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February 20th, Speakers Deneweth & Bollinger “Bringing and Bank Back from the Brink”


Connie has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Traverse City State Bank since September 2009. She was a Developer and Managing Member of Traverse City’s premiere office, retail and residential complex Copper Ridge, LLC since inception in 2000. Connie has prior bank experience and from 1992 to 2000 she served as the President of Republic Bank’s Traverse City and Petoskey regions. Connie is an honors graduate from Michigan State University. She serves on several boards in our community, including Munson Healthcare board, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools advisory board, Oleson Foundation and Long Lake Foundation boards. She has been a Small Business Counselor for SCORE since 2005.


President of Traverse City State Bank since April 2013 and Chief Financial Officer of the Bank since March 2009, has been a director since 2010.  Ms. Bollinger has over 30 years of banking experience in various capacities, including Chief Financial Officer and VP Strategic Planning.  Her prior banking experience includes global strategy development with a large multi-national bank.  Ms. Bollinger recently completed her master’s degree from Central Michigan University and is an honors graduate from Eastern Michigan University with a BBA, majoring in accounting.  Ms. Bollinger is a board member of Michael’s Place and is actively involved with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Ms. Bollinger is a resident of Traverse City.

Jan 23rd, Speakers Jonkhoff & Treter “Celebrating 100 Years of Community”


Peg is the co-owner of the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home responsible for business operations.  Previously, she worked as a buyer at Milliken’s Department Store and then as an instructor in the Business Division at NMC.  She has served as past Chair of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, past President and active member of both the Zonta Club of Traverse City and The Friendly Garden Club and is a member of Central United Methodist Church.  Peg has been a member of the Traverse City Golf and Country Club since 1979, served on the Board of Directors including two years as President, currently serves on the Membership Committee and as co-chair of the Country Club’s Centennial Committee.  She is also co-author of the award winning book, Perry Hannah’s Gifts, Then and Now.

Peg is married to Dan, has two daughters Christy and Lindsey who are both sixth generation, licensed funeral directors.  She has two son-in-laws, Chris Rogers and Brian Hater and a Grandson Harvey.  Peg is a Traverse City native passionate about family, community, history-related education especially regarding Traverse City’s historic architectural “gifts”.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, golfing and long walks.


John earned a B.S. degree from John Carroll University and a MBA in Economics from Xavier University.

Following graduation he joined Ford Motor Company where he worked for 39 ½ years before retiring in January 2006.  His career included Sales and Marketing positions in both Ford and Lincoln Mercury Division which included Merchandising Manager of Lincoln Mercury Division and Sales Management Positions in the Mid-West, Northeast, and Southeastern U.S.

John has been married to his wife Leslie for 48 years and they have three married children and three grandchildren.

October 24th, Dr. Ponemon “Economic Impact of Cyber Attacks”

Dr. Larry Ponemon

Chairman & Founder

Dr. Larry Ponemon

Dr. Larry Ponemon is the Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute, a research “think tank” dedicated to advancing privacy, data protection and information security practices. Dr. Ponemon is considered a pioneer in privacy auditing and the Responsible Information Management or RIM framework. Security Magazine has named Dr. Ponemon as one of the “Most Influential People for Security.”

Dr. Ponemon was appointed to the Advisory Committee for Online Access & Security for the United States Federal Trade Commission chairman of the Government Policy Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Internet Task Force for the Council of American Survey and Research Organizations (CASRO). He was appointed by the White House to the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee for the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Ponemon was also an appointed to two California State task forces on privacy and data security laws.

Dr. Ponemon was a senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he founded the firm’s global compliance risk management group. Prior to joining Price Waterhouse as a partner, Dr. Ponemon served as the National Director of Business Ethics Services for KPMG Peat Marwick, and was appointed Executive Director of the KPMG Business Ethics Institute.

Dr. Ponemon has held chaired (tenured) faculty positions and published numerous articles and learned books. He has presented hundreds of keynote speeches or learned presentations at national or international conferences on privacy, data protection, information security, corporate governance, and responsible information management. Dr. Ponemon is an active member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, serving as founding member of the CertifiedInformation Privacy Professional (CIPP) Advisory Board.

Dr. Ponemon earned his Ph.D. at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He has a Master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and attended the doctoral program in system sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Ponemon earned his Bachelors with Highest Distinction from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Information Privacy Professional.

Register here

September 26, Cynthia Kay “Small Business Big Thinkers”

Cynthia Kay founded Cynthia Kay and Company media production after working in broadcasting. As a professional broadcaster, she was honored with awards from United Press International, the Associated Press and numerous regional and local broadcast awards.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Kay holds a Masters in Communications from Western Michigan University.

She is the Past Board Chair of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), Chairs the SBAM Political Action Committees and serves on the Executive Board of the National Small Business Association (NSBA).  Cynthia and the company have been honored to receive many awards. She has been named One of West Michigan’s 50 Most Influential Women 5 times, most recently in 2014.

CK & CO produces high-quality communications that are used on the national and international scene and uses its experience to “think with and for” clients. The Company serves an active client base of over 130 businesses and organizations from the Fortune Global 100 to small business. Cynthia’s book Small Business for Big Thinkers: Unconventional Strategies to Connect With and Win Big Business was published by Career Press is available on Amazon. She blogs for CEO Magazine and also has her own blog a www.bizthinking.com.  She has written a number of articles for the Washington Post, has been featured in Time Magazine and on NPR.

August 22, Brian Price – 25 Years of Preserving

Leelanau Conservancy, Executive Director

Brian Price, Executive Director, has been the Leelanau Conservancy’s executive director since our inception in 1988. “Since the day he walked through the door when we were trying to get this off the ground, we knew he was the one who could execute our vision of protecting this beautiful peninsula” says Bobbie Collins, who founded the Conservancy with her husband, Ed. Brian sets the standard for integrity when it comes to dealing with landowners, units of government, the press, staff and all of our supporters. His primary focus these days takes in strategic planning for conservation, working with landowners in new, creative and innovative ways, guiding the land protection staff through complicated yet opportunistic bureaucratic red tape, and raising funds from major donors.

Brian attended Oberlin College from 1968 to 1972, receiving a BS degree in Geology. Prior to his work for the Leelanau Conservancy Brian spent 15 years as a commercial fisherman on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Brian has conducted fisheries research for Michigan Sea Grant, and worked for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in training tribal fishermen to use trap nets in catching whitefish.

Brian has served on Cleveland Township’s Planning Commission since 1994, and serves as a director of several other non-profit organizations including the Land Information Access Association in Traverse City and the Heart of the Lakes Center for Conservation Policy, a statewide organization composed of land conservancies. Brian also owns and manages a 160-acre tree farm and vineyard in Leelanau County with his wife, Susan. They have four children.

 Register for the Aug 22, 2014 event

Carter Reum, July 25th

Carter Reum is the founder of VeeV, the world’s first spirit infused with the Brazilian superfruit,

açaí and the preeminent ecofriendly spirit brand. The Chicago native has fused his personal philosophy on environmental responsibility and stewardship with his passion for the beverage sector, an industry that he found in need of ways to improve its environmental business practices.

Carter’s taste for entrepreneurship started early, when he worked for Champ Ventures in Sydney, Australia scouting and helping incubate young start up companies. He later joined Goldman Sachs in New York, where he worked with clients including Honeywell, KKR and Lockheed Martin.

In 2007, Carter and his brother, Courtney Reum, were introduced to açaí, the Brazilian superfruit recognized for its antioxidant and health benefits, while on a surfing trip in Rio. It sparked their ‘a ha!’ moment – creating VeeV®, A Better Way To Drink® by capitalizing on the purity and functionality of the açaí superfruit to create a category defining spirit. VeeV® was the first açaí based spirit on the market and has since become the leader in a growing category of superfruit spirits and liquors.

The brand is now sold nationwide in over 9,000 restaurants, hotels and retailers. VeeV® is also served on Virgin America as well as Celebrity Cruise ships and is Disney’s #1 selling cocktail.The clean taste and versatility of VeeV® has made it a favorite cocktail choice among sophisticated and thoughtful consumers seeking not only quality taste, but organic and all natural ingredients from an environmentally respo

nsible company. In 2012, the brand launched its newest line extension – VeeV® VitaFrute™ Cocktails, the first line of organic and all natural superfruit cocktails.

Carter is a graduate of Columbia University

To learn more about VeeV, please visit www.veevlife.com , VeeV on Facebook: VeeV Açaí Spirit or VeeV on Twitter: @VeeV

Kent Rabish, July 25th

Kent Rabish Founder and President Grand Traverse Distillery was born and raised in Pinconning, Michigan receiving a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 1980 from Northern Michigan University.

Kent moved to Traverse City in 1980 and worked in the pharmaceutical field for 33 years.  He began Grand Traverse Distillery in 2005, built a production facility and installed equipment in 2006.  Grand Traverse Distillery’s first product, True North Vodka, came to market in June 2007.

Grand Traverse Distillery is a grain to bottle distillery and purchases all of their rye, wheat and corn comes from Mark Send of the Send Brothers Farms right here in Williamsburg, Michigan.  Currently Grand Traverse Distillery offers 4 whiskey products, 4 vodkas, gin and soon rum.

Kent is married to Margaret Moen Rabish (Margaret Moen MD), and they have four children: Andy, Landis, Steven and Claire.  When there is time, Kent enjoys skiing, boating, hunting, home projects, travel and appreciating fine spirits.

June 27 – Carter Oosterhouse

From Carter Oosterhouse’s first appearance on television, audiences took notice of the hunky 6-foot-2-inch carpenter, who looked more like a runway model than a guy who installs shelves in your den. People magazine featured Carter in their “Sexiest Man Alive” issue in 2003. He’s also been on the cover and featured in many other publications including TV Guide, Star, US Weekly, Organic Style and USA Today.

Carter has even charmed Oprah Winfrey — the talk show maven has had him on her show repeatedly. Audiences may have also caught him several times on the Tony Danza Show, On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, Inside Edition and Extra. Last year, he won $20,000 on Celebrity Poker for the Los Angeles-based charity Coach for Kids.

Born and raised in Traverse City, Mich., Carter is the youngest of four children. A natural athlete, he excelled in sports and attended Central Michigan University on a rugby scholarship. Carter continues to be an avid sports enthusiast and counts basketball, kayaking, horseback riding, hockey, sailing, baseball and rugby among his favorites.

After earning his bachelor of arts in nutrition and communication, Carter relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a modeling and acting career. Carter is happy to lend his time and talent to several children’s charities including New York’s Books for Kids, Coach for Kids and the Fulfillment Fund in Los Angeles. When not on the road working, Carter has homes in California and Michigan.

Register for the June 27th event with speaker Carter Oosterhouse. 

May 16th, Jack Segal – Behind the Kitchen Door

Adjunct Professor, Northwestern Michigan College

Co-Chairman, International Affairs Forum of Traverse City

Host of Beyond the Headlines on Up North TV

Jack-SegalJack Segal made 40 trips to Afghanistan from 2002-2010 as Chief Political Advisor to NATO’s operational commander, a 4-star general.  He also contributed to the strategic assessments of the Afghanistan operation prepared for NATO and the President.

As a senior Foreign Service Officer at the White House he was NSC Director for Non-proliferation and Export Controls and NSC Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.  At the State Department, he was Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for International Security and Arms Control, where he guided a 200-person staff working on export controls and technology transfer issues.  Earlier, he also served as Office Director for the western Slavic countries (including Ukraine), as arms control action officer on the State Department’s Soviet Desk and in the Bureau of Intelligence.

Overseas, in 1997 Jack opened the first western Consulate General in central Russia (Yekaterinburg) where he orchestrated the opening of the region to US investment,  particularly oil and gas exploitation, while also working to promote democracy among the region’s young people.  Earlier, in Moscow, he implemented nuclear and chemical weapons arms control agreements between the US and Russia.  While serving in Israel, he was in charge of Political/ Military relations with Israel during the Intifada and the Gulf War and worked closely with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the Occupied Territories.  Prior to that he represented the State Department at nuclear arms control negotiations (START 1) in Geneva and at US-Russian regional talks on Africa.

In the military, Jack was commissioned through Infantry OCS and served two tours in Vietnam with the 4th and 25th Infantry Divisions.  He also served with the Army Security Agency in Germany.  He holds an M.A. (Distinguished Graduate) from the University of Southern California and a B.A . (Cum Laude) from Boston University.

Jack received the Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, four State Department Superior Honor Awards, the NATO Medal for combat service in Afghanistan, the NATO Distinguished Service Medal  and numerous foreign awards during his professional career.

Jack resides in Traverse City, Michigan, where is Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Michigan College and is working on a book about his experiences in Afghanistan. He is married to Karen, a former US Diplomat and Council on Foreign Relations Scholar.  Their 16-year old daughter, Maya, is a Junior at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

May 16th, Brian Parker – Behind the Kitchen Doors

Brian ParkerBrian is the creator, cofounder and partner of (moo cluck moo), located in Dearborn Heights and Canton, Michigan. Brian leads (moo cluck moo)’s brand, marketing and sales strategies and works closely with his partners to continuously improve and maximize (moo cluck moo)’s business development. Using innovative marketing approaches, he’s leveraged (moo cluck moo)’s brand to an international level. In just 13 short months, (moo cluck moo) has been recognized globally for their better pay, better food stance.


Brian studied architecture at Lawrence Technological University and graduated with a BFA in Industrial Design from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.


Brian currently holds a design and business development consulting position at MRA in Madison Heights, Michigan. The firm specializes in experiential design and mobile marketing programs. He is responsible for the design and management of several multimillion dollar projects in retail, hospitality, museums and corporate environments throughout the US and overseas.

“My responsibilities as partner and company leader are to ensure results beyond our expectations and to oversee marketing strategies, growth and profitability.”   -Brian Parker

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