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The Howell Area Chamber of Commerce is delighted to bring the Michigan State University Extensions’ annual ‘Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities’ (CEC) Conference to downtown Howell October 4-5, 2017. This conference is an opportunity to bring together like-minded community leaders to learn exciting concepts and resources, share best practices and fresh ideas to grow their communities. Howell has so much to share with other communities, and the Howell Chamber submitted an application to host the conference in late 2016. The announcement that Howell was awarded the CEC conference location for 2017 has staff and members of the Howell Chamber overjoyed.

Over 150 attendees from all over the state of Michigan and beyond will embark upon downtown Howell to empower themselves and their own communities through breakout sessions embedded in shops, restaurants and other venues. This CEC conference offers the unique opportunity to learn about and experience an entrepreneurial community during a working week and implement those ideas and theories within the attendees’ home community.

Keynote speakers during opening and closing sessions will be Joe Parker, a key investor and entrepreneur in Howell and Renee Chodkowski, the Great Foodini, often seen on Detroit public television programs and in downtown Howell during her ‘Pop-Up Bistro’ events.

Community leaders, entrepreneurs, co-workers, managers and stakeholders are invited to take part in this empowering experience. “Whether you work in economic development, business, arts and culture, government, philanthropy or education, this conference will engage you to create a stronger business community,” Pat Convery, President of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce shared.

Breakout sessions throughout downtown will include:

  • • Safe & Successful Downtown Living for Entrepreneurs
  • • Connecting with Economic Vitality through the Arts
  • • “IDEAS” Guide for Community, Entrepreneurs, Education
  • • Spark Entrepreneurship in YOUR Community: K-Adult
  • • Tech Entrepreneurship in Ann Arbor
  • • Creating Community with Brownfield Redevelopment
  • • Ignite Entrepreneur Success in Your Community!
  • • What Are the “First Impressions” of Your Community?
  • • 321 Go! Retail Launch Competition
  • • Create an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your Town
  • • Downtown Art in Action
  • • Grow Entrepreneurs in Your Community
  • • A Place to Grow: Founders Farm @ Cleary University
  • • Left Behind: Reaching our Rural Communities
  • • Who Knew? Business Support at Your Public Library
  • • Free On-line Business Planning Demographics Tools
  • • Talent Recruitment: An Important Challenge
  • • A Rural Co-working Space
  • • Helping Food Businesses Grow in Your Community
  • • Create a Microloan Fund!
  • • Agriculture Means Business
  • • Digital Marketing Trends in 2017
  • • Empowering Young Entrepreneurs
  • • Marketing HomeTown America—A Community Recruitment and Retention Program


View full breakout session descriptions online:

Registration is now open:

Cost of the event: $85 per person before September 23, $100 is registered September 24- Ocotber 1 and $125 per person after October 1.

For more information, please feel free to contact Pat Convery, President of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce: or (517) 546-3920.