The Traverse City Chamber hosts a variety of events annually including networking opportunities, regional development and educational events, professional development programs, and more! View the calendar below of current Chamber events open for registration, or explore all events to learn more!
Family Business Forum 2018
The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Family Business Alliance is proud to present the Family Business Forum.
Operating in the historically rich Straits of Mackinac waters of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, Shepler's Mackinaw Island Ferry is a three-generation family-owned and family-operated business that has had to fight for survival for nearly 70 years. Fierce competition from other ferry lines, treacherous weather conditions, costly maintenance on passenger and freight vessels, changing governmental regulations, and depressed economic conditions in the State of Michigan are but a few of the challenges the Sheplers have faced over the years.
During this Family Business Alliance event, Shepler's Ferry President Chris Shepler will engage in on-stage conversation with Saginaw native Dr. Don Steele. Co-author of the recently-published book Undefeated: The True Story of How the Family-Owned Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry Service Survived and Advanced through Three Generations, Don will talk with Chris about Shepler's founding, its advancement through the years, the existential threat of potential monopolization of Mackinac Island ferry services, and the recent generational succession.
Christopher B. Shepler | President, Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry Service
Boating and skiing, community service and contributions to his profession, entrepreneurism and family business, Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry Service third-generation President Chris Shepler comes by all of his passions naturally.
The son of Bill Shepler and grandson of Cap Shepler " founder of Shepler's Ferry " succeeded his father in the leadership of the family business, and follows in Bill?s footsteps with many of his avocations as well as literally being "at the helm" of the family enterprise. He is a licensed "Master of the Great Lakes" pilot through the United States Coast Guard.
Dr. Don Steele, Ph.D. | Founder and CEO, Performance Learning, Inc
Don earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts Degrees from Central Michigan University and Doctor of Philosophy Degree from The Ohio State University.
Don is passionate about teaching, coaching, and writing. He started his career as a teacher and coach and within nine years served as the Superintendent of Schools in his home town of Saginaw, Michigan. Don then served as Superintendent of Schools for the Toledo Public Schools and for the Seattle Public School District. In 1985, Don founded Performance Learning, Inc. a business dedicated to educating, motivating and empowering athletes, entertainers, leaders, and teams across the spectrum of business, industry, and education.