support the many charitable organizations that comprise our Nonprofit Network to help them realize their goals, develop relationships with the private sector, and continue to improve the quality of life in the “Five Bs and beyond.”

Before we shift our focus to 2012, there still is some important business to be completed this year; namely, thanking our volunteers who give so generously of their time, talent and treasure on behalf of the BBC, and to recognize the 2011 Business Person of the Year. We do this at the chamber's annual meeting, scheduled for 8-9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at The Community House in downtown Birmingham.

Those attending the breakfast meeting (and we hope to see all of our members and friends there) likely will immediately recognize this year's Business Person of the Year. And that is exactly why Richard Astrein is so richly deserving of the recognition.

Richard, along with his brother, Gary, has operated Astrein's Creative Jewelers on Maple Road in the heart of downtown Birmingham for nearly 35 years. Richard always has shared his family's business success with the community, supporting a multitude of charities including the pediatric cancer programs at Beaumont Children's Hospital, the Alzheimer's Association, Common Ground and the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition, to name a few.

Astrein also is a tireless promoter of Birmingham, and is a founding board member of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District, and a former director and still ardent supporter of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He truly loves this community, and has gone light years beyond many of his peers in supporting the community, its residents and its institutions.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, Astrein will be easy to spot in his store and in downtown Birmingham. If you find yourself near his business, stop in and thank him for all of his hard work and efforts. And please consider coming to the annual meeting to share in his well-deserved accolades. Visit the chamber's website at for more details.

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

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