CanDo! To Explore Why Place Matters

Data show that, in today’s society, young talent choose place first. With a strong workforce, a community like Charlotte is able to attract businesses to the region and retain those already here.

At this month’s CanDo! meeting, Josh Holliday, tri-county development and placemaking manager at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), will be talking about the value and importance of creating a greater sense of place in our communities.

“As an economic development agency, we believe that place matters,” said Holliday. “It provides a sense of pride for where we call home that is essential to the growth and success of the region.”

In his presentation, Holliday will walk through the various forms of place-based developments and why they are important to the local economy. Mixed use buildings, the arts, athletics, parks, trails, festivals and roads, as well as the roles individuals can play, all contribute to the vibrancy, authenticity and sophistication of a community.

CanDo! will meet at 7:00 a.m. on June 27 in the Spartan Room of the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S. Bostwick Street. The public is invited to attend. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided free of charge.

History and Architecture on CanDo! Agenda

Charlotte’s participation in Governor Snyder’s Project Rising Tide initiative offered the opportunity for downtown Charlotte to be nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a program operated by the National Parks Service.

A state grant of nearly $40,000 funded professional research by historian Bill Rutter to chronicle the history and architecture of 348 buildings in and around downtown. The nomination is complete and national recognition of the Charlotte’s central business district will soon be official.

On Wednesday, May 23, local residents will have an opportunity to explore some of these local treasures when CanDo! hosts a program by Courthouse Square Association Director Julie Kimmer and Charlotte Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle. Their presentation will include photos and information that will shine a light on both familiar and lesser-known features of Charlotte’s buildings.

“The history and architecture of Charlotte tell a unique and fascinating story,” said CanDo! Chairman Gregg Guetschow. “This research reveals that there are surprises around every corner of our community.”

CanDo! will meet at 7:00 a.m. on May 23 in the Spartan Room of the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S. Bostwick Street. The public is invited to attend. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided free of charge.

Marshall Plan Follow-Up

The Wednesday, April 25, 2018 CanDo! meeting featured a presentation about a new Michigan initiative, the Marshall Plan for Talent, by Ed Koledo, Senior Deputy for Talent Development, Department of Talent & Economic Development, Talent Investment Agency. Mr. Koledo has graciously provided copies of the following materials related to this important topic:

Charlotte High School Principal Bill Barnes has penned a commentary on this same topic that was published in the Lansing State Journal.

We believe you will find this information thought-provoking.

April CanDo! Meeting To Feature Marshall Plan For Talent

As Michigan’s economy continues to improve, it is essential that there is a robust talent pipeline ready to fill the growing number of high-demand, high-wage careers both today and tomorrow. To address this challenge, the state recently launched the Marshall Plan for Talent. This plan will be the focus of the April 25 CanDo! meeting.

The Marshall Plan for Talent is a transformational partnership between educators, employers and other stakeholders to enhance Michigan’s talent pipeline and redesign the ways we invest, develop and attract talent in our state. It inspires and challenges government, educators, employers and parents to work more closely and recognize Michigan’s bright future depends on their collaboration.

“The Charlotte area has made great strides in the last few years preparing youth for jobs in a changing economy,” said CanDo! chairman Gregg Guetschow. “The CanDo! board believes the future vitality of our area depends on our remaining in the forefront of initiatives like the Marshall Plan for Talent.”

CanDo! has invited Ed Koledo to address this important topic. Mr. Koledo is the Senior Deputy for Talent Development in Michigan’s Department of Talent and Economic Development. Mr. Koledo is a former high school math teacher and superintendent for Linden Community Schools. He also served as Career and College Access Coordinator for Genesee County.

The April 25 CanDo! meeting will be held at the Charlotte Public Schools Administrative Offices, 378 State Street, beginning at 7:00 a.m.  CanDo! meetings are free to attend and open to the general public. Coffee and a light breakfast are provided at no cost to attendees.

CanDo! to Focus on Arts and Culture in March

This month, CanDo! (Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity) shifts its focus to the role that arts and culture play in a thriving, sustainable community.  The featured speaker will be Debbie Mikula from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

Ms. Mikula has been a “creative placemaker” since 1981 and has served as the Arts Council’s executive director since 2013. Her career has spanned working nationally with the League of Historic American Theatres, statewide with the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies, and locally with arts organizations like the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan. She believes that a place is made special by utilizing the arts as a driving force for change, improvement and revitalization.

Throughout the country, cities are scrambling to find ways to reinvent and revitalize downtowns, commercial districts and neighborhoods. Art and culture can play important roles and be the tipping point that all are looking for in Charlotte.

“Charlotte’s arts scene has been particular vibrant during the last few years,” said Gregg Guetschow, CanDo! Chairman. “We expect Debbie Mikula’s presentation to spark some big ideas for even more initiatives that local residents and organizations can undertake.”

Debbie Mikula will share her expertise with attendees on creative placemaking and also delve into the importance of advocating for more local and municipal resources dedicated to arts, culture and creativity.

Ms. Mikula’s presentation will be supplemented by Charlotte High School alumna Kelsey Adams. She will be sharing information about the upcoming cultural plan she is developing as part of her graduate studies.

The March 28 meeting will be held at the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S. Bostwick Street, beginning at 7:00 a.m. CanDo! general meetings are free to attend and open to the general public. Coffee and a light breakfast are provided at no cost to attendees. Information about CanDo! is available on its Facebook page and at