Published by Serendipity Media, LLC Volume 11, Issue 5 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS AN ADDICT WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATE PLANNING 101 WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR SPRING CAPSULE WARDROBE
VOLUME 11, ISSUE 4 www.westmichiganwoman.com
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CYNTHIA KAY: Celebrating a Legacy of Storytelling page 16
LETTER + ONLINE page 4
SPOTLIGHT page 6
STYLE page 8
What You Need in Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe
WELLNESS page 10
What to Do When Your Loved One Is an Addict
HOME page 12
Leveling Up Your Closet Organization
RELATIONSHIPS page 14 Is Homeschooling Right for Us?
SPECIAL SECTION page 20 Aesthetics
CAREER page 26
Doing More with Less People: Maintaining a Functioning Workplace
TRAVEL page 28
Set Out on a Classic Michigan Tour
FINANCIAL page 32
Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning 101: Finding What's Right for You
Q&A page 35
Lindsay MacMillan: Empowering Women in Business and Opening the Door to a Dream
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THE COVER (photo © Kelly Braman Photography)
West Michigan Woman is published by Serendipity Media
KASIE SMITH President & Publisher
As we all know, spring is all about new beginnings and transformations. As you’re reading this, my hope is that the sun is shining and we’re seeing the rebirth of grass, leaves and flowers.
Here at West Michigan Woman , spring is an exciting time because we are introduced to many new faces in our community with 30 new finalists for the Brilliance Awards. These women and men are transformational within our community and it’s an honor to learn more about each and every one of them. Meet them and learn more at westmichiganwoman.com.
Taking place on May 17, 2023, at the Amway Grand Plaza, the Brilliance Awards is our annual celebration of the dynamic talent, spirit and intellect of those who tackle issues facing professional women in our community! If you haven’t had the chance, please take a moment to get your ticket for the 2023 Brilliance Awards. I can promise you an evening of enlightenment and inspiration.
Speaking of inspiring … I was at my desk when I got an email sharing that CK and CO was celebrating 35 years of business! For those of us who’ve had the pleasure of knowing Cynthia Kay, it’s no surprise that her business has had such an amazing tenure. Cynthia is as authentic as they come, and her positive attitude, commitment to community and passion for small business makes her so beloved. As a small business owner myself, I want to say congratulations to CK and her team on 35 amazing years! To learn more about Cynthia’s story, please turn to page 16.
I’m not sure about you, but spring is also the ideal time for a good old-fashioned spring cleaning. To that end, take a little extra time reading both our home and style sections. On page 12, there are some great tips from Michelle Krick about organizing your closet. Whether it’s removing clothing that no longer fits, displaying your clothes more effectively or grabbing the swim noodle to help keep you boots upright, there are several ideas to help feel fresh and clean to kick off this new season. And on page 8, there are some great shopping tips from Gina VanTimmeren about style trends for the spring and items you should ensure are in your wardrobe! Ladies, whether we like it or not, one trend is here to stay … old is the new new. We’ve seen it before, so let’s lean in and embrace it!
As we welcome spring, let’s not forget to embrace new people, ideas, trends and ways of doing things. We too have the opportunity to grow and transform in ways we hadn’t imagined!
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LETTER JOIN US ONLINE RECEIVE FRESH CONTENT in our FREE eNewsletter! THE "BEST OF" found only on westmichiganwoman.com Top Read articles last month: Talking to Youth About Tragic Events Love Is in the Air: Romantic Getaways for You and Your Boo 4 Ways to Feel Refreshed in the New Year Laying the Groundwork for Tax Season
SUPPORT FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF AGING ADULTS
If you’re overwhelmed by a loved one’s care and concerns, you’re not alone. Pine Rest invites you to their free Family & Friends of Aging Adults Support Group which meets monthly to provide understanding, information and resources on topics around dementia care, managing anxiety, planning, finances, in home health, hospice and more.
The upcoming April 18 meeting will feature Joy Spahn from AARP on the topic, “Prepare to Care: Creating a Plan.” On May 16, Susan Chalgian of Chalgian & Tripp Law Office will present, “What Caregivers Need to Know About Financial Planning: Perspective from an Elder Care Attorney.”
The Family & Friends of Aging Adults Support Group meets the third Tuesday of every month at Thornapple Evangelical Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Road SE. For more information, visit: pinerest.org/aging-adults.
Ad on page 7.
YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A SHOWBAND LIKE THIS!
Making its only U.S. appearance at Tulip Time, the Bicycle Showband Crescendo is a must-see! You’ve never seen a showband like this! Crescendo dons their traditional Volendam (Dutch) attire, slips into their klompen (wooden shoes), straps on their instruments, and then ... they hop onto their bicycles!
These cycling musicians play full showband pieces with complex and flowing choreography on their bicycles. They’ve performed the world over and often bring home gold in international music competitions. Families will not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
These free, 30-minute performances will run Thursday, May 11 –Sunday, May 14 at Ray & Sue Smith Stadium. In addition, Tulip Time is also welcoming Girl Named Tom, Sara Evans, Elton Rohn (the Premier Elton John Tribute Show) and FiddleFire. The Tulip Immersion Garden is also returning by popular demand in a new, more scenic location.
Visit TulipTime.com for full event details.
Ad on page 5.
TREAT MOM TO SOMETHING SPECIAL AT DESIGN 1
If you’re searching for a way to truly pamper mom, yourself or a loved one this Mother’s Day, Design 1 Salon Spa has exactly what you’re looking for. Since Design 1 is a full-service salon and spa, it’s the perfect place for all things beauty, from hair and nails to skin treatments and massages.
With Design 1’s spa packages, you and mom can plan a whole day together to feel rested and rejuvenated, and leave feeling energized and truly relaxed. Choose from a variety of services like manicures, pedicures, blowouts, facials, massages and more. Not sure what day works best for mom? Treat her to a Design 1 gift card for Mother’s Day so she can experience all Design 1 has to offer whenever she wants.
Visit design1.com for Mother’s Day gift card sale specials.
Ad on page 35.
6 APRIL/MAY 2023 : WMW SPOTLIGHT
Photo © Oliver Rossi
WMW : WESTMICHIGANWOMAN.COM 7 GET YOUR TICKETS and Join Us for a Night of Brilliance! BRILLA NCE DS A WE ST MIC HI GA N WO N westmichiganwoman.com/brilliance-awards MAY 17, 2023 Amway Grand Plaza
WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR SPRING CAPSULE WARDROBE
SSpring is finally here and it’s time to get ready to show off your spring wardrobe. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy a whole new slew of items to feel on-trend. Instead, focus on building a capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and matched with other items you already own by choosing new (or new to you) items that feel fresh and fun.
From brunch and weekend getaways to working lunches and everything in between, keep reading to explore what you should consider adding to your spring capsule wardrobe this year to feel confident and stylish.
According to Gina VanTimmeren, Owner of Gina’s Boutique, trends to keep a look out for this spring include a variety of colors, textures, materials and washes.
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And while there’s much to feast on visually when determining what trends suit you best, you might notice they all have one thing in common: We’ve seen them all before at one point or another.
“We’re seeing a lot of colored denim (think pink, purple and teal), along with detailed and novelty denim (front pockets and seams),” VanTimmeren explained, noting the revival of an ‘80s neon color palette. “The Barbie movie that’s being released in June is having a big impact on color and style for spring/summer ‘23. Acid green is one of the colors I keep seeing.”
Sheer mesh fabric—a ‘90s throwback—is another trendy option. If you don’t have one already, pick up a mesh top (long or short sleeved) to toss on over a dress or tank with a pair of wide leg jeans you already have. It’s a comfortable way to inject some “cool” into an otherwise standard outfit.
VanTimmeren suggests having an item in your wardrobe that features some sort of flowing or draped fabric, such as a ruched midi skirt. An easy way to dress an outfit up or down, incorporating draped fabrics into your wardrobe can be as fun as they are timeless.
Simplicity is also having a huge moment, so don’t shy away from classic silhouettes and tailored items that can elevate existing pieces. A little oversized? No problem. Find balance with a more streamlined item and you’re good to go.
“A nice trench coat is always a good option and can elevate a simple outfit such as jeans and a t-shirt,” VanTimmeren explained, adding that a basic maxi dress is also a great item for a capsule wardrobe this spring. “I like to add a cropped sweater and it completely changes it to a skirt and top. You could also add a denim jacket to go more casual with it.”
When it comes to shoes, options abound. We’re still reaching for our platform sandals and Birkenstocks. But there’s one choice you may be familiar with that’s also rising to prominence once again: The ballet flat. Yes, really. The aughts are calling!
“Ballet flats are making a big comeback and are easy to pair with everything
What’s more, this comfortable item can take you from shopping and a coffee date with your best friends to the office in a snap.
If you’re planning on being in the sun, don’t forget to have a go-to hat. A continued trend from last year, VanTimmeren says to plan on seeing bucket hats, but this time in a crochet texture. This is an item that truly evokes a nostalgic feeling of warm weather from years past. Pair it with the season's top accessories—rounded cat eye sunglasses and silver jewelry—and you’re good to go.
As always, we recommend that you wear what makes you happy and confident, whether that fits trendy norms or not. By letting your individuality shine, you can’t lose. WMW
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Photos © Gina's Boutique
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS AN ADDICT
WWhile Dry January and Sober October have gone fairly mainstream, mocktails are becoming all the rage and nonalcoholic bars are cropping up, alcohol abuse remains a mostly forbidden subject of conversation. Likewise, there’s plenty of talk on the news about the opioid epidemic, fentanyl infiltration in the illegal drug supply and prescription medication misuse; yet, these issues often feel largely faceless and nameless. They exist in someone else’s life or in some other state’s backyard.
But, what happens when addiction hits close to home? When a family member or loved one is living with addiction, it may be difficult to find support when society would rather it remain hush-hush. The reality is, the more we talk about it
openly, the greater opportunity there is to get everyone involved the help they need.
Beyond the Oxford Dictionary definition, according to Healthline, “An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of ‘reward’ and lack of concern over consequences.” (Though sex and gambling addictions fall under this definition, for this writing, we’ll be focusing on substance addiction.)
Sometimes addiction is evident in behavior or outcomes, such as frequent blackouts or a life-threatening overdose. But it doesn’t have to be that severe. You
may have heard the term “functioning addict.” Even if it appears that an individual is holding it together, they’re still doing damage—to their health, their relationships, and the stability of their life. Whether overt or in the shadows, if your loved one is suffering from addiction, there are ways to offer constructive support.
We spoke with Addiction Medicine
Director at Corewell Health, Dr. Colleen Lane, a Grand Rapids native who recently returned to the area to work in our community. Driven by a desire to bring more compassion to the treatment of addiction, equip more physicians with the tools and language to address addiction and make it easier for addicts to access care, Lane has been striving to change the approach to this complex, chronic disease.
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BY ALLISON KAY BANNISTER
GET HELP, FOR THEM AND FOR YOU
Probably one of the most significant changes that Dr. Lane’s practice in Grand Rapids has implemented in the past year is offering same-day, walk-in hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. This means that on a day that an addict is motivated to seek help—and has a ride, the time and a support person to come with them, if desired—they can be seen.
“We have to make treatment easier to get than heroin,” Dr. Lane said. “And it’s pretty easy to get heroin.”
Knowing what resources exist and where they are is a big first step. For the loved one, Dr. Lane highly recommends joining a mutual support program such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, associations for people and families who’ve been affected by another person’s substance addiction.
“Get yourself support,” Dr. Lane said. “As a friend or family member, you may feel like you have to take on the responsibility for your loved one’s recovery, and if they’re not doing as well or not making progress in the cadence that you hope, that can sometimes feel like a failure on you. That’s where these peer groups can help.”
KNOW THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS TO BE INVOLVED —AND LOVE WITHOUT ENABLING
“It’s almost impossible for one person to be able to force another into treatment,” Dr. Lane said. She recommends that people, rather than setting demands or ultimatums or punishments, get educated and be ready to provide information if and when your loved one is open to the conversation. Offer to join them, or not, depending on their comfort level. Be a second set of ears at a treatment appointment or the person who helps get them to that appointment—but on their terms. And, all the while, maintain your own boundaries, which, again, is where a peer group can offer great support.
HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS, BUT ALSO KNOW THERE’S HOPE
The medical treatments at Dr. Lane’s clinic can work pretty quickly, but it’s the nature of addiction for flares to occur. Pairing medicine with behavioral therapy and other programs, including SMART Recovery and the 12 Steps, creates a foundation that’s the key to long-term recovery.
“If we can engage someone in care and keep them in care, we have the opportunity to save their life,” said Dr. Lane. “That’s powerful.” WMW
If you or your loved one is in substance abuse crisis, SAMHSA has a free helpline that’s confidential and available in English and Spanish 24/7, 365. Call 1.800.662.HELP (4357).
CONTRIBUTOR ALLISON KAY BANNISTER
has been a West Michigan resident since 1987 and a professional writer since 2002. A GVSU alumna, she launched her own freelance writing business in 2017. Allison is a cookie connoisseur, word nerd, aspiring gardener, and metastatic breast cancer thriver who loves traveling in Michigan and beyond, and enjoys art, world cuisine, wine, music, and making homemade preserves.
FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE:
DR. COLLEEN LANE Addiction Medicine Director, Corewell Health
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LEVELING UP YOUR CLOSET ORGANIZATION
WWe’ve all been there … opening up our closet only to feel overwhelmed and like you can’t find anything. It should come as no surprise how this can lead to feeling uninspired about your wardrobe and even forgetting about some awesome pieces you already own.
Michelle Krick—fashion expert, wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and owner of Michelle Krick Style—knows a thing or two about closet organization, as she helps her clients improve their own closets’ efficiency all the time.
According to Krick, when your closet is organized and filled with items you love, it’s so much easier to “shop” your own closet and save time by being able to quickly put the best outfit together. She offered up some tips for getting started.
“First, use the same style of hanger for all of your clothes. It immediately makes your closet space look cleaner and is easier on the eye,” Krick said. “Second, organize your closet by silhouette and sort by color. For example: Put all your layering pieces together, all of your pants, tanks, short sleeves, long sleeves, etc. This allows you to see what you have by silhouette, and how many you have in that color.”
Krick also suggests removing items that don’t fit, as they create “noise” and can cause frustration when seeing them every time you get dressed.
“You can either move these items to another closet, put them away in a tote or edit, because even if you were once again wearing those items, they wouldn’t be your first choice anyway,” Krick said. “Editing is the key to having a closet you love and that stays organized. Most people are wearing 20% of their closet, so the other 80% is just sitting there getting in the way.”
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DISPLAY AND PLAY
Part of making your closet work for you is displaying your clothing, shoes and accessories intentionally (rather than in a crumpled heap or tangled ball). The finishing touches to an outfit, Krick notes these items are often forgotten because they’re usually out of sight in a drawer or bin.
Consider a two-tiered bar for bracelets or a threetiered fixture for necklaces, along with hanging holders and velvet trays for earrings and rings.
“Shoes are best when featured on shelves organized by style, then by color (sneakers, flats, pumps, etc),” Krick said, adding that you can always add a shoe storage cabinet if you’re short on shelving space. “A fun idea for boots to stay upright is to use pool noodles! They can easily be cut to the correct size you need, and are an inexpensive and easy way to keep your leather nice.”
Krick explains that medium and large handbags are best when featured on shelves and should be stuffed so they keep their shape when not in use. (Acrylic shelf dividers also help keep things tidy!)
“For clutches, use file folders inside, and for crossbodies, use curved hangers so the handles/ straps stay nice.”
RETHINK YOUR FOLDING
We’ve all got those drawers that never seem to close all the way because they’re so full or somehow get disorganized almost immediately. According to Krick, the best scenarios for drawers are to have them divided up by certain categories.
“I prefer to have my clients hang whatever they would wear as fashion, like tees that you layer, jeans, fashion athleisure, etc.,” Krick said. “The less folding, the better, so when you wear something, it’s not wrinkled.”
However, there are some prime items that will feel right at home in your drawers, such as lounge and athletic wear, base layers and swim/cover ups.
“When you do need to fold, it’s best to be neat and fold items in a column-like manner vs. stacking,” Krick said, explaining how this method of folding will allow you to better see all the pieces you have in the drawer at once. “If you can’t fit everything in your drawers, rank the items from favorite to least, and edit the pieces on the bottom of that list.”
However you end up tackling your closet organization, taking little steps at a time—or enlisting a professional—can help you make the most of your closet, and perhaps even reveal space you didn’t even realize you already had. WMW
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Photos © Michelle Krick
IS HOMESCHOOLING RIGHT FOR US?
But deciding the choices can feel endless and overwhelming: How will you tailor to your child’s learning style, which curriculum should you use (Classical Approach, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, etc.) and more.
Fortunately, West Michigan has excellent resources, starting with the Home School Building (HSB, Inc.) in Wyoming. Their employees will help you think through what works best for your family.
HHomeschooling is experiencing a boom.
In the past two decades, the estimated number of homeschooled children in the U.S. has risen from 1.4 million (‘02 – ‘03) to 2.6 million (‘21 – ‘22), boosted, in part, by educational experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Amy Oostveen, a Grand Rapids business owner, COVID was certainly the catalyst. As she watched her son, Aleksander, stare at a computer screen, she thought she could direct him in a better way.
“I taught him how to play baseball. I taught him how to swing a golf club,” she said. “I thought, ‘How hard can it be?’” She laughed, recalling that, “in the
beginning, it was so, so hard.”
Haleigh Gerwig’s mom had a different motivation. She decided to homeschool Haleigh, a good public-school student, for one year, because Haleigh struggled with math in the fourth grade. In the end, she homeschooled Haleigh through high school.
“Homeschooling worked really well for me,” explained Gerwig. “I excelled at reading and could work ahead in that area. But the pace of math in public school moved too quickly for me. At home, we didn’t move on until I grasped the concepts.”
Whatever your reason, it’s not hard to get started here. Michigan law permits a generous amount of freedom in the way families approach home education.
“Don’t overthink it,” suggested Oostveen. “As parents we want the best for our kids and we think it has to be the ‘best’ math book, but it doesn’t. It just has to be great for them.” She and Aleksander are approaching their third year of homeschooling and they’re also
It’s a child-directed homeschooling approach. Read “Free to Learn” by Peter Gray.
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on their third approach to curriculum.
The first year, they chose subject-specific books that appealed to Aleksander. Their second year, they joined a homeschool pod, where he took gym, speech and piano with other homeschooled students. Her neighbor, a retired teacher, helped Aleksander with history. This coming year, when he begins seventh grade, they’ll switch again.
“He’s in the groove now,” Oostveen explained. “He’s super self-motivated, he knows what he likes, and he knows what he doesn’t like. We’ll just be doing school at home next year.”
Oostveen found that in addition to providing learning opportunities, the homeschool pod also helped socially, as her son met other homeschooled students there.
Parents wondering about the social factor can rest easy knowing that opportunities abound. Gerwig played volleyball with the Rivertown Christian Patriots and participated in a drama program through the Koinonia homeschool group. Her brother played soccer with West Michigan Heat. Oostveen’s son plays travel basketball and competitive lacrosse year-round, giving him not only an outlet for his athleticism, but a community of friends, as well.
Your children can also meet other kids by participating in hybrid partnership programs with public or private schools. Gerwig’s sister, for example, took speech and Spanish at a local public school that offered a hybrid program. HSB, Inc. is a great resource
for connecting you and your child with extracurriculars and these types of programs.
If this all sounds great but you’re not sure you can manage it with a career, you could be right. Or wrong. Because homeschoolers aren’t bound to the structure of a traditional school’s daily—or annual—calendar, it gives you incredible freedom regarding when school happens.
“I loved setting my own schedule,” said Gerwig. “I decided if I started the day with reading or math or history and it could change day by day.”
As a business owner, Oostveen appreciates that her son can do his schoolwork around her schedule and even has time to run his own dog walking business. Other working parents might tag team with each other, use a tutor service (like The Tutoring Center in Wyoming), or split “teaching” days with other homeschooling families.
If you’re inclined to give homeschooling a try, recognize that anything new can be scary.
“Just because it’s scary, doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do,” said Oostveen. “Sometimes new things are full of fear but, if we can step into that, it can be beautiful.” WMW
CONTRIBUTOR KIRSETIN MORELLO
is a Michigan-based author, speaker, writer, travel-lover, wife and grateful mom of three boys. Read more about her at www. KirsetinMorello.com.
HSB, Inc: mihsb.org | 5625 Burlingame Ave SW
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If homeschooling isn’t right for you, you may still find homeschool resources helpful.
BY SARAH SUYDAM
CELEBRATING A LEGACY OF STORYTELLING
WWhen you walk into the offices of Cynthia Kay and Company Media Production, you’re immediately greeted by a wall of well-deserved accolades and mementos of work spanning across 35 years, from small local businesses and nonprofits to Fortune Global 500 companies. However, President and CEO Cynthia Kay knows that a job well done is about so much more than just the recognition you might receive afterward.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Kay graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in applied voice and a minor in piano, initially thinking of being a singer and a double major in tv and radio. Kay eventually gravitated towards television and, through persistence, landed her first job at WKZO (now WWMT) where she stayed for five years while earning a master’s in communications. After moving to WZZM and then freelancing for a time, Kay knew she was ready to do her own thing.
“I wanted something different; I wanted to have more control over the decisions that were made,” Kay said. “And honestly, I wanted to be the boss.”
So that’s exactly what she did.
Since CK and CO was incorporated on September 10, 1987, Kay and her talented team have viewed their clients as partners, telling their stories while building immense trust and strong relationships along the way. Over the years, word of mouth and strategic marketing grew Kay’s business from the local level to a truly global scale. From video production and animation to editing and communications consulting—and every simple or complex step that falls in between— Kay and her team have it handled. Stepping on planes each week to work on-location happens just as often as trying something completely new for a client.
“The thing that has kept us relevant through the years is that we’ve not been afraid to do different things,” Kay said, noting that building her team has been her greatest
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kay COVER STORY
Photos © Kelly Braman
Makeup © Jerry Kragt, Aura Beauty Bar
Hair © Kristi Nunn, Hairstylist, Design 1 Plainfield
Candids © Cynthia Kay
professional accomplishment. “People often say ‘it’s all about the people’ but few people really mean it. I’m proud that everyone here cares about each other while being different from one another. We’re also operationally efficient and though we’re small, we operate like a big business.”
Kay, who describes herself as an energetic people person, credits her family and Greek heritage for instilling in her a strong work ethic that was built while growing up and working at her family’s own business, a cleaners. She specifically notes her father’s influence.
“From watching him, I knew what it was like to run a small business, so I knew what I was getting into setting out on my own,” Kay explained. “Like him, I’m not very good at sitting. I’m impatient—in a good way. When I do something, I do it with purpose. I’m all in. I think I’m pretty darned optimistic about things. I tend not to be someone who sees the downside. But I am extremely practical and realistic, especially when it comes to business, which I think is somewhat unusual in the creative field.”
Through all the success, Kay, like anyone, has been faced with failure or letdown in the past. Yet she doesn’t let it discourage her. In fact, she’s thankful for the lessons any perceived missteps bestowed upon her. She encourages people—no matter their level of experience or knowledge—to remain curious.
“You know, I’ve been doing this for 35 years and there’s still stuff I don’t know … and I’m really proud of that, because it means I’ve still got something I can learn,” Kay said, emphasizing how important communication is
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I wanted something different; I wanted to have more control over the decisions that were made ...
AND HONESTLY, I WANTED TO BE THE BOSS.
in all forms. “I’ve always thought communication is not valued as much as it should be. It’s so important. If you want people to feel valued, you have to make them feel heard.”
Telling stories of all kinds remains a top priority for Kay, recalling a recent project CK and CO did for the Clark Foundation which chronicled the experiences of Pastor Betty Smith, who lives with dementia.
“She let us follow her for months and watch what’s happening to her with her dementia,” Kay said. “She decided to do this because she wants to help and educate other people, and I got really close to her over time. I wish I had a resource like this for my own family when we faced this. I told her it was like my honor that she let us into her life to be able to do that for others.
“So when someone asks ‘What do you love about what you do?’ … you know what? I love talking to the guy on the factory floor, and I love talking to Pastor Betty Smith.”
Having run eight half marathons in the past, Kay is passionate about leading an active lifestyle, spending time with friends and family and a good glass of wine, traveling, golfing and reading. She’s also written two books of her own (with her newest to be published by Career Press soon) and has a strong history of advocating on behalf of small businesses, including testifying in front of Congress, lending her expertise to other aspiring small business owners, and serving at one time as Board Chair of both the Small Business Association of Michigan and the National Small Business Association.
“The small business community is this amazing group of people who are so willing to share,” Kay said, citing her own reasoning for staying so involved.
“I am where I am today because a lot of people helped me and shared their own resources and knowledge.”
At this phase of her career, in addition to continuing to help small businesses (including serving on the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Board), Kay hopes to do more speaking, consulting and writing.
“You get to a certain age, and everyone starts to ask, ‘When are you going to retire?’” Kay said. “I always tell them, ‘I still have things to do.’”
Kay finds incredible joy in directing her church’s choir and reflects upon a lesson that her mother—who was her first vocal teacher—taught her when she was young: No matter what you’re doing, being part of a team matters.
“You don’t always have to be the star. Being in the chorus is just as important as the leading role.” WMW
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I am where I am today because a lot of people helped me and SHARED THEIR OWN RESOURCES AND KNOWLEDGE.
Q&A: NATALIE NOVAK of KPS Essentials
Natalie Novak, Founder and CEO of Grand Rapids-based KPS Essentials, began her journey into the realm of skincare in 1987 after discovering some unfavorable ingredients found in some high-end cosmetics. Through years of research and hands-on experience as a certified aesthetician in startup day spas and physician-led spas, Novak developed a line of skincare that she says is not only effective but also safe for your skin. We sat down with her to learn more!
PLEASE SHARE SOME BACKGROUND ON KPS ESSENTIALS AND HOW IT CAME TO BE!
KPS Essentials is a revolutionary skincare brand founded by myself and Ron Webb. The brand was born out of our shared passion for creating pure, organic skincare products that are both effective and safe for the skin. As a certified aesthetician and master gardener, I’ve dedicated myself to uncovering the truth about the harsh chemicals in high-end cosmetics after a devastating earthquake exposed their presence in 1987.
Ron, a former aerospace engineer at The Boeing Company, leveraged his expertise in aerospace, plant-drug research, and physiology to develop products to heal a severe skin injury on his mother’s horse. His innovative spirit, combined with my mastery of organics, soil nutrients and industry knowledge, resulted in the creation of KPS Essentials. Together, KPS Essentials promises truly transformative results for our customers, leveraging the unique combination of mine and Ron’s knowledge and expertise.
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Photos © Natalie Novak
WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO KEEP KPS ESSENTIALS BASED LOCALLY IN GRAND RAPIDS?
Grand Rapids is a thriving city that is known for its low cost of living, business-friendly environment, and supportive community. This made it the perfect location for me to bring the KPS Essentials vision to life and build the brand.
AS WE ENJOY THE WARMER WEATHER THIS SPRING AND INTO SUMMER, WHAT SKIN CONCERNS SHOULD WOMEN BE PAYING ATTENTION TO RIGHT NOW?
To keep their skin healthy and glowing, women should pay attention to:
SUN DAMAGE: Increased sun exposure during spring and summer can lead to sunburn and long-term damage to the skin, such as premature aging, dark spots and skin cancer. It’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day to protect your skin.
TWO KEY ACTIVES: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help protect the skin against damage caused by harmful free radicals. It can also stimulate collagen production, which helps to keep the skin firm and youthful and can improve the appearance of fine lines and
wrinkles. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is another powerful ingredient that can promote skin cell turnover and rejuvenation. It can also help to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin. Our Renū C+ is the perfect addition to your skincare routine.
DEHYDRATION: The warm weather and increased sun exposure can cause skin to become dehydrated, leading to dryness, flakiness and wrinkles. Be sure to drink plenty of water and use a moisturizer to keep skin hydrated.
BREAKOUTS: Humidity and increased sweat production can lead to breakouts and clogged pores, especially in the warmer months. Keep skin clean by washing regularly and using a gentle, non-comedogenic product.
PAMPER MOM— AND YOURSELF!
While moms and mother figures everywhere deserve to be pampered all year round, Mother’s Day is the perfect chance to show the special women in your life just how much you appreciate them. What better way than taking advantage of one of the many wellness and beauty services found throughout West Michigan?
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WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A COSMETIC DENTIST?
It’s important to seek a dentist that approaches cosmetic dentistry as a specialty. The more extensive the need, the greater level of skill is required to ensure long-term success. Tips for finding someone who can meet your individual expectations:
» Search the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com) website for a credentialed cosmetic dentist.
» Consult with dental professionals you trust. Dental and medical specialists (oral surgeons, orthodontists and plastic surgeons) see plenty of dentistry from many different offices.
» Browse the websites of dentists recommended to you. Make certain you like what you see, and the images are not stock photographs but actual before and after images of patients treated in the practice.
» It’s vital to feel comfortable with the knowledge, experience and artistic sense of the provider. The dentist should be skilled in a broad range of solutions and be able to individually customize treatment plans to responsibly serve each patient.
BETSY BAKEMAN, DDS
WHAT AESTHETIC OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR ENHANCING A SMILE?
Patients may have worn, uneven or discolored teeth, gummy smiles, crowding or spaces. Solutions include whitening, orthodontics with clear aligners, veneers, bonding, porcelain crowns and implant-supported restorations such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Aesthetic gum lifts can be accomplished to correct gum height asymmetries or lengthen short teeth. Even new dentures can provide a natural and stunning smile enhancement.
HOW DOES ONE GET STARTED?
A consultation to discuss concerns and available options is a good first step. Often, a “trial smile” can provide a preview of the possibilities. It’s important to review before and after images of patients that had similar challenges and solutions. The great thing is with current materials and techniques, a beautiful, confident smile is available to everyone.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU OR YOUR PRACTICE?
Patients travel from all over the state and beyond to seek cosmetic dentistry in our practice. Whether from near or far, my staff and I are honored by the trust each patient places in us. We strive to do our absolute best for each and every patient.
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From hair and nails to a day at the spa, come along with us as we take a look at some “Mom and Me” opportunities around town.
Venture to Design 1 Salon Spa , where mom can enjoy a variety of aesthetic services right alongside the person who is celebrating them. From a Brightening Vitamin C Facial and energizing Margarita Manicure to a Signature Pedicure in a comfortable leather chair, there’s plenty of opportunity to feel pampered and spend some quality time together. Simply mention when booking your appointments that you’d like to enjoy the experience side by side or in the same spa room.
Not sure what service or day and time works best for mom? No worries. Design 1 has Mother’s Day gift cards available online and in store, as well as additional timely specials.
Stop in to LORDE Beauty and Cosmetics to enjoy some seriously elevated services in addition to doing some shopping for skincare, makeup and more. LORDE specializes in high-end facials that produce some significant results, such as the new Effervescent Facial (a sparkling, aromatic experience that breathes new life into your skin) and the Omorovicza Blue Diamond Facial (a firming, brightening treatment that revitalizes lackluster skin). In addition to facials, LORDE also offers makeup applications and lessons. The techniques developed by
founder and esthetician Rachel Williams—paired with Ere Perez products—bring ease to those learning to apply makeup at home.
For the mom who’s looking to truly relax and unwind on another level, a visit to Seraphina Spa at the JW Marriott is a must. Sip a glass of champagne or sparkling juice and soak in the serenity (or indoor pool) found at this new luxury spa offering holistic care and treatments of all kinds, from cupping massages and body wrap treatments to hair removal, customized facials and more.
From curls and beach waves to smooth and sleek, a blowout from the professionals at Primp and Blow Knapp’s Crossing is sure to leave mom feeling ready to conquer the world. Stop in for signature service, “The Primp and Blow,” a luxurious shampoo and conditioning with a salonstyle blowout, as well as full makeup application utilizing Smashbox Cosmetics. Add on a scalp massage to really up mom’s comfort level. Have a special event to go to? From a full face to eyes and lips only, Primp and Blow’s makeup professionals can nail the perfect look for mom.
At eco-friendly Ethos Day Spa , mom has a wide range of choices for feeling like the star of the show. After being greeted with a complimentary mimosa, choose from services such as body work and skincare treatments to salon services like permanent makeup and lashes. Be sure mom doesn’t forget her swimsuit! With any spa service, visitors have access to Ethos’ sauna and steam rooms, in addition to a hot tub, two cold plunges and a fire pit in their outdoor area. Each lounge room also has a service button guests can press to request anything from hair ties and a toothbrush to another mimosa. Talk about relaxing!
Whether you decide to have a spa day all at one location or hop around town, West Michigan’s many talented spa and aesthetics providers offer plenty of ways to show mom that she truly deserves a day all to herself. WMW
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Photo © Seraphina Spa at the JW Marriott
DOING MORE WITH LESS PEOPLE:
MAINTAINING A FUNCTIONING WORKPLACE
AAs a business owner or a people manager, you don’t always have the resources to match bigger, more established companies. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve big things. Instead, you’ve got to be nimble and make the most of the resources you do have.
Business owners and managers know that having the right people in the right positions can make or break their success. But sometimes, budget constraints can make it difficult to hire more staff or offer competitive salaries. One of the trickiest parts of building a business is knowing when and how to add employees to the team.
Here are my best tips for running a small business by doing more with less people to maintain a functioning workplace:
Plugging in an intern wherever possible is a brilliant idea. They’re often very eager to apply themselves (not to mention brilliant with technology!). To maximize the capabilities of an intern, it’s essential to make sure their tasks are connected to the company’s goals, while ensuring the intern can connect the dots between their tasks and the bigger picture. This will help them to be as effective and productive as possible.
Leverage technology to automate certain tasks and streamline processes. Automating mundane, repetitive tasks can free up your
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BY ASHLEY WARD
team to focus on more important, value-driven activities. Having the right technology in place is essential for small business owners looking to do more with less people.
Outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers or virtual assistants is a great way to get help with tasks that can be time consuming or require specialized skills, without the expense of hiring a full-time employee. Freelancers and virtual assistants can help with a range of tasks like social media management, website maintenance, data entry, content creation and more. With the right freelancer or virtual assistant, small business owners can free up their time to focus on the core aspects of running their business.
Get creative with compensation and benefit packages. Think outside the box to reward your employees for their hard work and dedication. Consider offering flexible work hours that allow for more productivity, additional or unlimited vacation days to promote a healthy work-life balance, or other incentives such as discounts at local businesses or additional training opportunities.
Implement a training program to ensure employees are equipped with the skills required to do their job, which helps increase efficiency and productivity. In addition to training,
employee engagement is key to reduce turnover, while saving time and money. Talent optimization is an effective strategy to help small business owners maximize their resources. With the right training program and an emphasis on employee engagement, you can create a productive and engaged team that will help your business thrive.
Business owners don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the challenge of doing more with fewer people. By investing in the right tools, having a clear plan and being creative, they can successfully accomplish their goals and maximize their resources. WMW
ASHLEY WARD is the Founder and CEO of W Talent Solutions, an executive recruiting firm based in Grand Rapids. A survivor of domestic violence, Ashley founded W Talent Solutions in 2017 with a mission to empower women experiencing domestic violence and now gives 10% of profits to the YWCA so that other women can have the same chance she did.
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SET OUT ON A CLASSIC MICHIGAN TOUR
TThough we may be biased, Michigan is truly a state unlike any other. Whether you’re looking for a getaway with your best friends or a familyfriendly adventure, these quintessential Michigan destinations are a great way to see all that the Great Lakes State has to offer.
Whether you know it best as the Motor City, Motown or simply The D, Detroit and its spirit are irreplicable. Head to the Detroit Institute of Arts to appreciate world class works of art; feel the soul at Hitsville U.S.A. and the Motown Museum; see priceless historic artifacts at the Henry Ford in nearby Dearborn; stroll the RiverWalk downtown; visit the Belle Isle Aquarium; and more.
Be sure to dine in Mexicantown and grab a coney from Lafayette or American Coney Island (which is best remains a hot topic). Don’t leave without sipping a cocktail at the remarkably styled Candy Bar inside of the equally as fashionable Siren Hotel—trust us.
Less than 100 miles north, all the Bavarian vibes could be found in Frankenmuth . While the city is mostly top of mind around the holidays (thanks to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland), Frankenmuth has plenty to offer all year round. From early May through mid-October, hop aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat for a relaxing cruise along the Cass River; marvel at the more than 25 colorful hot air balloons in the sky for Balloons Over Bavarian Inn in late May; and take in all the German heritage at the annual Frankenmuth Oktoberfest in September.
If shopping is your thing, be sure to peruse the quaint stores and boutiques of River Place Shops before refueling with a world-famous chicken dinner at Zehnder’s or enjoying a craft brew and brat at Frankenmuth Brewery. Don’t forget after-dinner drinks at Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie.
BY SARAH SUYDAM
28 APRIL/MAY 2023 : WMW TRAVEL
Venture a couple of hours west to Holland , home to the stunning beaches of Holland State Park and the iconic “Big Red” lighthouse. Spend the night camping there, or make your way downtown where you’ll find locally owned establishments like the Holland Peanut Store, which offers everything you could want in the form of freshly roasted nuts, sweet confections and nostalgic treats.
Of course, we have to mention Holland’s Tulip Time Festival, which is attended by over 400,000 people annually in early May. The eight-day festival that’s been around for over 90 years is known for celebrating the area’s Dutch heritage through a variety of events, in addition to the visual beauty that is six million
tulips in bloom at once. Continue exploring Holland’s Dutch heritage with stops at Windmill Island Gardens and Nelis’ Dutch Village.
Head north along the coast of Lake Michigan— including on the delightful M-22 Scenic Highway—to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore , a stunning and rare natural wonder that never fails to impress. From hiking the hilly (yet supremely rewarding) Empire Bluff Trail 400 feet above Lake Michigan and stargazing at night to hunting for morels and standup paddle boarding, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to discover. You could even take it all in from above with a helicopter tour! In addition to several lighthouses, don’t forget to take in some of the area’s history with stops at the Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum in Glen Haven and the Empire Area Museum Center.
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Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tulip Time in Holland, Frankenmuth,, Detroit Riverwalk, Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie.
Photos © Pure Michigan | Photos (on Right) © Frankenmuth Convention & Visitors Bureau
Continue east for less than 30 miles and you’ll end up in Traverse City, a can’t-miss Michigan staple. Because this well loved destination is situated along the 45th parallel (same as Italy’s Piedmont region and Bordeaux, France) wine is the name of the game here, as evidenced by the area’s over 40 award-winning wineries. Tours and tasting opportunities abound!
Stay and play at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, where you can tee off at one of three first-class golf courses before booking yourself one (or several) relaxing spa treatments; fat bike and cross-country ski outdoors in the wintertime; attend the National Cherry Festival celebrating the area’s abundant crop in early July; and much more.
Continue about 100 miles north to visit Michigan’s crown jewel, Mackinac Island . Hop on the ferry from Mackinaw City, and upon arrival, purchase some rich Mackinac Island fudge, dine on the patio at Pink Pony, and admire the beauty of the live insects found inside the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House.
Remember: No cars allowed! Take a horse-drawn
carriage landmark tour; bike the perimeter of the island and see Arch Rock; plan your stay during the annual Lilac Festival in June; and more. Staying overnight? Popular choices include the stately Grand Hotel—home to the world’s longest porch—and Mission Point Resort, which recently underwent several renovations this past winter.
Take the ferry—this time to St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula—to venture to the north coast along Lake Superior to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It’s here visitors can appreciate miles of colorful sandstone cliffs that tower 50 to 200 feet above the water, in addition to landmarks such as Miner’s Castle and Chapel Rock. Go kayaking to see the shoreline from a new perspective and even see some shipwrecks below, thanks to Lake Superior’s supremely clear water.
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Traverse City, Mackinac Island. Photos © Pure Michigan
WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATE PLANNING 101:
FINDING WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU
DDiscussing (much less planning for) your own mortality can be understandably uncomfortable, but it’s also crucial and inevitable. This is part of life, and for your own sake and your family’s, estate planning can make all the difference.
There are people available who work to facilitate these conversations and make them easier, whether it’s legal experts guiding you through planning or community groups like The Mortals Café in Grand Rapids, which offers tons of resources around estate planning, death doulas, hospice care, grief and more.
Depending on your personal financial and familial situation, your estate planning could be quite simple or surprisingly complex. That’s why we talked to Linsey Gleason, Partner at Varnum LLP.
“The time it takes to put together an estate plan is largely dependent on how complex each individual’s needs and desires are to document,” Gleason said. “Sometimes an estate plan can be very, very simple, but some plans (like those for blended families, families with special needs children, etc.) require more thought and more complex solutions.”
As Gleason says, “An estate plan is more than just documenting instructions for the distribution of our assets when we die (I have some clients who say if !).” Estate planning covers a range of considerations, including:
» End-of-life care, including a health care proxy and living will.
» Picking your executor of estate.
» Which individuals receive money, and how.
» Which charities receive money, and how.
» Tax planning.
» Real estate documents.
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ROSE A. COONEN
HOW DOES COONEN LAW DIFFERENTIATE ITSELF FROM OTHER LAW FIRMS WITH REGARD TO ESTATE PLANNING?
We help our clients prepare for life, not just death, and give them peace of mind that they’ve made the best decisions for their family and that their plan will work when their loved ones need it most. We don’t just prepare documents and send our clients on their way. We provide comprehensive plans tailored to provide a plan in the event of incapacity and death, as well as protect minor children from being raised by strangers. Additionally, we foster lifetime, ongoing relations with our clients and review their plans on a regular basis to ensure it still accomplishes their goals.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO FOLKS WHO THINK THIS SERVICE MIGHT BE OUT OF THEIR PRICE RANGE?
Many times the cost of not having a plan in place can be over 10 times more costly than proper planning, not to mention the mess it can leave a family in. The best part of our process is that our clients choose their fee based on their budget and planning options that are most important to them and their family. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” choice, and all of our planning fees are flat rate—not hourly. Additionally, we offer a complete zeroing out of the planning session fee if a client commits to preparation before the meeting because it can save us time, which saves them money.
HOW DOES “FAMILY WEALTH” EXTEND BEYOND SIMPLY FINANCIALS AND HOW DO YOU HELP FAMILIES NAVIGATE THIS?
We believe that planning is about much more than just the transfer of financial wealth. For each client, we walk through a process to help them transfer their most personal wealth to their loved ones, including their intellectual, spiritual and human assets—who they are and what’s important to them. We help families navigate passing on their legacy by capturing their insights, values, stories and experiences to preserve them for the next generation.
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ATTORNEY COONEN LAW, PLLC
Photo © Brenda Hoffman Photography
It may seem like a lot of decisions to make, but they’re important decisions, and you should feel empowered by the control estate planning gives you over the situation.
Unless you’re overwhelmingly wealthy, the mechanisms for estate planning aren’t too complicated to understand, but it’s smart to learn the basics. For instance, most people know what a will is, but what about a trust?
“A trust is sometimes called a ‘will substitute,’ but it can be much more than that,” Gleason said. “A trust can provide the added benefit of avoiding the necessity for probate after death. For some, particularly the wealthy, trusts can be leveraged for significant tax
FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE:
benefits. Trusts typically provide far more flexibility, and also more control in the administration of assets.”
Often, you’ll use a combination of the two, with the will specifying where tangible property goes and the rest of your estate passing into trusts. A trust simply holds assets for a beneficiary, and you, the grantor, outline what terms these assets are distributed in.
Regardless of your mechanisms, one great reason to start estate planning now and to do so with an expert is to help avoid potential rifts in the family after you’re gone.
With all these factors at play, you might be putting off estate planning just for fear of the hassle. However, it’s a crucial part of life, and you don’t want to wait until it’s too late. The earlier you begin, the easier it is.
“An estate plan is an opportunity to plan and leave a legacy,” Gleason said. “Your legacy might be in caring for your loved ones after you’re gone, or leaving resources for a favorite nonprofit organization (or both!). Estate planning is even more important for individuals and families with young children or those with special needs.”
Partner, Varnum LLP
“Even the perfect estate plan may not guarantee that a family won’t argue after death, but a well-drafted estate plan can clearly document your intent,” Gleason said. “In most cases, your estate plan will dictate who will be placed in various fiduciary positions on your behalf, eliminating court involvement and potential arguments over who may be best suited to play various roles. In addition, your estate plan can include provisions (like no contest clauses) that disincentivize anyone from trying to challenge the terms of a will or trust.”
Ultimately, Gleason notes there’s no one-size-fits-all estate plan.
“The cost may be more for individuals in blended families, with special needs children or with complex assets, like closely-held businesses,” she said. “You might expect to spend $3,000 to $4,000 or more on an estate plan, but it’s a smart investment in you and your loved ones’ futures, and often costs far less when done correctly and timely as opposed to the process that has to be undertaken for a person who becomes incapacitated or dies without an estate plan.” WMW
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EDITED BY SARAH SUYDAM
LINDSAY M ac MILLAN:
EMPOWERING WOMEN IN BUSINESS AND OPENING THE DOOR TO A DREAM
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AA bestselling author, speaker and business leader, Lindsay MacMillan grew up in Kalamazoo before going on to graduate magna cum laude from Dartmouth College and started her career on Wall Street, becoming a Vice President at Goldman Sachs at 28.
While working in finance in New York and London, MacMillan carved out early mornings and weekends to pursue her dream of being an author. Her debut novel, The Heart of the Deal, was published in 2022 via Penguin Random House, and her second book is forthcoming in 2023. MacMillan is a TEDx speaker and has been interviewed by Katie Couric, CNBC, Business Insider and more.
Since moving back to West Michigan, she is leveraging her background to empower women through her role as Head of Community Engagement at Sleeping Giant Capital, a Kalamazoo-based investment firm.
HOW DOES YOUR EARLY CAREER SUCCESS ON WALL STREET HELP INFORM YOUR WORK TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN BUSINESS IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE WITH SGC?
Wall Street was a six-year business bootcamp for me, and one I was initially intimidated by. Finance is still maledominated, and when I joined Goldman Sachs out of college as an investor, I was the only woman on my team of 20. As I climbed the ranks, I wasn’t sure how the dots were going to connect, but I had the sense I’d be able to use these business skills—and the network I was making—to lift up other women, and also my hometown community.
When I moved back to Kalamazoo, I met Doug and Derrick, co-founders of Sleeping Giant Capital, and their mission immediately energized me. Sleeping Giant invests in Michigan businesses to help them grow, and we’re targeting 50% women CEOs for the companies we invest in (compared to a national average of only 5% women CEOs). As Head of Community Engagement, I share our
story and recruit/develop women to become CEOs and equity owners of the companies we invest in.
The investing knowledge I gained from Wall Street, combined with the storytelling from my author skillset, makes this a rewarding role. I’m excited to keep meeting and empowering more rock star women across West Michigan.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR SECOND BOOK THAT’S COMING OUT SOON?
It’s called Double-Decker Dreams, and it’s a contemporary novel set in London. (I wrote it while working in the UK!) A fictional story, it follows an American consultant (Kat), who dreams of falling in love with an English aristocrat and making partner at her firm. But the closer she gets to those goals, the more she realizes maybe those won’t be the things to fulfill her after all.
Relatable women who are defining success in relationships and careers are at the center of my novels (so far!). Double-Decker Dreams publishes in
June. I’ll be having book tour events in New York, LA, and of course, West Michigan.
YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED QUITE A LOT IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE LOOKING TO DO THE SAME AND FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS?
If you feel called to something, and it lights you up even if no one is watching, keep at it relentlessly. Put in unglamorous work, even when things aren’t going your way. I poured my heart into writing four books that never got published and received hundreds of rejections from agents/ publishers for many years. It would have been easy to give up. But I still felt pulled to write, and I still believed that I could get published, despite the odds. So I kept at it and finally landed an agent and two book deals through a big NYC publisher.
Believe in magic, but don’t wait for it.
ANYTHING ADDITIONAL YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I know how far away our dreams can feel, whether it’s writing a book or running a business. I want to support you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s a joy to connect. lmacmillan@ sleepinggiantcapital.com. WMW
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Photos © Alyssa Sonnevil