Realizing potential and addressing disparities focus of breakfast series

Contact: Cindy Wagner
Photo of Mike Larson.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Promoting equity and the United Way’s efforts to help people realize their potential will be the topic of the upcoming Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series hosted by the Haworth College of Business.

Michael Larson, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, will give a presentation titled “Changing the Story Together: A Community Where All People Realize Their Full Potential” at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in 2150 Schneider Hall on the Western Michigan University campus.

The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-5964 or at Free parking is available at the Fetzer Center in Lot 72F.

Larson has more than 20 years of experience with United Way, serving as president of the United Way of Battle Creek from 1999 until 2008 and as president of the Greater Kalamazoo United Way from 2009 until the two organizations merged in 2012 and he was named president and CEO.

About the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo

Since it began, the region’s United Way organization strived to unite people, resources and passion to address the needs in the region. Unity remains fundamental to its mission. At the same time, the region’s needs are evolving, and the United Way is keeping pace—building strong partnerships, and mobilizing resources effectively to drive greater impact in education, income, health and basic needs.

United Way’s regional impact strategy includes a commitment to its goals and a determination to promote equity by addressing racial and economic disparities. The organization seeks to change conditions on specific problems and to create measurable impact.

For more information about UWBCKR, please visit

Upcoming speakers

  • Oct. 28: Toni Daniels, director of sales, Wings Event Center
    Topic: "The Kalamazoo Wings and Wings Event Center"
  • Nov. 18: Tim Terrentine, WMU vice president for development and alumni relations, Western Michigan University
    Topic: "WMU Development and Alumni Relations"

About the series

The Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.

For more information or to register, contact the Haworth College of Business at (269) 387-5964 or at

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