GVSU JCPenney Suit-Up Event

6-9 PM, Friday, March 13 at JCPenney in the Grand Traverse Mall

GVSU and JCPenney team up to offer up to 60% off select career dress apparel, shoes & accessories with coupon available at the event , which is open to all GVSU, NMC and University Center students and alumni.

Student ID required.

FREE mini makeover & sample from Sephora.

Letter from the President: Achieving Our Results as a Team

So, here we are, at the fifth of the “Five Behaviors of Cohesive Teams.” What brings us here? The ultimate goal of building greater trust, conflict, commitment and accountability is one thing—achieving greater results as a team. In the case of NMC, we don’t seek to realize results for results sake, nor for a profit motive. We’re driven by a community centered – community serving purpose, and a mission focused on supporting student transformation and success.

NMC has a results-driven culture. In my first couple of months here at NMC I’ve been doing a lot of ‘listening and learning.’ I’ve noticed that NMC has plans (e.g., a strategic plan, A3 goals, and an individual goal-setting process), score cards (e.g., digital dashboards), and results. A mentor once coached me, “Good teams have plans. They have a sense of purpose and a road map they follow. And, better teams have score cards. They have a dashboard that helps them track their progress on their journey. But the best teams produce results. They execute their plans and make adjustments based on the score cards, always seeking to improve.” Below are some of NMC’s most touted and truly outstanding results that I’ve heard about as I am listening and learning. Our stakeholders are proudly and passionately sharing such results with me.

  • 2nd in the nation “Best for Vets” community college
  • 10th in the nation out of “Top 15 Best Drone Training Colleges”
  • 16th in the nation for “Best Short-Term Study Abroad Programs”
  • One of the Top 30 “Best Choice Schools for Culinary” nationwide
  • Only “ADCI Certified ROV Pilot Technician Training Program” in the world
  • One of the country’s most generous community college foundations, awarding over $800,000 in scholarships each year
  • First community college baccalaureate in Michigan

How we achieve our results is as important as the results that we achieve. I am also hearing from you how important our values are to a healthy, vibrant NMC culture, especially in our pursuit of our desired results. I am clearly hearing that while we have plans, score cards and results that we’re realizing; how we achieve our results is as important as the results that we achieve. I fully agree. I will continue to expect and champion a values-grounded approach to our pursuit of results. We must remain individually and collectively committed and responsible to live these values:

  • Learning is at the center of all we strive to achieve. It is the foundation upon which an enlightened citizenry and a dynamic community are built and is a lifelong process in which we are all engaged.
  • We will continuously improve the learning experience and its global relevance to those we serve through innovation, agility and thoughtful risk-taking.
  • Our actions are governed by the highest degree of ethics, integrity and personal responsibility, exhibited through transparency, openness and trust.
  • We each will practice responsible stewardship for the human, physical, financial and environmental resources entrusted to our care.
  • Each of us will strive to exceed expectations for quality and service in all that we do.
  • We value all people and will invest in their personal and professional growth and development.
  • We will exhibit foresight by monitoring the changing world around us and taking actions today that prepare us to meet future needs of our communities.
  • We will seek others who share our vision and values, and collaborate with them on behalf of our communities.

Since 1951 the NMC community – students, faculty/staff, alumni, community members, businesses, donors/supporters and so many more – have co-created a culture of shared purpose and values, a culture where everybody is focused on achieving collective results.

Continuing to focus on collective results. Let’s step back for a moment, and ask, what do we mean by results? There are many ways to think about results. Each organization is different and each will have a different focus. Results are not simply limited to financial measures or enrollment numbers. But in every team, there is a potential conflict between how each member views results. The question is, do they view results from an individual perspective or a collective perspective? In dysfunctional teams, the drive to achieve individual results conflicts with the need to achieve collective results. Sports fans will recognize the analogy of the gifted player who’s so focused on their own glory that they put the success of their team at risk. The same situation can arise in any organization. Members may be so focused on meeting their own key performance indicators or individual goals, that they lose sight of the need to achieve collective results for the team. The team suffers as a consequence. NMC has a structure already in place to ensure that our individual goals are aligned with work group goals that in turn support our overall strategic plan directions. We must continue to support such alignment and ensure that everyone has a ‘line of sight’ – a clear understanding of how their individual contributions contribute to our overall results.

How can we make our NMC team even more results focused? Let me suggest the following actions that we can take. Some people refer to this as developing a team that is hungry. At NMC I sense that we are hungry. There exists a passionate desire to want to help transform students’ lives, helping them build a bridge to opportunities that might not otherwise have existed, if it were not for NMC.

First, we need to be setting clear expectations and hold one another accountable for those expectations. Again, we have the right structure: plans (e.g., a strategic plan, A3 goals, and an individual goal-setting process), as well as score cards (e.g., digital dashboards). And, as I mentioned above, a values-grounded approach to our pursuit of results is equally important.

Second, we must ensure that we’re practicing regular feedback, and be willing to call out team members when their performance or behaviors need to change (of course, in a constructive and empathetic manner). We must also embrace a strengths-based approach, seeking to leverage one another’s gifts and talents (and, not spend so much time focused on the traditional deficits-based approach to organization development).

Third, we must be encouraging to our team members. This may sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked. When a team member performs well and works with other members to drive collective results, they must be praised both by their leaders and fellow team members. This should be done on a regular basis to reinforce team spirit. Let’s continue to recognize and celebrate our team members and teams for their accomplishments.

Lastly, let me share, this summer we’ll begin to turn our attention toward a process of either updating our existing strategic plan or launching a new strategic plan. I am still not convinced which it will be. However, as I listen and learn, I am hearing a desire from our stakeholders to be engaged in a strategic planning process, to help co-create our desired future. A strategic planning process would allow NMC to develop a strategic plan by engaging our wider community in key conversations:

  • Asking ourselves questions about our desired results. All teams want results. But how are we working together to get them? Does everyone know what we’re aiming for? Are we all on the same page? Are we all working together to achieve these goals? And, how do we know?
  • Gaining clarity about our future direction. One of the most common roadblocks to realizing desired results is a lack of clarity on what goals we are working toward as a team, and what everyone’s role in these are. Vague goals are really hard to work toward. It’s hard to know what they look like, or even whether you’ve achieved them. A strategic planning process can help us gain clarity, by setting clear goals with everyone’s role defined.
  • Keeping focused on progress. NMC has a momentum of forward progress, since its founding in 1951. A strategic planning process isn’t simply about ‘setting a new direction.’ Rather, it’s about focusing together on what we’re working toward, and have been working toward for almost 70 years.

These “Five Behaviors of Cohesive Teams” that I’ve shared over the last five weeks are not simply ‘answers.’ Together, they are more like a ‘game plan.’ And, a game plan requires practice. Reading them is simply not enough. Together, we must practice them. I will make it a priority to ‘coach the team.’ I have already seen that the NMC team members are willing to ‘play your heart out.’ My commitment back to you – I am all in, too! So, together, let’s:

  1. trust one another,
  2. engage in conflict around ideas,
  3. commit to decisions,
  4. hold one another accountable, and
  5. focus on achieving collective results.

Most importantly, let’s be driven by a community centered – community serving purpose, and a mission focused on supporting student transformation and success.

Media Mentions for February 24, 2020

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu. If possible, please include a link to the piece and information about where and when it was used.

Please note access to some stories may be limited by paywalls set up by the media outlet. This includes the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which limits free clicks to five per month. You may also read Record-Eagle articles in the print edition at the Osterlin Library.

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu.

New NMC president gets to know area in whirlwind of meetings
Record-Eagle, Feb. 20

Updated Personnel Action Sheet (PAS)

HR has made some updates to the PAS. Please find the updated form in the forms section of the NMC website. NMC Home Page > Forms (top banner) > Human Resources > Payroll > Personnel Action Sheet.

This form should be used for all change requests that impact an employee’s pay or position. It will also replace the use of the “Additional Pay Authorization” form.


KUDOS- (praise or respect that you get because of something you have done or achieved) defined by Merriam-Webster.com

Submit a Kudos here. (more…)

NMC Jazz Bands perform at West Bay Beach resort

The NMC Jazz Bands will be performing free concerts at West Bay Beach resort in Traverse City. On Thursday, Feb. 27, the Jazz Big Band will play a set at 7 p.m. and on Thursday, March 5, the Jazz Lab Band will play their set at 7 p.m. Hosted by the Jeff Haas Quartet with Laurie Sears, music begins at 6 p.m. with the quartet and continues after the big band set until 8:30 p.m. A dinner buffet will be offered, and all ages are welcome.

Join us for some great swing and Latin style big band music by Basie, Ellington, Miles Davis, Jerome Kern, Freddie Hubbard, Monk and Jimmy Heath!

NMC bestows highest honor on Marsh, Teahen

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, the NMC Fellow award, has been bestowed for 2020 on NMC Foundation Board member Bill Marsh Jr. and longtime college administrator Roberta Teahen.

Bill Marsh Jr.Bill Marsh Jr.
(click for high-resolution photo)
Marsh, of Traverse City, joined the Foundation Board in 2010 and served as chair from 2016-2018. A partner with his brothers in the Bill Marsh Auto Group, a multi-franchise dealership group with more than 300 employees, he served as annual fund co-chair before joining the executive committee as an officer.

Marsh said he admires NMC’s wide reach and profound impact on northern Michigan, as well as the “strategic, entrepreneurial spirit” he sees among college faculty and staff.

“This college sees its role as beyond what a traditional community college does. (We’re) seeking to invest in the human capital of northern Michigan,” he said.

And those investments pay off every day, whether it’s a veteran coming to NMC to transition back to civilian life, a traditional college student saving money before transferring or a business like the Marsh Group tapping into professional development and training programs.

“You hear those stories of transformed lives through education and it really provides the fuel to be advocates,” said Marsh, who also writes a blog, Making You Matter, and is active in his church.

Roberta TeahenRoberta Teahen
(click for high-resolution photo)
Teahen, also of Traverse City, dedicated more than 30 years of her professional life to NMC in roles ranging from business faculty member to academic chair to director and dean. She established important outreach and relationships and fostered technical and occupational programs and certificates across multiple disciplines.

“Education is never lost. Once you have it, it’s yours forever, and it opens doors,” said Teahen, who retired from NMC in 2001. Serving at Ferris State University since then, she dedicated her talents to helping other institutions improve and is now director of the doctorate in Community College Leadership program, which counts three NMC staff as alumni. Teahen has also made nearly 100 site visits to evaluate colleges of all types as a consultant for the Higher Learning Commission.

“I am sold on the community college,” said Teahen, whose own education path started at what is now St. Clair Community College and culminated in 2010 when she earned a PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University.

At NMC Teahen also served as a champion for student success and was instrumental in the writing of a grant to the state of Michigan which resulted in the creation of the Parsons-Stulen M-TEC Center, now the centerpiece of NMC’s Aero Park campus.

 Today, higher education is faced with many challenges, from public skepticism to a lack of funding to changing demographics, but Teahen believes NMC can meet those challenges.

“NMC has always invested in innovation, so my biggest hope would be it continue to be responsive,” Teahen said.

The Fellow is Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, awarded annually since 1964. Fellows may be nominated because they have demonstrated influential networking on behalf of the College, have demonstrated a pattern of outstanding financial or personal time contributions to NMC, or as a retiree of the College continue to contribute back to their academic or professional fields as volunteers, mentors or advisors. Exceptional contributions in one or more of these areas may justify nomination.

See a list of past recipients.

Release date: FEBRUARY 24. 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director, NMC Public Relations, Marketing & Communications
(231) 995-1019


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Success Story: Restaurant Week chefs earn chops at GLCI

February 19, 2020

Restaurant week chef and GLCI grad-Fletcher J. GrossTen years ago, Traverse City started Restaurant Week with 18 restaurants offering special menus.

Fifteen years ago, NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute moved to brand-new bayfront facilities, including Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant.

Ten years before that, in the mid-1990s, NMC’s culinary program made a distinct shift to focus on the art and craft of cooking.

Those culinary ripple effects will crest next week, when Traverse City’s tenth annual Restaurant Week takes place with more than doubled restaurant participation. Fully one-quarter of those 40 restaurants count GLCI alumni as owners or in kitchen leadership roles. At other restaurants, current GLCI students and other alumni can be found as line cooks, sous chefs and managers, all collectively contributing to Traverse City’s stellar reputation as a food and wine destination

“Just the fact that we have so many incredible restaurants, (GLCI) is one of the sources behind it,” said Colleen Paveglio, marketing director at the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority.

The DDA originally organized Restaurant Week to be a shot in the arm to business during the lull of midwinter. To say it worked is an understatement, said 2014 Culinary Institute graduate Fletcher Gross (above), a chef partner in HM Group. Their five restaurants — Slate, Sorellina, McGee’s 72, McGee’s 31 and Harrington’s by the Bay — all participate.

“Restaurant Week is literally like pulling a week out of the middle of July and putting it in February,” Gross said. “It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year, because we can showcase what we do best.”

Gross credits GLCI for giving him the skills not only to become a chef, but to build a career in the restaurant industry. He joined HM Group in 2011 and bought into the ownership group in 2018. 

“I learned how to be a better manager,” said Gross, 26, who handles all the purchasing for the five restaurants and trains the head chef for each kitchen. Between them, the five restaurants employ around 100 people this time of year, a figure that will double in the summer. 

 “I’m very grateful for my restaurant career,” Gross said.

He also pitches into whichever kitchen is expecting the highest volume in a given week.

Next week, that may be a tough call, as reservations pour in.

“People look forward to it,” Paveglio said.

Besides the HM Group restaurants, the others participating in Restaurant Week with GLCI alumni connections are Minervas, PepeNero, Smoke & Porter, The Good Bowl and Towne Plaza.

Media Mentions for February 17, 2020

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu. If possible, please include a link to the piece and information about where and when it was used.

Please note access to some stories may be limited by paywalls set up by the media outlet. This includes the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which limits free clicks to five per month. You may also read Record-Eagle articles in the print edition at the Osterlin Library.

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu.

Menu Monday: Les Eckert Presents Ethnic Dishes
9&10 News, Feb. 10 (more…)

Letter from the President: Accountability – How we turn commitment into results

Good afternoon NMC community! I hope you are all enjoying the beauty of northern Michigan in the winter. I have been exploring the region on several hikes and am just awestruck by what I am seeing! I am also thoroughly enjoying meeting with you, learning more about our college and being able to share my thoughts on strengthening our teams in these weekly Intercom posts. Thus far, as I’ve sought to introduce the ‘Five Behaviors of Cohesive Teams’ to afford our College community a framework for building a strong NMC, we have covered: trust, conflict and commitment. Here, I turn our attention to the fourth behavior, accountability; before concluding next week with results. But next week is not an ending, rather, it’s a beginning.

These are behaviors, proven by research, that lead to more effective teams and organizations. They are espoused values. The degree to which such espoused values are lived (e.g., actually practiced within NMC) determines their real impact. I have consciously sought to role model the behaviors with my direct reports – my team – in the President’s Council, and in all of my daily interactions with the college and community. That said, I am conscious that I have a leadership practice – emphasis on practice – and, the challenge (for me, and all of us) is to try on the behaviors, to practice them. In addition to my role modeling, we will dedicate a part of each of the next five Leadership Council agendas, to afford us practice time with the five behaviors. Together, we must begin to hold each other accountable to practicing these behaviors.

Practice, Practice, Practice. Practice is especially important when we consider that in a global study reported in the Harvard Business Review, 46% of managers were found to be poor at holding people accountable. The finding was the same for executives and directors. And, it held up across different cultures. The research clearly shows that accountability is a characteristic of high-performance teams and organizations, yet, we still struggle doing it

Why is it so important? Accountability is important in teams and a hallmark of the most effective organizations. Accountability among team members drives greater trust, productivity and innovation. Accountability frees team leaders from having to constantly micromanage their team members. For a team to get the best results, team members must be willing to hold each other accountable – to call one another on behavior or performance that doesn’t meet the standards the team has agreed on, or that hurts the team. Simply, accountability is how we turn commitment into results.

How can we do it better? In most teams, people rely on the leader alone to make them accountable. But in the most cohesive and effective teams, everyone is accountable to each other. Shared leadership and collective ownership of the desired outcomes is the most effective source of accountability, and the greatest form of team strength. Being able to go to people directly to hold them accountable is the quickest and best way of getting things done. But it can be scary!

  • Accountability is different from conflict – in conflict you are disagreeing about ideas, its objective. But with accountability you are challenging people about their behavior, and while it can feel very personal, it’s about dealing with a specific behavior and not about the individual as a whole.
  • Accountability and responsibility are often conflated, and while both concepts have similarities, there are important differences. Consider a team member who’s been given a task to fulfill. By accepting responsibility, the team member is agreeing to take charge of the task. But by accepting accountability, the team member is agreeing to be answerable for the success or failure of the task. This is why focusing on accountability, and not merely responsibility, is essential for optimizing team performance.

How are we doing at NMC? Are we doing what we say we’re going to do? Do we show up on time for meetings, and end meetings on time (according to the agenda)? Do we follow through with action items? More importantly, is it the team’s leader that ‘enforces’ such behavior? Or, are team members willing to hold each other accountable.

Here are some key things for us to remember, and practice, when it comes to making accountability part of our team culture:

  1. Maintain Trust
    Maintaining trust is so important. Trusting each other that we are all there for the right reasons, committed to the team, and working for the same results – to help support student success.
  2. Think of Feedback as a Gift
    One way to think about it is that feedback done in the right way is like a gift. We do people a favor by letting them know where they can improve, and what’s impacting others by not meeting the standards set by the group. It’s about honesty and caring for each other, respectfully giving people a gift of feedback. What have they done well? What could they do better? And asking for that feedback from your team members for yourself too.

Lastly, let me share this perspective on how NMC is proving itself as accountable. Clearly NMC has a responsibility to our owners – our students, taxpayers and citizens of the region and state – to provide affordable and accessible education to the communities we serve. NMC has accepted this responsibility, but has also accepted accountability. This past week we announced that NMC had set several new records with its scholarship figures for the 2019-2020 school year. $1.28 million in scholarships to 964 students, with $11 million raised for scholarships as part of the “Be What’s Possible” campaign. This is just one of many examples of how all of you – faculty in the classrooms, staff throughout the college, engaged community partners, and, of course, generous donors – demonstrate how we’re all ultimately accountable for helping ensure student success.


NMC Career Week

Are you looking for employment? Get help from NMC’s Employment Readiness Specialist, Lisa Baldyga, during Career Week! Work on your resume, get some networking tips and come to NMC’s Career Fair!

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25: Resume Workshop 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Osterlin O113
  • Monday, March 2: Keep Calm and Network On! 6-8 p.m. Dennos Museum Center
  • Tuesday, March 3: Resume Workshop 9-11 a.m. Osterlin O113
  • Wednesday, March 4: Resume Workshop 2-4 p.m. Osterlin O113
  • Thursday, March 5: NMC Career Fair 3-6 p.m. (2 p.m. for Veterans) Hagerty Center 715 E. Front St.

For more info and Pre-Registration, visit nmc.edu/career-fair.