2010-10-07 / News

Lapeer West grad invited to governor’s roundtable

LAPEER — Benjamin Cummings will travel to Lansing on Tuesday to meet Gov. Jennifer Granholm at a governor’s roundtable held at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Cummings was invited to share his business startup success story, which includes one-on-one counseling assistance from the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, graduation from FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training funded by the MEDC, and business financing through the Credit Union Small Business Financing Alliance (CUSBFA).

He is the son of a shop worker and a nurse, and the middle child of five kids. “With so many kids, we were required to fund our own college educations. I studied music education for two years but eventually just had to go get a job. I’ve been a dog trainer, handyman, garbage man, limo driver, and door-to-door salesman. I even had a short run as the personal assistant to a CEO, and that’s what fostered my interest in becoming an entrepreneur.”

Ben and his wife, Dr. Teresa Cummings, launched Cummings Chiropractic on Sept. 1.

Dr. Teresa outlined the vision and Ben made it happen, taking training, writing the business plan, securing the funding, organizing the contractors and equipment, and now managing the office. He developed the skills needed by attending the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac Entrepreneurial Development Program, a multi-week boot camp created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and delivered by the MISBTDC. The training is designed to assist entrepreneurs to evaluate the feasibility of their business concept, research and plan how to start profitable businesses, attract new clients or customers, and retain employees and make contacts.

In addition to managing Cummings Chiropractic, Cummings works as a special needs school bus driver for Lapeer Community Schools. He has 10 years experience and a commendable history as a professional driver, and although he enjoys the work and is grateful to have had a part-time job, he knew he was ready to start a small business.

“If there aren’t a lot of opportunities, you can create your own. I am proof that you can lift yourself up by your own bootstraps,” said Cummings.

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