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Corktown Celebration Rises Above Blight Controversy
Corktown, Detroit, MI – (Saturday, October 2) The Imagination Station, Corktown’s ‘ashes-to-art’ non-profit, and MI Green Team, Michigan’s premier green/wellness network, are partnering to promote green/community initiatives at Slows Bar B Q’s fifth year anniversary celebration tomorrow, Sunday, October 3rd, from noon to 10pm. The event will be held in Roosevelt Park, directly in front of the Michigan’s most famous blighted building, the Michigan Central Station. The event is called “Rainbow Blight”. Net proceeds and donations will benefit the park’s redevelopment.
“Corktown has been in the news a lot lately regarding our efforts to prompt developers to clean up their blighted properties. We want this event to show another side of our efforts - to work together with all stakeholders on the vision of a clean and green future for Corktown,” said Jeff DeBruyn, Imagination Station partner and president of the Corktown Residents' Council. “We appreciate the support we are getting from outside Corktown and the cooperation of local residents and property owners. We hope this will be a model for future collaboration.”
The celebration will include a music stage with 10 bands, food & beer from Slows and Mind Body & Spirits restaurants, and the world's largest Cornhole (bean bag toss) tournament with over 130 teams participating. The Corktown Green/Community Expo will add over 30 green/wellness exhibitors, a full presentation schedule, and a kids’ strawbale play area. The expo will draw attention to Corktown residents’ intention to reinvent itself as Detroit's first sustainable community, and will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about Corktown sustainability projects, and locally-available green products, services and programs. The expo is sponsored by ITC Transmission and presented by The Home Depot, which is active in other Corktown charitable projects.
There is no admission charge for tents or outdoor areas. For more information, visit www.rainbowblight.com or www.migreenteam.com/greenevents.
The following letter was sent by John Batdorf as written testimony before a Michigan House committee considering house bill 6454 to provide for two new types of corporations in Michigan - Triple Benefit Corporations, where its mission is equal to profits, and Public Benefit Corporations, where profits are subordinate to mission.
September 21, 2010
Dear New Economy and Quality of Life Committee,
My name is a John Batdorf. I am a resident of Shelby Township, Michigan. For fifteen years, I managed a successful healthcare computer systems company in Grand Blanc, MI which grew to 15 employees. In 2000, I sold the corporation and turned my attention to non-profit ecological work as board member and then executive director of Upland Hills EAC. At UHEAC, I co-founded an Earth Day festival in Rochester, MI which grew to over 50,000 in attendance and provided a high-profile platform for Michigan businesses, community leaders and over 60 non-profit organizations, to promote their green/wellness products, services and programs.
Due to concerns of UHEAC board members regarding the cost of producing major events, in 2009, I co-founded and managed one of the first L3C companies in Michigan, TriGreen Development L3C, to produce the annual event. Although the festival continued to be successful, the L3C business form did not suit the company’s business expansion plans and the company was closed.
To continue to offer a major community green event and to extend our promotional and educational services throughout the year, we recently founded MI Green Team Inc. Our mission is to "promote green living, business and community through the premier green/wellness network in Michigan". The corporate form fits our business growth plans much better than an L3C. Unfortunately, when we formed MI Green Team Inc., we did not have the option of a corporate profit/non-profit hybrid analogous to an L3C. As a consequence and due to concerns about corporate profit-making (versus L3C profit subordination), our government and non-profit partners are hesitant to participate with us as fully as they have in previous years. Although these concerns are understandable and surmountable, they do limit our ability to provide the community benefit which is our primary focus.
We appreciate the initiative to provide an alternative to the current profits-only-focused corporate form, since our mission is to pursue the triple bottom line of producing environmental, social and economic value. We strongly support passage of House Bill 6454 to provide for Public Benefit Corporations and Triple Benefit Corporations. It will put Michigan on the forefront of the important effort to apply entrepreneurial methods and motivation to benefit our communities and environment. I believe that these corporate forms will place Michigan at an advantage in attracting dynamic businesses and individuals willing and able to benefit Michigan’s "new economy and quality of life".
MI Green Team Inc.
PO Box 81113
Rochester, MI 48308
We are happy to welcome GreenFundraiserStore.com to the team.
This local company provides cleaner and greener alternatives to products used in the course of daily living through their innovative education/fundraising programs for schools, churches and organizations. Check out their profile for more information.
Do you want to go green but don't know where to go? MI Green Team, whose members include leading local green/wellness businesses, non-profits, government programs and advocates, is here to help.
MI Green Team has been formed to connect Michigan consumers and citizens to leading local green/wellness products, services and programs. Team managers include the founder and staff of one of the largest annual green events in the nation - the Earth Day events held for the past five years in Rochester.
"The challenge for folks interested in going green is how exactly to do it. There is a great deal of general information out there, especially about why to go green - but, not enough specific information on how to do it, including detailed information about local providers and their offerings", said John Batdorf, founder of MI Green Team. "There are numerous national and a few local directories, but these tend to have limited local participation and exposure. We hope to fill that gap by providing a comprehensive, easily-accessible and well-promoted directory of leading green/wellness resource providers".
Batdorf should know what he's talking about. He started his career as a retail store manager and then national dealer sales manager in metro Detroit. In 1985, he founded a leading medical computer systems company that received national recognition for its product and service innovations. Upon selling the company in 2000, he offered management services to several companies, including a leading talent agency, before getting the "bug" and turning his focus to green economic and community development. As a board member of Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center, he co-founded and managed the Earth Day Expo which grew to 50,000+ attendance and included 200+ exhibitors. As Executive Director, John co-produced a national energy conference at Oakland University with Community Solutions and oversaw financial growth of over 300%.
"The initial MGT membership is made up of over 300 organizations that have actively participated with us in promoting the emerging 'green/wellness economy'. With our five years of major event experience, we have established relationships with most of the green businesses, non-profits organizations, local/state government programs, and media, as well as many leading advocates dedicated to supporting people's efforts to live earth-friendly and healthy lifestyles. We are leveraging this experience into a year-round promotional and educational effort."
In addition to a large member directory, the MI Green Team website will include a growing list of resources for green living, business and community. "Our approach is to collaborate with other leading local and national green/wellness resource providers, to act as a clearing-house. We're not going to re-invent the wheel, just make it easier to find and use", continued Batdorf. "The website will offer membership, event, business and "greening" services to local providers and empower consumers with information and contacts, and with access to exclusive discounts and offers through MGT Fan Club membership."
MI Green Team will provide a wide variety of services but its flagship will continue to be a major spring event in downtown Rochester - the Green Living Festival, to be held in mid-May. Plans are underway to grow the event by moving it later in spring, in an effort to improve chances for good weather, avoid scheduling conflicts (Easter, spring break and Earth Day coincide next year) and appeal to a wider audience.
Batdorf calls himself a "green soapbox builder" and his intentions are to make MI Green Team and the Green Living Festival his biggest soapboxes yet.
For information on green/wellness products, services and programs, provider and consumer memberships, as well as MGT educational and community events, visit www.migreenteam.com.
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