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Mark A. Hackel

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County Executive - Executive Focus Newsletter Winter 2016

Mark's Message
Crowdfunding campaign announced for MacArthur Park kayak and canoe launch
Macomb County creates resource to help shoppers connect with county’s 1,600 independent retail businesses
Advertising space available for second issue of Macomb Momentum
Macomb Business Awards sponsorship opportunities available

Mark’s Message

This past Wednesday, Dec. 7, we held our sixth annual State of the County Address. I truly enjoy this event as it is a great opportunity to talk about our most recent successes in Macomb County. If you attended, thank you for doing so. Your support means a lot. For those of you who missed it, you can still watch it on our county website by clicking here. To view photos of the event, click here.

A brief recap:

  • More than 1.6 million people have explored Macomb County through Make Macomb Your Home’s digital content.
  • Macomb County is home to 180 parks, 155 miles of trails, 32 miles of coastline and 41 miles of the Clinton River.
  • There are more than 17,000 acres of parks in the county. We have provided more outreach and support this year to develop these vibrant community assets.
  • Green Macomb has been awarded an additional $340K grant from the US Forest Service to plant trees across Macomb County.
  • Macomb County, through Macomb Community Action, opened our first Family Resource Center in Warren serving 12,000 in first year. The center provides health care for children, educational programs, financial and homeownership counseling, fitness nutrition and more.
  • The Area Agency on Aging 1-B was awarded a Blue Ribbon for our senior services programs improving the quality of life for older adults.
  • Macomb County’s OneMacomb was invited to the White House and given national recognition for cultural vitality.
  • There have been seven consecutive years of job growth in Macomb County. We have the most employed in 15 years and nearing historic highs.
  • Advanced manufacturing in Macomb County is a network of more than 1,200 companies and 40,000 highly-skilled employees.
  • Since 2010, advanced manufacturing companies have invested more than $6 billion in Macomb County.
  • This year Chrysler Fiat committed $1.4 billion at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.
  • Our military installations and 600-plus prime defense contractors continue to push the limits of innovation.
  • TARDEC teamed up with General Motors to develop the hydrogen-powered Chevy Colorado Z-H-2.
  • Selfridge Air National Guard Base turns 100 years old in 2017!
  • The world’s largest aerospace companies are now doing business in Macomb County: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter and NASA.
  • The first year at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica was a tremendous success! There were 3,100 fans per game and eight players were picked up by Major League Baseball clubs.

As you can tell from this list of what was highlighted in the speech, we have a lot to be proud of here in Macomb County. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us. Have a great holiday season everyone! See you next year!

Crowdfunding campaign announced for MacArthur Park kayak and canoe launch

The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC), Mount Clemens and Macomb County have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to install a universally-accessible kayak and canoe launch at MacArthur Park in downtown Mount Clemens. To learn more about the campaign, watch this video.

“Our goal is to raise $60,000 in 60 days,” said Tara Beatty, CRWC development director. “If we reach our goal, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places will match our donations up to $50,000 for the MacArthur Park project.”

The park project will help create a link between the riverfront and downtown Mount Clemens while enhancing MacArthur Park with improved facilities that will highlight a key recreational asset in the community and in the region. Additionally, the park will feature universally-accessible restrooms, picnic tables, murals and kayak storage lockers, among many other amenities.

“Adding a universally-accessible kayak launch at MacArthur Park will allow users of all abilities the opportunity to experience all that Mount Clemens and the Clinton River have to offer,” said Mount Clemens Mayor Barbara Dempsey.

MacArthur Park was one of 12 kayak and canoe launch locations identified by the CRWC through a grant provided by the Coastal Zone Management under CRWC’s WaterTowns program, which focuses on community-based placemaking initiatives to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of the Clinton River, its tributaries and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development. If their funding goal is reached, it will be the first universally-accessible launch to be fully funded and installed.

Donations of any amount from the public are greatly encouraged and appreciated.

“Every donor will receive a reward for their support, ranging from paddling accessories to onsite recognition at MacArthur Park to launch naming rights or even an exclusive VIP paddle when the launch opens,” said Beatty. 

Recreational enthusiasts, residents and businesses alike can help reach this fundraising goal by making an online donation at patronicity.com/project/macarthur_park_river_access or by contacting CRWC at (248) 601-0606. The deadline to make a donation is Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.

Macomb County creates resource to help shoppers connect with county’s 1,600 independent retail businesses

This holiday shopping season, Macomb County is making it easier than ever to support local businesses.
 
Inspired by the popular Small Business Saturday campaign heralded by American Express, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development has created an online interactive resource for shoppers to find and connect with the more than 1,600 independently-owned retail stores located within the county.

This new resource is a mobile-friendly interactive map that displays local shops by 16 different categories, highlights the location of the retailers within a specific area, and has a pop-up with additional information on individual shops. This new resource is available to shoppers on the award-winning Make Macomb Your Home website at www.MakeMacombYourHome.com/Shop.

“We work hard to provide every business in Macomb County with as many advantages as possible, and this holiday season we are excited to help drive consumer traffic to our strong network of local retailers,” said John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. “Many of these local businesses are very active in our communities. Supporting our main streets benefits everyone.”

In Macomb, the retail industry employs more than 42,500 workers and has a $2.29 billion annual economic impact. Locally-owned independent retail establishments make up more than 1,600 of the roughly 2,400 retailers in Macomb County.

Advertising space available for second issue of Macomb Momentum

Macomb Momentum.jpg

The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is pleased to partner with Digital First Media and The Macomb Daily to publish the second issue of Macomb MomentumFirst published last August, this magazine will be published twice annually and will feature vivid photography and stories about the people and places that make Macomb County unique.

The first issue was included in a Sunday edition of The Macomb Daily. It contained more than 20 interesting stories including a visit with the owners of Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, Baker Industries and Bakes & Kropp, a luxury cabinet maker based in Mount Clemens

Copies were also sent to every library throughout the county and have been used by the department and our partners to promote the county to potential business investors.

"I could not be more pleased with this partnership," said Director John Paul Rea. "This magazine gives us an opportunity to share the many great things happening in Macomb County. We have a great story to tell and look forward to future editions.”

Advertising opportunities are currently available. To learn more, contact momentum@digitalfirstmedia.com or call (586) 783-0204. Click to view the flyer for more information.

Macomb Business Awards sponsorship opportunities available

Macomb County will honor outstanding businesses at its fifth annual Macomb Business Awards on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Opportunities to sponsor this event are available.

The awards breakfast will recognize businesses that have achieved success in one of six categories:

  • Champion of Workforce Development – utilizing innovative practices for hiring, training and retaining employees.
  • Corporate Citizen – offering meaningful community engagement through service and/or philanthropy.
  • Diversification Leader – generating new business by expanding products/services provided or tapping new markets.
  • Efficiency Expert – increasing cash flow through process and/or energy efficiencies.
  • Model of OneMacomb – cultivating an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued.
  • Startup Business to Watch – growing startup that has been operating for less than four years and has more than two full-time employees.

Sponsored in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the breakfast will feature a celebrity emcee, keynote speaker and exceptional networking opportunities. Last year, more than 400 leaders in our region attended.  
 
“There are many outstanding companies in Macomb County that are thriving because of their concerted efforts to increase efficiency, diversify sources of revenue or develop a strong and inclusive workforce,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “I encourage all Macomb County businesses to gain recognition for their hard work by nominating themselves for an award.”
 
Nominations are accepted through an online form until Dec. 9. All nominated companies will receive two complimentary tickets to the breakfast. A panel of judges will review and select recipients. One organization in each category will receive a crystal award. 

Contact Maria Zardis at maria.zardis@macombgov.org or (586) 469-5285 to become a sponsor.

Learn more about the event:

02/12/16 - Macomb County Business Awards honor innovation, creativity and diversification - C&G News

02/11/16 - Tweddle Group Receives 'Champion of Workforce Development' Award - EconoTimes

02/10/16 - Video: Macomb County's top performing businesses recognized - WXYZ-TV Detroit

02/09/16 - Macomb County businesses recognized for innovative efforts - Macomb Daily

02/09/16 - Macomb County honors top local businesses - Crain's Detroit Business

02/09/16 - Photos: 2016 Macomb Business Awards breakfast at Fern Hill Golf Club in Clinton Township - Macomb Daily

Archived

Macomb Matters

Current

County Executive - Macomb Matters November 2016 Issue 48

Mark’s Message

Giving Thanks

Employee Focus

Macomb County creates resource to help shoppers connect with county’s 1,600 independent retail businesses

For your benefit: Dealing with stress during the holidays

Macomb County has volunteer opportunities available

New Hires/Retirees

Recipe Corner

Calendar of Events

Click for a pdf version of Macomb Matters.

Mark’s Message

Mark A. Hackel, Macomb County Executive

I can’t believe it’s that time already, but our sixth annual State of the County Address is taking place in just a few weeks.

I would like to invite every one of you to attend as you have all played an instrumental role in Macomb County’s successes. The speech will give a broad overview of the county’s past accomplishments while also highlighting some upcoming exciting opportunities.   

The event is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (seating starts at 5:30 p.m.) at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township. Business attire is encouraged. After the speech, there will be the annual Taste of Macomb Afterglow where complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served by many of your favorite Macomb County restaurants. Please reserve a spot ASAP to attend the event by clicking on the registration graphic below.  

I hope to see you there! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks

Compiled by Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office

With Thanksgiving this week, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what we are all thankful for. Some of the county’s leaders have weighed in on the subject:

Steve Gold, Director of Health and Community Services
On the personal side, I'm thankful that my son has come back to southeast Michigan after five years on the West Coast for school and work, so now both my kids and my granddaughter will all be here for Thanksgiving. And so will my wife's mother, who saw her 100th birthday arrive at the end of October.

On the professional side, I'm thankful for the fine new staff persons who recently came on board at both Macomb Community Action and the Health Department, and that OneMacomb is making great progress in moving forward with a strategic plan in cooperation with many community partners.

John Paul Rea, Director of Planning and Economic Development
I'm thankful to have the wonderful opportunity to work with such a respected and celebrated group of professionals that help change the county for the better every single day.

Richard Wooton, District 11 MSUE Coordinator
As the district coordinator for Macomb County Extension programs, I am very grateful for the support we receive from the county and especially the support we receive from the director of the

Health and Community Services Department. Steve Gold has been fantastic to work with and really sees value in Extension programs for residents in Macomb County.

Barbara Caskey, Director of Community Corrections
I am incredibly thankful for the great team we have at Community Corrections!

Rhonda Westphal, Director of Juvenile Justice Center
I am so thankful for love and the family and friends that I am surrounded by every day. I am thankful for the compromise, care, kindness and consideration we share and the support we give unconditionally.

Lynn Arnott-Bryks, Director of Facilities and Operations
What I am most thankful for is the fact that I still have both of my parents (91 and 92 years old) who are still in fairly good health and continue to live in their own house.

I am also thankful that I have a wonderful daughter that makes me proud every day.

Mark Hackel, County Executive
I'm most thankful for my health, family and friends. All I really ever ask for is another day. Life is that simple.

Bill Ridella, Director of Health Department
During this Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the year, I am grateful for the support and kindness from my wonderful wife, family, friends and coworkers, and most thankful for my mother's  longevity and continued good health.

Employee Focus

Rachel Simons – Veterans Services
By Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office

Rachel Simons has served in the United States Coast Guard, volunteers in eight different organizations and works in the Macomb County Veterans’ Services Department.

When you think about it, nearly every part of Simons’ life has been dedicated to the service of others.

As a veteran’s service officer, Simons’ works with Macomb County’s veterans to help them apply for benefits available to them through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs office. Simons spends her day sifting through claims related to pensions, disability, housing and employment, among other things, to try to connect veterans with as much help and support as is available to them.

“It’s a really rewarding job,” said Simons. “You’re helping a lot of the vets who before struggled getting the benefits they are entitled to and … you can help them get back on their feet.”

Simons began working for the Veterans’ Services Department officially just last year, although she had been an intern prior. From 2004-2009, Simons was an E5 rank, serving as a machinery technician onboard coast guard cutters.

Simons said she loved being in the Coast Guard.

“I was really good at my job, so I had a lot of job satisfaction. The military lifestyle and mentality suited me quite well,” she explained, adding she still serves in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is the volunteer section of the Coast Guard.

When she’s not working for Veterans’ Services or volunteering for the Coast Guard, Simons donates her time by managing websites for the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers, the Michigan Veterans Action Collaborative and the Macomb Homeless Coalition. She is also a member of the Veteran Community Action Plan and a representative for Lutheran Military Support Group.

In fact, just this past month, Simons was honored with the Barbara Bauman Homeless Advocate Award, which is given to an individual who goes above and beyond to assist the homeless.

In her spare time, the Macomb Township resident who has a 9-year-old son Henry, likes to play tennis and golf.

Laura Rios, chief Veterans Services Officer for Macomb County, said the group Simons connects with the most is veterans.

She is an excellent Veterans’ Service officer who cares about the veterans in our community,” explained Rios. “She loves volunteering for local veteran events and giving of her time. She loves the challenge of connecting veterans to their benefits.”

“The biggest thing is the veterans,” agreed Simons. “It’s a group of people that have really unique challenges and that are really close to my heart because I appreciate the struggles they have. The nature of the conditions a lot of them have make it hard to have stability and these are people who have done their duty to the country and we should be doing everything we can to help them.”

Macomb County creates resource to help shoppers connect with county’s 1,600 independent retail businesses

This holiday shopping season, Macomb County is making it easier than ever to support local businesses.

Inspired by the popular Small Business Saturday campaign heralded by American Express, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development has created an online interactive resource for shoppers to find and connect with the more than 1,600 independently-owned retail stores located within the county.

This new resource is a mobile-friendly interactive map that displays local shops by 16 different categories, highlights the location of the retailers within a specific area, and has a pop-up with additional information on individual shops. This new resource is available to shoppers on the award-winning Make Macomb Your Home website at www.MakeMacombYourHome.com/Shop.

“We work hard to provide every business in Macomb County with as many advantages as possible, and this holiday season we are excited to help drive consumer traffic to our strong network of local retailers,” said John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. “Many of these local businesses are very active in our communities. Supporting our main streets benefits everyone.”

In Macomb, the retail industry employs more than 42,500 workers and has a $2.29 billion annual economic impact. Locally-owned independent retail establishments make up more than 1,600 of the roughly 2,400 retailers in Macomb County.

For your benefit: Dealing with stress during the holidays

By Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations

Today people seem to be faced with many stressful situations, especially during the holiday season. These stressors have a significant impact on people both at home and at the workplace.

In our fast-paced society, we often look for quick fixes to things that may be bothering us. However, stress management is something that needs to be planned, thought about and worked on.

According to tips provided by the Cleveland Clinic, you should ask yourself if your expectations are realistic. This may be the first step to managing holiday stress. Make a list of what you expect from yourself and your loved ones and, under each item, write down any changes you could make to reduce or prevent stress.

There are many ways to reduce stress in some situations such as asking what people want, buying prepared foods or cooking ahead of time and, possibly one of the most important, take some time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Here are some other suggestions for managing stress from Ulliance, our new Employee Assistance Program:

Self-management:

  • Set priorities on how you spend your time and stick to them.
  • Schedule time for yourself.
  • Organize!

Ask yourself: 

  • Do I have control over the source of my stress? (i.e., “road rage”– do I have control over other drivers on the road?)
  • What can I control? (I can’t control how other people drive, but I can control how much I let it get to me.) 
  • How can I change MY behavior/response in situations that I have no control over?

Boundary and goal setting:

  • Are you letting others control your day?
  • Do you know how to say “No?”
  • This takes practice, as well as knowledge of your priorities in life so you know WHY to say no.

Take care of yourself:

  • When was the last time I had a decent meal or a decent night’s sleep?
  • Have I really had any fun lately?
  • Have I had at least 10 minutes of quiet and solitude today?

For any support you may need, please call and speak with a Life Advisor consultant at (888) 333-6269 or visit their website at www.LifeAdvisorEAP.com.

Macomb County has volunteer opportunities available

Macomb County currently has a need for volunteers for either the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs or Macomb Community Action’s Meals on Wheels program.

Volunteers for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs:

Volunteers will receive training to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate income families

who need assistance preparing their tax returns.

Macomb County Veteran Services, a IRS VITA partner, assists Macomb County and surrounding communities. In 2016, 28 volunteers prepared over 1,000 tax returns which brought back more than $1,166,490 in total refunds to the area. Across the country, over 90,000 people said “yes” to making a difference during the 2015 filing season and prepared over 3.7 million returns at thousands of tax sites.

“The IRS and its partners like, Macomb County Veteran Services, are once again looking for

volunteers who are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal income tax returns for free,” said IRS Spokesman Luis D. Garcia. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple tax returns for people whose incomes are $54,000 or less. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested and wants to help.” 

Volunteers can help in two separate capacities: return preparer or greeter. Greeters will generally also answer simple questions and distribute forms.

No tax preparation experience is necessary, but you do need basic computer skills and the ability to work independently. Volunteers must complete a training session on basic tax law and TaxSlayer software in December or January. They must also pass an IRS-certification exam through Basic.

The first of three training classes will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 3. Additional training on software will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 10.

Tax classes and tax preparation will be located in the Macomb County Family Resource Center on 196 North Rose Street, Mount Clemens, 48043.

For additional information and to sign up for volunteer training, call Laura Rios at (586) 469-6507.

More information about the IRS volunteer tax preparation program can be found at www.IRS.gov, keywords “tax volunteer.”

Volunteers for Meals on Wheels emergency food delivery:

Macomb Community Action’s Office of Senior Services is seeking more than 100 volunteer drivers to deliver emergency food boxes to homebound seniors on Saturday, Dec. 3. The food boxes contain shelf-stable meals for Meals on Wheels participants in the event weather or other circumstances prevent them from receiving normal food delivery.

Boxes will be picked up between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at a Macomb County warehouse located near Hall Road and Groesbeck Highway. Volunteer drivers must be at least 18 years old, or accompanied by a parent or authorized adult, and have a valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance. Volunteers must use their personal vehicles when delivering. Groups and organizations are strongly encouraged to participate. Each route takes approximately two hours to complete.

The Meals on Wheels program allows seniors to remain in their homes and live with dignity while receiving regular, nutritious meals. Volunteers not only deliver a nutritious meal, but they also connect with what otherwise may be an isolated older adult. In Macomb County, more than 1,500 seniors receive meals through the program.

To register as a volunteer, contact the Macomb Community Action’s Office of Senior Services at (569) 469-5228 or visit the Meals on Wheels volunteer webpage.

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