Ordinary People; Extraordinary Things

Ordinary People; Extraordinary Things

Formerly known as "The Call of Leadership", this podcast interviews ordinary Michiganders who are doing some Extraordinary Things in their communities, our great state, and around the world. Many of our guests had to overcome serious obstacles to achieve their vision of success. We cover all of Michigan, both Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Sit back and enjoy these inspiring true stories. Visit us at https://totalmichigan.com to join our community and get these episodes sent straight to your inbox!


March 22, 2023 18 min

Pop the Bubbly! 🍾 Hide Your Chocolate! 🍫 Episode 100 is here!

Can you believe this?

100 Episodes ... 95 amazing stories!

So what does the future hold for this show? What can you expect going forward? How can we reach even more people?

I discuss all of that in this episode!

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Glastender Incorporated is built on two core philosophies: innovation and quality. This shows not only in the products that Glastender manufactures but with the relationship that management has with the employees as well as the customers. This investment in relationships has allowed Glastender to succeed and establish itself as an industry leader. The "Go-To" for restaurant and bar hardware.

With a company motto of "Expect More",...

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The museum for every car guy and car girl: the Gilmore Car Museum. Located outside of Battle Creek, Michigan, this rich and vibrant museum has something for everyone. And managing the over 400 cars at the museum is no easy feat. But with a passionate team, and avid car collectors, the museum manages the delicate ballet of vehicles throughout the seasons. With over 3,500 five-star reviews, it's easy to see why this place is a "m...

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I love skiing. And so do many other Michiganders. So having the chance to sit and talk with Pete Meyer, Co-Owner of Caberfae Peaks, was a real treat. Learning the history and philosophy behind this wonderful Michigan Ski Resort was a real blessing. I do believe that culture flows downhill. And listening to Pete, I now understand why Caberfae Peaks is such a wonderful place to enjoy the day!

In this episode, Pete shares:

  • The ...
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Abby loves story. So much so that she now uses stories across all of Pet Angel Adoptions' social media platforms. The goals: find the perfect forever home for the cats in their no-kill shelter. And the innovation doesn't stop there. Because another goal is to make sure that the cats don't come back to the rescue.

Pet Angel Adoption is a no-kill cat rescue located in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Connect with Pet Angel Adoption: https:/...

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Studies prove that success creates success. And nothing exemplifies this than the remarkable come-back story of downtown Flint, Michigan. Greg Fiedler shares the incredible journey from renovating one burned out building to revitalizing the entire downtown Flint Area.


Greater Flint Arts Council Website

Downtown Flint Festival and Activities Website

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It's not every day that an invention sparks an entire industry. But this is what Al Thieme did when multiple sclerosis robbed a beloved family member of her independence. Al decided to build something that gave it back to her. And his invention, and his company, now helps tens of thousands of people to regain their independence every single day. But their journey was not an easy one.

In this episode, President and CEO Beth Thiem...

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I love the close connection that Michiganders feel with history. Our state seems to have been at the forefront of a lot of monumental decisions that took other states, and even the United States, decades to catch up. And through this lens, Matt VanAcker and his team at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing Michigan present this history to hundreds of thousands of people every single year.

In this episode, Matt shares with us:

  • S...
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January 27, 2023 26 min

You could say that Rhonda Alexia Webb was a born entrepreneur. Her mother, an entrepreneur, made a living by baking cakes for other people. It's no surprise that when Rhonda got ready to graduate high school, there were no programs that catered to the real path she wanted to take - entrepreneurship.

Now Rhonda launched Kids Rule Now Inc, a program that teaches them valuable skills all kids should have even if they don't want to ...

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Sometimes it takes an outsider to ask the right questions to bring about massive change. That's exactly what John Shelton did. After decades of handling the Michigan winter months the same, John proposed an idea. An idea he had no idea would work. But the results transformed Frankenmuth's winter months from extremely slow to one of Michigan's Premiere Snow Festivals. That would be Zehnder's SnowFest.

Learn more about Zehnder's ...

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Jodie Kieliszewski started Beelovely Botanicals for two reasons. To remain a stay at home mom. And also to supplement their family's income. Little did she know that her family hobby would explode into a thriving business that now employs her entire family.

To see the show notes, visit us at: https://totalmichigan.com/beelovely-botanicals-with-jodie-kieliszewski/

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Welcome to the new "Ordinary People; Extraordinary Things"! In this episode, Dorothy Zehnder from the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family shares how she and her husband Tiny persevered through tough times to take their little restaurant and turn it into one of Michigan's Top Tourist destinations.

Get the Full Show Notes Here: https://totalmichigan.com/dorothy-zehnder-bavarian-inn/

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December 23, 2022 9 min

It's been a great run. But the Call of Leadership is ending. Or is it? In this episode, I share some good things that have been happening behind the scenes. And how one simple lunch conversation changed the trajectory of my life and this show.

If you want to stay "in the know", then get on our email newsletter. All the juicy gossip is happening there!

Join the email newsletter: https://callofleadership.com/join

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The Flint Institute of Art is one of those gems that truly shines in Michigan's Art World. With over 9,000 objects from around the world, Michigan can find it's place in a global context. How does Tracee and her team decide which objects go on display? What about getting traveling exhibitions in? And what is she doing to bring the community and the art world closer together?


Flint Institute of Art Website


1120 East...

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Matt VanAcker and his team at Michigan State Capitol Tours somehow balance not only preserving history but also presenting it to millions of people every single year. 

In this episode, Matt shares with us:

  • Some of forward-thinking legislation that Michigan Enacted Before Any Other State
  • How his team strives to provide everyone, independent of their political views, a wonderful experience at the Capitol
  • How his team is working ...
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I admit every time I hear about Flint, the news is never good. But it's easy to have bad news overshadow all of the great things that are happening in this city. What started as a project to save one building turned into a massive rebuilding effort to revitalize downtown Flint and turn it into a art and cultural center. Greg Fiedler, CEO of the Great Flint Arts Council shares with us what this incredible journey looked like and ...

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I'm always inspired when I see people who want to make a difference in their community. While some dream of dot com success, others think about making our stomach's happy. Kennedy Krieger, owner of the Dig Cafe just outside of Frankenmuth, started about a year ago, this young entrepreneur is determined to make her business a success. Judging by the chocolate chip cookies, she's off to a great start.

Join the Community by going: ...

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How does a family business survive for 100 years?  That’s what we explore with Tyler Kluck of Kluck Nursery, just outside of Saginaw.  Most they deal with commercial contracts.  But every Christmas, over 5,500 people decorate their homes with Kluck Christmas Trees.

In this episode, we talk about what it’s like to assume the mantle of a successful family business; what role does 100 years of history play into making de...

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The Beautiful Temple Theater in Saginaw was minutes away from being crushed into oblivion. In this episode, we talk about the passion one man had to not only save this beautiful building but to restore it to it's previous glory. And how does this small venue compete with much larger venues in the area?

In this episode, we talk about

  • The history behind the Temple Theater
  • What it took to bring the Temple Theater back
  • What plans the...
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In this episode, the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society (UPPRS) takes us on an official investigation to a local bar and restaurant in Sault St Marie. This gives me a chance to do something I've wanted to do for years.


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