Week of 4.24.17

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JVS Trade Secrets

“And life goes on,” said Connie Holzer, honorary chair and keynote speaker at the JVS Trade Secrets fundraising dinner. (It attracted record attendance - 560 @ $150 and up – to the Troy Marriott.) Holzer’s unique business experience did not even begin until her car dealer husband of 52 years died when she was 70 years old. Although the economy was in the dumps, she mortgaged the home where she had raised six children, got concessions from their 130 employees, and rebuilt the Tom Holzer Ford dealership into the 4th ranked regionally and 10th ranked nationally. “You are never too old to begin a new life,” she concluded. Women to Work recipient Kimberly Baker, whose fairytale life crashed when her husband went to jail for tax fraud, praised Judy Richmond and the JVS computer program. She attended it on a scholarship. “And now..because of people in this room... I can feed my kids,” Baker said, apologizing for her tears. The venue provided ample space to display the event’s traditional pick-your-own-prize raffle of 62 items, the main cocktail hour diversion.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

May 2017

MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO NOWHERE: A budget proposal by the Trump administration may be the final blow to plans for a regional mass transit system for southeast Michigan. A proposed Regional Transit Authority (RTA) millage failed in November 2016, when voters in Oakland and Macomb counties rejected the four-county millage, while passing in Wayne and Washtenaw counties. Deal was, it had to win in three of ...more»
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Photo: Gretchen Dorian
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04/02/2015 - Nearly two decades have passed since Lou Kasischke attempted to climb to the top of Mount Everest in what became one of the worst disasters in the mountain's history. Last year, the longtime Bloomfield Hills resident released a book telling his version of the expedition that, in 1996, claimed the lives of eight people.

"At the time, there was a lot of interest in my account, but I didn't feel comfortable being one more voice about human failings and those who were dead," Kasischke said, who wrote a portion of his book, After The Wind, in the two years following the disaster. "I established in my head what went wrong, and why I lived, and how I survived. At the time, I was content on letting it live in my file cabinet."

Kasischke was 54 at the time of the tragedy. He was already a well-established attorney with the Dykema Gossett law firm, and had scaled six of the highest summits in the world. Mount Everest, the highest in the world, was the only feat left. On May 10, 1996, Kasischke had nearly reached the top when he was forced to choose between getting to the top and risk being forever stuck on the mountain, or making it back home.

"When I was close to the top, I knew it was pretty dicey," Kasischke said. "It was never a question about getting to the top. I could almost throw a stone and get there. The big question was 'could I get back down.' And the answer was, 'no.'"

Several accounts of the tragedy, including author Jon Krakauer's bestseller, "Into Thin Air," have already been published about the expedition. But it wasn't until recently that Kasischke decided to publish his own account, and the reason for turning around that day.

"It was to pay tribute and honor my wife, Sandy," Kasischke said in his reason for distributing his book. "She was very ill, and was the critical force at work at the top of Everest that saved my life. To me, it was a love story, along with a tragic story, and that was very private. It was the strength that came from the heart, and the commitments and promises I had made."

While Kasischke said he wrote the book to honor his wife, whom he had never shown his drafts to over the years, it also sparked interest in Hollywood after being published in 2014. A movie based on the expedition is set to be released in September of 2015. Kasischke was a consultant on the film.

Married to Sandy for 47 years, Kasischke made the most of his life in Bloomfield Hills after being born and raised in Bay City. Today, he spends much of his time caring for Sandy in their northern Michigan home near Harbor Springs.

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