Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day shenanigans of life, isn’t it? It feels like I just put the last of my straggler holiday decorations away and I need to get them out again. Sheesh. You know what I mean. I swear a holiday kitchen towel just recently went through the wash. I know I can’t be the only one who feels like this year moved at warp speed. It was a busy year. As you’re probably aware, I lead a group of creative folks at my branding agency M3 Group. Well, in addition to managing client work and publishing our favorite women’s magazine, we proudly took on the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. If you’re unaware, the GLBM is a business publication that has been in our community for more than 25 years. After purchasing the magazine this year, I have spent a lot of time focused on updating the look and feel and adding new sections and news coverage. It has been so much fun, but has definitely been a challenge balancing all of the pieces. If you have a chance, check out how we’re covering business in our region at www.lansingbusinessnews.com. At this time of year, it’s fun to reflect on all the wonderful women who have shared their stories with us. Looking back, it’s so amazing to think what wonderfully talented, beautiful individuals we have in our community. I always learn so much from them and find their perspectives thought provoking. The same is true for our December cover story featuring Siham Baladi. During this time of the year especially, it is important to count blessings and value family. We’ve all been there. We take the important people in our lives for granted. This story of a family separated with some members enduring a civil war helps to give general family strife some perspective. Think about how fortunate you are to have family and friends around right now and how blessed you are that you are able to put your arms around your loved ones this season. I want to give thanks for all the wonderful people in my life. Of course my immediate and extended families are so important, but I also want to acknowledge how very special my work family is to me. Day in and day out, we work together to make great things happen. We laugh together, go through (sometimes tough) issues, celebrate triumphs and overall back each other up. It’s fun coming to work everyday knowing that they have similar goals and we can count on each other. I would be remiss if I didn’t give appropriate love to my sassy group of friends that make my life a whole lot sweeter. They know just what to say and when not to comment and always are willing to be a leaning post. There have been moments this year that I don’t think I would have made it through without their spirited commentary and loving support. As always, we are gearing up for all the great happenings in 2014. One of the new events that will be held on a quarterly basis is the Connections & Coffee series presented by the Greater Lansing Business Monthly and the University Club. On Jan. 7 at 8 a.m., business people can come in for a light breakfast and (of course) coffee and hear two five minute informational talks from local businesses and spend the rest of the time networking with community members. Fun, right? Also, don’t forget to get the CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser on your calendar for March 22. It is a not-to-miss event and one of the only places where my everyday big hair looks the part. Have an amazing holiday season. Be safe. Have fun and hug someone.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.