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We’re just a week out from our big celebration! The Best of Michigan 2017 party will be held Thursday, May 18, at the City Opera House in Traverse City.

If you’ve never attended before, I hope you’ll make this your year. It’s a wonderful event, with attendees coming from all around the state. It’s an industry lovefest combined with an outstanding networking opportunity. And this year, the opportunity to connect with your peers is even greater, because we’re hosting an after-party on the new Hotel Indigo’s rooftop.

Between the open bar and the delectable food, the beautiful décor and the awesome gift bag, we always have an outstanding time. Kurt Colone and the crew from Mike Staff will be on hand to emcee, and we promise excellent entertainment and some fun surprises. (All this for a $10 ticket!)

If you’re in the area, I really hope you’ll join us. And if you’re not and have been wanting an excuse to come to Traverse City, this is an excellent one. Online registration closes May 16, so get to it!

Girlie elegance and sophistication were the theme of a recent bat mitzvah planned by Elm Events. Bat mitzvahs, the coming-of-age celebrations for 13-year-old Jewish girls, walk a tightrope—they must celebrate a teen girl in a way that pleases her friends and adult family alike. Hundreds often attend the parties, which follow a religious ceremony and often raise the bar for personalization and opulence.


Chris Rowley, the Mount Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's executive director, recently acquired her certification as a Government Meeting Specialist from the Society of Government Meeting Professionals .

The SGMP certifies employees of government entities through the voluntary GMS program whose  goal is to teach planners and suppliers to plan meetings and events in the most effective way possible for their government employers. The program requires participants to fulfill the ethical, personal and professional requirements that the SGMP specifies.


Robert Snyders, who retired in late March 2017, served for 20 years as the National Sales Director for Experience Grand Rapids.

“Bob has been an integral part of the sales team at Experience Grand Rapids,” says Tom Bennett, vice president of sales and services of Experience Grand Rapids.