For some reason, summer — which officially begins Tuesday —has been a time of the year to stop and smell the roses, take a vacation and sometimes just reflect.
Which is why I decided to check back with six high-powered women recently inducted into the Michigan Business Women Hall of Fame during its 26th annual Women Thrive Conference. MichBusiness started as the Michigan Business & Professional Association and has grown into a statewide organization with over 20,000 members.
I had an opportunity to talk to inductees during a fireside chat held before an audience of 400 at The Henry in Dearborn on May 12. The panelists on hand shared unique stories and experiences. Each also happens to be a strong champion in their respective communities.
The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees were: Najah Bazzy, CEO and founder of Zaman International; Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, president of Oakland University; Christina Lovio-George, founder of Lovio George; Dorothy Zehnder, co-founder and co-owner of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn; Linglong He, chief leadership adviser  of Rocket Central, and Dr. Cynthia Taueg, vice president of community health services for Ascension Southeast Michigan.
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One question we didn’t get to then but is perfect fodder now as each had a bit of time to reflect on it could also have the added benefit to young people who might read this as they begin to chart their own paths. Yes, we  can always learn a thing or two from those who have walked before us.
Hence, the question I posed: What is the one thing you know now that you would like to have shared with your younger self that would have made your path easier? Answers were edited for space and clarity.
Bazzy: “You will be taught that traditional pathways are the only way to succeed, which, however well-intentioned, is not true. There are as many pathways as there are people. Let go of any self-doubt you have about what you can accomplish, it will only hold you back. Now, chart your own course and mentor others to do the same.”
Bazzy, a registered nurse, started Zaman International in 2010 and has helped more than 1.8 million women and children as her organization has trained women for jobs, and also provides clothing and shelter.
Hirsch Pescovitz: “I learned more from my errors than my successes. I wish I would have known that earlier; I would have taken even more risks earlier on in life!”
Pescovitz is a high-profile leader in higher education in our state and also held top executive posts in healthcare and business. She has been laser-focused on helping to raise the conversation on equity and social justice through her efforts.
Lovio-George: “Don’t be intimidated, create your own way. Hire a business adviser, even if you have to take out a personal loan to do it. Keep celebrating wins and don’t forget how to play.”
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Lovio-George’s communications firm handles high-flying clients such as Huntington Place, Shinola, Walbridge, The Parade Company and the 2022 Detroit auto show. She also has helped numerous nonprofits in Detroit.
Zehnder: “I have been blessed to have a very happy and fulfilled life. There isn’t anything I would change. I appreciate working with our team members and my family. As a family business, we worked side by side at the Bavarian Inn. I have no regrets and continue to thank the good Lord.”
Zehnder, who turned 100 in December, worked with her late husband, “Tiny,” as they helped spearhead Frankenmuth’s transformation into Michigan’s Little Bavaria. She still works six days a week with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He: “Believe in yourself and take care of yourself and family. Be 100% all in with whatever you do. Try not to multitask. Carry your own sunshine since things don’t always go as planned. Give yourself and others grace!”
 He came to this country 30 years ago to attend school. Today, she is responsible for the development of Rocket Companies executive leadership development. She was co-founder of Rocket Central, where she served as president and COO. She serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, the International Leadership Foundation, Michigan chapter and others.
Taueg: “When you find yourself in a situation that is detrimental to your life or career goals, find the courage to make a change, even though it may be difficult and you feel afraid.”
Taueg is responsible for oversight of numerous community-based services and programs run through Ascension, including school-based health centers, faith community nursing, the infant mortality reduction program and community education.
Jennifer Kluge, president and CEO of MichBusiness, also offered her response to my question: “Success comes from a series of failures. You want to fail and fail often. And don’t manufacture stress being overly concerned on outcomes. Things will work themselves out whether we waste time worrying about it or not. Enjoy the journey and the impact that you make along the way.”
The Detroit Free Press, along with the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition — sponsors of the Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards — are looking to recognize a few leaders impacting the region and contributing to a greater understanding across metro Detroit.
Nominations are open through Friday. There are three awards given: the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership (lifetime achievement), the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award and the Dave Bing Future Leader Award, which recognizes a younger adult who is taking on a leadership role. Winners will be announced Oct. 6 at  an event held at The Mint at the Michigan First Conference Center.
An online nomination form can be found here. Questions may be directed to or call 313-324-3308.
Contact Carol Cain: 313-222-6732 or She is senior producer/host of “Michigan Matters,” which airs 8 a.m. Sundays on CBS 62. See a Mackinac Policy Conference episode featuring Debbie Stabenow, Mike Duggan, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Michael Bickers, Timothy Nicholson, Rod Alberts, Joe Lunghamer, Brad Williams, Paul Ajegba, Terry Rhadigan, Mark Hackel, Dave Coulter, Chris Shepler, Michael Genord, Shawn Patterson and Michael Rafferty on this Sunday’s show. 


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