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January 05, 1996 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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helpful. First, we stress that the
students need to help out at
home, because we do ask that
parents help their kids achieve
their goals by taking our
brochures to work, to their bowl-
ing teams, etc. We, in fact, dis-
courage any door-to-door selling,
except when kids really know
their neighbors," Mrs. Gutman
says.
Crucial on the Gutmans' list
of tips is proper etiquette,
whether in person or by phone.
"This is a good opportunity for
young people not only to develop
some beginning entrepreneurial
skills, but also to work for what
they want and need," Mrs. Gut-
man says.
Howard Gutman developed
and sharpened his own market-
ing abilities long before he start-
ed the Howard Michaels Co. six
years ago. He worked as a sales
representative for another fund-
raising company for 10 years and
before that, served as assistant
director of recreation for the city
of Hazel Park.
Grass-roots exposure to the
problems of young athletes need-
ing more dollars to buy equip-
ment got Mr. Gutman involved
in fund-raising efforts on the stu-
dent level.
Mrs. Gutman, 40, has been a
scout mother, and she serves as
chairperson of Temple Kol Ami's
religious school committee and
as a board member of the tem-
ple. The couple has been active
with band boosters and other
clubs that need to raise funds.
For the past 10 years, Mr.
Gutman has been director of day
camps for the city of Southfield's
Parks and Recreation programs.
Mrs. Gutman has served as head
of that department's latchkey
program.
She teamed up with her hus-
band in 1991 after several years
working behind a desk at an in-
surance company.
Operating their company out
of their home is an arrangement
that encourages family togeth-
erness, the Gutmans say. But it
can become the center of things,
a pitfall the couple tries to avoid.
On a recent weekend getaway,
they agreed not to talk business.
The two pursue different sales
territories during working hours,
too.
The Gutmans say their busi-
ness is very satisfying, especial-
ly when they see how effective a
fund-raising campaign can be. A
preschool director in Milford con-
vinced parents that they could
buy playground equipment for
the school by selling Howard
Michaels Co. products. Another
family was able to defray the
costs of a bone-marrow trans-
plant by selling the items.
"This occupation allows us to
take care of our needs, and at the
same time, allows many people
to feel good about themselves,"
Mrs. Gutman says. H

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