Flint business owner Sally Kagerer to speak at MLK tribute dinner

— Flint’s own Sally Kagerer has never been afraid to blaze a trail, especially if it opens doors of opportunity for others. When she took over her father’s hardware store, she was the only woman to fully own and operate a hardware store in Michigan.

The traditionally male-dominated field didn’t deter her from becoming the first woman to sit on the Michigan Retail Hardware Association Insurance board, as well as the first woman to serve as treasurer of the Mid-Michigan ACE Advertisers.

It is her trailblazing commitment to diversity that inspires the planning committee for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community-Wide Tribute Dinner. Despite a historic trend for white-owned businesses to move to the suburbs, Kagerer continues to live and do business — by choice — in the Flint neighborhood her store serves.

“I love Flint,” she said. “I’d like to see Flint set an example for the rest of the world. Diversity works.”

Kagerer, who owns Beauchamp’s Ace Hardware on Pierson Rd., will present the 2011 keynote address to 300 Genesee County residents 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Sarvis Conference Center, 1231 E. Kearsley St.

Kagerer is well-known throughout the community for her volunteerism. She is a former national treasurer/board member for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, former President of the Flint Public Library Board (2001-10), and has served on the boards for the Women and Girls Fund for the Community Foundation and the YWCA Finance Committee. She currently serves on the board for Buckham Gallery and is a member of the Rotary Club of Flint.

The 32nd annual presentation, titled “Courage and Commitment,” will kick off the community’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Details: Call 810-762-0425 — G.G.

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