Introducing: InForum, Benchmarks and…Thunder

Posted on May 1, 2009 :: Editor
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Every month, as our name says, we offer you insight. As our tagline says, Insight is also about “connecting business and people in the New North.”

This month, we present our first InForum. A collaboration between Insight Publications and Innovationedge, we developed InForum as a way to more closely tie our name and our tagline – to connect you with people who offer great insight on innovative ideas.

The intent is to periodically gather thought leaders from the region and ask them to ponder a question, and provoke them to share their personal experiences and advice that you can use in your own business or professional setting. Cheryl Perkins, president and founder of Innovationedge and a member of our Editorial Advisory Board, proposed the idea and offered to lead the discussion. Together we came up with the name, which hints at both of our companies’ names while describing what it’s all about. We hope that our InForum will also “inform” you with great ideas.

This month, we ask: how do you innovate in a challenging economy? Highlights of the discussion, held in our board room at Insight Publications, appear on pages 26-28. An audio slideshow of the InForum is available online (click on the link in that feature), along with video clips of each participant sharing takeaways from the conversation.

One common thread that came out of our InForum on innovating in this economy was the importance of nurturing relationships with people – clients, vendors and employees. treat your people right, and ensure they understand the importance of treating customers and vendors right, and you’ll earn a reputation for being the go-to source in a competitive climate, they said. They also agreed that doing right by your community helps, too.

Our cover story subject, Carla Altepeter of CitizensFirst Credit Union, seems to exemplify this notion. Not only does she set an example to the employees by encouraging community involvement, but she also rolls her sleeves up to help people in communities around the world. Most recently she led a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where health professionals provided locals dental and medical care and she helped to reconstruct a chapel. A natural leader, it’s no wonder she was tapped to head the Credit Union Executives society, an independent, international group dedicated to the education and development of credit union CEOs worldwide.

This month, we also launch a new quarterly feature you can sink your teeth into: Benchmarks. We feature two solid pages of graphs and charts highlighting some of the most telling economic indicators in the new north. We’ll be watching the numbers change (for the better, of course!) as we pull out of what may prove to be the trough of the economic slump.

One thing will most certainly be soaring this month: planes over Lake Michigan. Thunder on the Lakeshore is set to take flight June 6-7. Our Downtime feature offers a glimpse of what it’s like to cruise over the lake from Manitowoc to the Fox Valley – Burger Boat Company CEO Jim Ruffolo took Insight’s Sara Herrell for a ride she won’t soon forget. Check out her story on page 62, as well as Rick Berg’s report on Manitowoc County on page 53.

You’ll see that Manitowoc is putting a lot of effort into the green side of business. That’s one trend our InForum panelists agreed is big enough to warrant a deeper discussion. Stay tuned!

 

Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →