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SMC Speaker Report: Neil K. Hitz, Author

On July 9th, Neil K. Hitz, a member of our Club, spoke to us about his book My Life Directory. My Life Directory is a simple, easy to use, confidential 48 page book or fillable PDF that lists the location of  important documents and contacts needed for someone else to carry on when you are unable. What better way to put your “affairs in order”?

My Life Directory is a simple booklet that serves as an information hub for locations when the owner suddenly leaves this life on earth. The booklet identifies 16 Categories and more than 100 topics of information that, depending on one’s individual circumstances, should be known by those that step in to assist in the final arrangements at this stressful time. The book aggregates publicly available information from government, social, and other sources, plus personal reviews written by others. This third-party data is then indexed through methods similar to those used by Google or Bing to create a listing. Because My Life Directory only collects this data and does not create it, the subsequent result is only as good and useful as the owner desires it to be.

Get Mom and Dad to just fill out My Life Directory as a start to getting organized. Neil is an SMC member and he offers this at his costs since he believes (and has learned from others) the importance of this information at a time when sadness comes to us from a loss.

You can see more of My Life Directory on Facebook or at their website. “My Life Directory” is a local business in Beverly Hills, Michigan.  Neil was selling copies of his book  at his cost of $7 per book.

We thank Neil K. Hitz for taking the time to visit us and share his method of leaving information for our family to deal with our sudden demise.

Reported by George Arsenault

SMC Speaker Report: Dan Carmody Eastern Market Organization

Our luncheon speaker, Dan Carmody, President of The Eastern Market Organization in Detroit, gave our luncheon members an up to date report on today’s new Eastern Market.Dan Carmody

Since it began in the 1800s, Eastern Market has gradually become a cornerstone, nourishing its residents by providing fresh and nutritious food throughout Southeastern Michigan. In more recent years, Eastern Market Corporation has built an infrastructure around the market to support our unwavering mission to enrich Detroit—nutrition-ally, culturally and economically. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, their goal is to maintain Eastern Market’s contribution to Metro Detroit’s importance. Read more

SMC Memorial

Name:  William D. Cohan

Born:   September 11, 1923

Died:    June 5, 2019 (95)

SMC Member: December 10, 1996 (22)

William Daniel “Bill” Cohan, 95, passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Wilmington, N.C. Born Sept. 11, 1923, in Detroit, Bill attended Holy Redeemer and University of Detroit High School. Before graduating high school, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941. He served in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1945 and was given an honorable discharge in 1945 with the rank of master technical sergeant. On the GI Bill, he then earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree in taxation from New York University. He practiced estate and trust law more than five decades. He also served as a board member of Art Centre Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit.

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SMC Salutes Grosse Pointe North and South Honors Students

At a luncheon meeting on May 28, the Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe honored the seniors from Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South High Schools who had earned a cumulative 4.0 or higher grade point average. After introductory remarks by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jon Dean, each student was introduced and presented a certificate by South Principal Moussa Hamka or North Principal Kate Murray.

Seniors from Grosse Pointe South with Dr. jon Dean and Moussa Hamka
Seniors from Grosse Pointe North with Dr. Jon Dean and Kate Murray
Past President Marty McMillan, Kate Murray, Moussa Hamka and President Chris Walsh

SMC Memorial

Name: Joseph  M. Bernert

Born:  August 28, 1947

Died:   May 25, 2019 (71)

SMC Member: March 8,  2011(8)

Joseph was a faithful member of the SMCGP golf sub-club for several years. Note the references to membership in the SMCGP and to Carl Breer in the obituary.

Joseph Michael Bernert, formerly of Beckley, West Virginia, passed away at age 71 on May 25, 2019 in Troy, Michigan. Joseph was a Grosse Pointe resident and proud member of the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club.



Joseph was born August 28, 1947, the oldest son of Margaret and Henry. Joseph did his undergraduate work at West Virginia Tech and received his JD from the University of Detroit. Joe enjoyed golf, both playing and watching, he was a movie lover and enjoyed a good meal.  Read more

SMC Luncheon Speaker: Deirdre Groves of Challenge Detroit

Deirdre Groves, left, with President Chris Walsh and former Fellows of Challenge Detroit

Deirdre Groves, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Challenge Detroit was the Senior Men’s Club Luncheon Speaker on Tuesday, May 14th. Deirdre gave us a short history of Challenge Detroit and then introduced four former Fellows of Challenge Detroit and asked them to tell their story.

Challenge Detroit is a leadership and professional development program that invites approximately 30 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play, give, and lead in and around the greater Detroit area for one year. During the course of the year, Fellows contribute intellectually and through hands-on service making incremental impact in the community. Learning by doing is a cornerstone of the program and the Fellows have the courage, passion, and drive to make a difference. Challenge Detroit was founded in 2008 by Doyle Mosher and Deirdre Groves. Both saw the need to attract and retain young talent in the greater Detroit area. And, in the true spirit of entrepreneurialism, the two made countless sacrifices to bring the idea to reality.

Fellows live in Detroit and around the city of Detroit engaging in the city throughout their daily lives.  Each Fellow works for a host company in Detroit approximately four days per week. One day a week they participate in challenge projects designed to positively impact the community while keeping the Fellows as well as the followers of Challenge Detroit engaged.

Challenge Detroit has continued the success of the program. When the program launched in 2012, the city was facing its largest population decline in its history. Since that time, Challenge Detroit has attracted over 4,000 applicants and drawn nearly 225 leaders to join as Fellows. Following each year, approximately75% of the Fellows receive offers from their host companies and 85% make their home in Detroit.

For more info on Challenge Detroit, see their website.

Thank you, Deirdre and your four Fellows, for reporting on this new venture in Detroit.

Reported by George Arsenault

Sharing Your Talents – Engineering

Sharing Your Thoughts Video link

Please review the first Share the Talent Panel for the Grosse Pointe high schools. Click on link to view the Sharing Your Talents.

SMC Luncheon Speaker: Sam White of Shakespeare in Detroit

On Tuesday, April 23rd, (Shakespeare’s birthday) our speaker was Sam White, the founder of Shakespeare in Detroit.

President Chris Walsh and Sam White

Shakespeare in Detroit is a nonprofit charitable organization formed in 2013. Its mission states that it “enhances and supports the culture, education and financial growth of Detroit.with professional theatre created through a conscious lens of equity, diversity and inclusion.” Its vision is that “it will produce the classics, musicals, contemporary and new works in equal measure throughout each season as the official Shakespeare organization of the city.” Since 2013, Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD) has produced 14 of Shakespeare’s plays. Many of them were presented in open-air settings, and others have been seen everywhere from a recycling center and a historical mansion to parks and an old film studio, in addition to several theaters around the city and state. Beginning by Labor Day, 2020, when their new studio has been completed near the Detroit riverfront, they will produce a musical as well as continuing their progress through Shakespeare’s canon.

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SMC Luncheon Speaker: Richard Rogers of the College for Creative Studies

On April 9th, Richard Rogers, the President of The College for Creative Studies for nearly 25 years, spoke to us about the history and mission of the College. The College for Creative Studies was founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. Its original purpose was to encourage good and beautiful work as applied to useful service. It still pursues that purpose but as one of the nation’s leading art and design colleges. CCS is fully accredited and enrolls more than 1,400 students. It focuses on arts education, offering both Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. CCS, located in midtown Detroit, strives to provide students with the tools needed for successful careers in the dynamic and growing creative industries. The College also offers free art education for more than 4,000 Detroit youth annually through its Community Arts Partnerships program. In addition, the College’s Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies is a public charter middle and high school enrolling more than 800 students in a high-performance academic curriculum with a special focus on art and design.

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SMC Luncheon Speaker: John Ryder of the Michigan Heroes Museum

President Chris Walsh with John Ryder

On March 26th, John Ryder (replacing Mike Grobbel) spoke to us about the Polar Bear Expedition of 1918-1919. The Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth celebrates Michigan’s military and space heroes and among those remembered are Detroit’s own Polar Bears. The American North Russian Expeditionary Force (ANREF), consisting of the 339th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers, the 337th Ambulance Co. and the 337th Field Hospital of the U.S. Army’s 85th Division, was nicknamed the “Polar Bears.”

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