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Amazing Opportunity to Serve the Community in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti

Not long ago, we shared with you here in our blog about the Leadership A2Y program offered by the Ann Arbor/Ypslianti Chamber of Commerce. Leadership A2Y offers an unbelievable opportunity to grow your leadership skills and community connections in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area.

Leadership A2Y Graduation, June 2017

Leadership A2Y Graduation, June 2017

Community Service through A2Y

If you are looking to serve in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti communities, I highly suggest you take a look at Leadership A2Y. Leadership A2Y is open to leaders within organizations and individuals interested in serving the community in a leadership role.

“The unique quality of life we enjoy in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti region is a result of strong leaders and responsible citizens. Leadership A2Y, offered by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, presents a rare opportunity for individuals to develop their leadership strengths, gain direct access to local movers and shakers, and define their roles as true stewards of the community.”

As part of my goal to build relationships and become more connected in our community, I attended the Leadership A2Y program in 2016-2017 with a group of about 50 community leaders. Having lived in Ann Arbor since 1996, and being from the southeast Michigan area, I thought I was in the know; however, by attending the program, I gained so much more insight into the needs in our community and into the organizations that serve those needs.

Building Relationships, Setting Goals

This goal of building relationships comes from a bigger goal that I set because of Gary Keller (founder of Keller Williams Realty International). One of the things that Gary says is, “You should create a goal so big that people will laugh at you when you tell them what it is.” And that having goals like this helps you to get into action to do the very next, most important thing to achieve that goal. It’s not about the goal as much as it is about doing the most important thing to get there. Also, by having a big vision or goal, your unconscious mind gets to work for you in the background and literally propels you to your goal.

So, I set a very big goal. I knew that what makes me the happiest is giving. Giving allows me to be my best self and live at my highest level. So I set a goal of earning enough money to be able to give away $1 million a year, perpetually, by the year 2037.

I am in the phase of my life that my friend, Debbie Hensleigh calls the “third-third”. This is the work of my third- third: I am focused on building a business that supports this goal while helping those who work in the business achieve their big goals as well.

I see it as a matter of fate that, about one year ago today, I was looking at my email, and I saw an announcement for Leadership A2. It was in my promotional mail which I rarely look at, and it was just by luck that I saw it. It said:

Leadership A2Y presents a rare opportunity for individuals to develop their leadership strengths, gain direct access to local movers and shakers, and define their roles as true stewards of the community.

So, with no hesitation, I got in touch with Barbara Davenport at the Chamber and submitted my application!

Biggest Benefits

The biggest benefits of attending Leadership A2Y for me have been:

  1. The insight and understanding of the organizations operating here to make our community a better place to live and work. Huge eye opener! There is so much going on here that even long-time residents many not be aware of.
  2. Introduction to the people that run these organizations. There are so many dedicated people in these organizations making big contributions in our community.
  3. Getting to know these people and organizations to see where I best fit in – what work and what organizations most energize me and where can I make the biggest contribution.
  4. Introduction to people in the Leadership A2Y group that I can now network with and reach out to for assistance and information.
  5. I especially enjoyed:
    1. Community Services Day: My big areas of interest are housing, transportation, food and jobs
    2. Health Care Day: Visiting St. Joseph Mercy Hospital behind the scenes
    3. Economic Development Day
    4. Quality of Life Day

Are YOU a Leadership A2Y Candidate?

Orientation begins October 11th, followed by a two-day retreat. Thereafter, the class meets the second Wednesday of each month, culminating in a June graduation. Class size is limited to 55 participants. The Chamber accepts submissions January through August.

Candidates are generally sponsored by their employers but can be individually funded. A limited number of scholarships are available, with preference given to non-profit organizations. Demonstrate your confidence in your key employees by making this investment in their professional growth!

CLICK HERE for the application, program information, cost, and class schedule or contact Barbara Davenport, VP of Foundation & Leadership, at (734) 214-0104.

I would be happy to answer any questions anyone has regarding Leadership A2Y. Please reach out if you are interested.


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