FLINT TWP. — Despite having roots in the community going back three decades, not everyone knows what the West Flint Business Association does.
Formed 30 years ago, the WFBA’s mission is to offer scholarships and to create an atmosphere where business owners, educators and community leaders could meet and discuss issues. Other benefits include networking with other members, being kept up-to- date by hearing from carefully selected speakers and receiving a membership roster for members to use.
WFBA President Jessica Lanave said the purposed of the group is to bring about engagement in the business community and to educate its members about what’s going on in the area.
“Our meetings allow us to look at an issue and go in depth,” she said. “We get to the meat and potatoes and offer an opportunity to network.”
Monthly meetings, held on the third Thursday of each month at noon, at Woodhaven Senior Community, 5111 Woodlands Ct., offer members those opportunities to network and for the group to bring in guests to speak about upcoming events or issues of interest to the business community.
The group meets from September to May, taking off the summer months.
The WFBA has also worked to help determine what direction Flint Township takes, such as the late Mort Krasner’s efforts to help get the post office built on Linden Road.
In recent years, membership in the organization has dropped off some, due to many longtime members retiring and fewer new members joining.
“Some members may not be involved, but they’re still interest in what’s going on,” said Lanave. “It’s a little generational.”
At its height, the WFBA had many members, most of them business owners in Flint Township. Today, Lanave said the group wants to engage its membership to ask what it needs to do to better promote them – and to hopefully boost membership.
Speakers that have addressed the group have included educators speaking about bond and millage proposals in the school districts, meet the candidates during an election cycle, updates from Flint Township officials about what’s happening in the community, the Flint water crisis and how it affected Flint Township businesses and Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright who spoke about the then-under construction Karegnondi water pipeline.
The WFBA also works in collaboration with the Swartz Creek Chamber of Commerce, who helps support one of the three scholarship the group offers.
“We really appreciate our joint relationship with he Swartz Creek Chamber,” said Lanave. “There is some overlap, but we do two very different things.”
At the center of everything the WFBA does is its scholarship program. The organization offers three $1,500 scholarships annually:
The WFBA High School Community Service Scholarship, for high school seniors, sponsored by the Swartz Creek Chamber of Commerce; the WFBA Adult Learner Scholarship for individuals in the workforce and/or college, sponsored by Jim Miller Re/Max Select; and the WFBA Vocational Education Scholarship for applicants enrolling in vocational education, sponsored by Curbco.
Deadline for this year’s scholarship program is March 31.
For details on the scholarships or about joining the WFBA, visit westflintbiz.org or call Lanave at 810-955-3892. Cost of a membership in $25 annually.