Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stan’s disappearing act

Just when Stan Wisinski, chairman of The Wisinski Group was all set to receive the much coveted Real Estate Excellence Award at the UM-ULI Conference held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel today, he disappeared. No one in the audience knew why he left, or where he had gone. Later we found out the reason for the “disappearance” was a major deal he was in the middle of closing. I would say that sort sums up Stan, and is a fitting tribute to a guy who has closed thousands of deals in his years in the commercial real estate business.
Meanwhile, of course, Stan had covered his bases by asking Aaron Young, president of The Wisinski Group, to sub for him. This is vintage Stan, covering his bases, and clearly explains his “disappearance.” Aaron made light of the “disappearance” and did a credible job of replacing Stan.
In addition, a group of business leaders from Detroit showed up in time for the awards session. They were part of our most recent “One Michigan — Bridging 96” collaborative effort between the Grand Rapids Business Journal and Crain’s Detroit Business. This group came from Detroit on a bus tour to see and hear some of the major Grand Rapids area developments and business leaders. And Tuesday, we took a group of Grand Rapids business leaders on a bus tour to Detroit to do the same in Detroit. 
The “Bridging 96” project is all part of our shared belief, and long-term goal, that both sides of the state — east and west — can learn from each other about the types of ideas and projects that work and why. And also, that business success, jobs and the future of Michigan’s economy can no longer depend on government for solutions, as it has been unable to successfully overcome the partisanship divide and entrenched bureaucracies. Business leaders can and must step forward and take leadership roles. 
The UM-ULI Conference provides another opportunity for some of the best development minds in the state to hear about best practices and ideas. 

There is also a wonderful opportunity to network and establish friendships on both sides of the state. The governor and the entire Legislature should have put these two days on their calendars and attended.The conference continues this afternoon, evening, and all day Thursday at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. 
—John Zwarensteyn, Publisher

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