Fostering a sense of community


Twenty years ago, when I first stepped foot in Lansing, I will admit that I was apprehensive. I drove into town for a job interview at Neogen Corporation and it took me a minute to find it. There have been many twists and turns along the way, but I’ve always been drawn to the allure of Michigan’s capital city.

When I think about this community, I’m tempted to go on and on about our many assets: the beautiful Capitol building, the lush campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing and the gorgeous rivers that flow through our communities. We also have the urban setting, eclectic downtown, diverse neighborhoods and even rural areas for those that need a little space. All those attributes are wonderful. But it’s the sense of community that goes beyond the infrastructure itself to bring everything together so well.

I like to say that Lansing is the biggest small town, and that comment isn’t about geography. It’s really about how the Lansing community connects to each other. Lansing has a lot to be proud of; I want to welcome newcomers the way others welcomed me. So, I love to perpetuate that community, meet new people and truly go out of my way to welcome those who are moving here for work, family or any other reason. I always start with, “welcome back” or, “thanks for joining our community”. It’s always fun to see the looks on their faces, but I mean every word, every time.

Last month I did a bunch of research on Lansing because of Greater Lansing Business Monthly’s 30th anniversary. I looked up photos of our region and read articles about the renaissance in our community. Let me share that it takes a dedicated group of passionate people to make these kinds of changes. The new landscape and skyline in Lansing is a testament to those willing to make it happen. After all, nothing truly happens because of one person — change can take many people, and I’m honored to be a small part of what’s happening here.

A clear bonus I get for the kind of work I do is the people I get to meet, and Terri Fitzpatrick is one of those people; if you don’t know her, then after reading about her in this month’s issue, you’ll want to. I’m fortunate to call someone with such wit and honesty my friend. She has an intelligence that matches not only her heart, but her tenacity to move forward when the world is pushing her back. Lansing is truly a more special place due to her being in it.

I hope that you feel fortunate to live in the Lansing region, and that you have a network of people that inspire you to achieve remarkable things. If not, there are ways to connect. Don’t miss out on meeting a new group of supporters that may even turn into your family — a family is something everyone needs.

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling

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

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