HELLO! WELCOME TO THE E-PORTFOLIO OF MARTIS GOODWIN AND THE LITTLE CENTER THAT COULD.
THE CITY MANAGER SAID THAT THE CENTER WAS COSTING THE CITY MONEY AND WAS NOT BEING USED. The city wanted the center to become self-supporting I accepted the challenge
COMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS Community relations
I SET OUT TO FIND OUT WHY COMMUNITY GROUPS DID NOT USE THE CENTER I INTRODUCED MYSELF TO CIVIC GROUP LEADERS TO INQUIRE AS TO WHY THEY DID NOT USE THE CENTER Number one response: they did not feel that the center management cared about their concerns but only cared about clean-up requirements which the groups considered far too strict.
MY FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS, DISCONTINUE THIS CLEAN-UP REQUIREMENT. Since the Center could not as yet afford a cleaning crew, I became the cleaning crew.
It Worked. COMMUNITY GROUPS BEGAN TO JOIN THE CENTER AS THEIR HEADQUARTERS. Then began renting the Center for their fund raisers. Also the members of the groups began renting the Center for their private functions
Boy Scouts joined the Center
Girl Scouts join the Center
The Jaycees and a Karate Club join the Center.
The VFW joins the Center.
Lions Club joins the Center.
Adult Exercise Classes and Hunter Safety Classes.
a youth sports group
The Huron Valley Yellow Jackets join the Center
It becomes A COMMUNITY CENTER after years of being unused
Dances for the young and older.
Senior Citizen dances
Rock Concerts began to book at the Center
So Much Happening
Keeping the community informed of so much happening
Now with a Center that they can call home, community groups begin to organize ways to raise money for their projects
Worked with the County to bring a County Commissioners meeting to the Center and to get the PR out to the community concerning the meeting
Worked with the County to bring a County Commissioners meeting to Rockwood and to get it out to the community that it would occur
Worked with the County Executive’s Office to hold a public forum to discuss the proposal to raise taxes to enlarge jail space
Worked with the County Executive’s office to hold a public forum to discuss the proposal to raise taxes to enlarge jail space
COMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS Forging Relationships between Civic groups to create community
The Historical Society requested permission to place a holiday tree at the Center. I suggested that it be a community tree and allow all the organizations that call the Center home to be invited to put decorations on the tree. It became a yearly tradition.
Groups began working together to design tours and educational opportunities for the public
People from the youth sports program called requesting an emergency blood drive. I worked with the Red Cross to get the community involved.
The community came together
The Community came together
A parent of a disabled child telephoned me and asked me if the Center would develop a program for children like hers like the Center has the youth sports program. After much thought I decided to ask the adult exercise leader if she would consider doing such a program. Between her and I and few parents we created an exercise program for the disabled .
It worked, and was successful
Her is a quote from The Huron Valley Times concerning this program’s success
“ This is an example of listening to the public and creative thinking. After listening to two mothers of disabled children explain that their children cannot participate in the Center’s youth programs, Martis Goodwin worked with them and some professionals to create this program. It is the first such program in Michigan, possibility the nation. In addition to individuals twenty-two residential homes signed up the first day. Recreational Directors and Residential Home Directors from three states have already come to the Center to talk with Goodwin and study his program in efforts to start programs of their own.” The Huron Valley Times
In appreciation the groups that used the Center began to give back by giving donations to the Center
The Yellow Jackets donate a Trophy Case to the Center
The Rotary Club donates a projection screen and venetians blinds to darken the room when using the screen to the Center
Rotary Club gives the Center a Projection Screen and Venetians Blinds to Darken the room when using the screen
One day I gave a simple drawing of a sign for the Center to the Mayor. I said that I would like to get the community groups that use the Center to work together to build the sign. He tossed the picture back at me and said that it would never get built because no ones cares about the Center enough to pay for it. I started asking the groups if they would be willing to help. Every group told me that that would contribute. The Rotary Club volunteered to spearhead the drive. It happened. Much to the amazement of the mayor and council.
The sign drive starts
Here is a picture of the 16’ by 12’ sign in an article in the Downriver Magazine
This is a picture of the sign in an article about the Center in the ‘Downriver Magazine’
The sign becomes a landmark, groups and individuals take their picture standing in front of the sign
The Rotary Club pose in front of the sign
The Brand Equity of the Center worked against me. Business people did not think that the Center would be suitable for their purposes.
They told me.
“ Isn’t that just a place for baby showers?”
Now the challenge was to recruit paying customers.
MARKETING AND BUILDING BRAND EQUITY
Business Leaders had other doubts also.
* Nobody has heard of the place.
* Nobody knows where it is. How would anybody find it?
* It is too small for anything serious.
Also working against me was business leaders automatically booking the Renaissance Center or the Joe Louis Center.
I was Persistent. I talked about the Center everywhere. I started a aggressive public relations campaign. ‘Before you book , look at the Center for your next event.’
I needed to develop selling strategies
The first strategy I developed was: an organization that rented the Rockwood Center for their exhibit or trade show would receive more attention and help than they would from either the Renaissance Center of the Joe Louis Center.
Finally, it worked. Kelly Services began using the Center for its monthly out-services
A Michigan, Indiana, Ohio regional lawn care trade show and exhibit organizers contacted the Center. They doubted that the center could meet their needs but they said they would let me try.
Then I received the challenge of my first commercial trade show
I went to work
I measured out the center to plan where they could exhibit all their lawn care equipment, placement of information booths and a comfortable passage though the show.
I booked their trade show
The first commercial exhibit at the Center
I went to work to make sure the exhibit got heavy PR
It was a success. The fears that the Center being unknown and no one knew where it was proved unimportant. People found the place coming from more than three states.
The doubt that it was too small to do a trade show was also proved wrong.
The Center was no longer viewed as “just a place for baby showers”
THEN SOON CAME A NATIONAL SHOW The National Cocker Spaniel Dog Show
As the article states, this dog show always used the Renaissance Center before, but I “nailed it down” for the Center
After the dog show the Detroit Cocker Spaniel Club joined the center
Worked with the State Police and various civic groups to plan the 50 th anniversary of the Michigan State Police.
With the Center filled with the Commander of the Michigan State police and all the post commanders in the State of Michigan, numerous Mayors and State Officials I was informed by the kitchen staff that smoke was coming into the kitchen and feared a fire. I checked out the Center as quickly as I could and soon discovered that the smoke was from the Commander’s helicopter coming in the kitchen air intake vent. I calmly handled the problem with nobody knowing that there had been a problem
Worked with numerous service groups to coordinate an exhibition for senior citizens
I helped plan state wide events like the Michigan State Police anniversary, regional events like the senior exhibition and local events like the yearly Mayor Exchange Day
Then I planned an international event
Worked with the City and County governmental officials bodies and the Japanese Company (Penstone Inc.) executives in planning this welcome to Rockwood’s Industrial Park.
HEADLINES TELL THE STORY
“ The Center took in more revenue in the first six months of this year than in all of last year.”
“ Rentals and usage are up at the city’s center”
“ Rockwood’s Center is the busiest in the southern Downriver area”
“ Rentals increased two thirds last year”
Before Goodwin “it (the Center) was used little, if at all. At one point it sat empty, completely unused”
“ He (Goodwin) took the bull by the horns and ran with it ‘ said the Mayor”
When Goodwin took over the Center the only activity was a senior lunch program. He has added several activities ”
THEN THE AWARDS BEGAN
“ Mr. Goodwin has created a climate of support, trust and respect between the Center and the community”
“ Out of the 54 Centers in Wayne County only one other has been honored with the Focal Point Award”
“ Martis Goodwin, Director of the Center was praised for creating an atmosphere at the Center that acknowledges the value of human life and affirms the dignity and self-worth of the older adult”
Letters to the editor concerning my work at the Center.
“ Mr. Goodwin maintains excellent control. The kids like him and look up to him. I felt my kids were safe because of the rules Mr. Goodwin upheld”
“ Mr. Goodwin’s smile and
excitement express someone who’s headstrong , concerned and aware of everything that is going on. He has a positive and coolheaded approach”
Quotes from other articles
“ Revenue tripled in the first year” The Huron Valley Times
“ The Wayne County Health Department during its last two inspections gave the Center 100 percent ratings, up from 60 and 70 percent ratings prior to Goodwin taking over” The Huron Valley Times
“ Because of all the programs Goodwin has developed at his Center, it is the only Center in all of Out-Wayne County which serves 10 percent or more of the population in its service area. No other city comes anywhere near to that number.” The Monroe Evening News
“ Martis Goodwin is very visible in South-Eastern Michigan. He has proven himself aggressive, creative and compassionate. He has also proven to be a strong and capable spokesperson for South-Eastern Michigan. However, few people know that in private, Martis Goodwin is a quiet, kind, low-profile man.” The Huron Valley Times
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
“ As a student this young man exhibited a most unusual pattern of study: first , he set about thoroughly covering the requirements of the course until he has assured himself a top grade; then he conducted his own intellectual inquiry carrying himself well beyond any instructor’s expectations ‘
“ I heartily recommend him, especially for activity that requires a higher level of intellectual ability”
“ He (Martis Goodwin) is troroughly reliable, dedicated to ethical and intellectual values, perceptive and sensitive in his relationships with other persons. I recommend him to you without qualification”
“ He (Martis Goodwin) is a hard-working individual who took his responsibilities seriously”
“ Martis had to master a new and complicated “trade language” as well as a host of complex procedures. In both respects, Martis demonstrated quick comprehension and a solid retention of new terminology and concepts”
“ He (Martis Goodwin) has been a conscientious, dependable employee. He works equally well on his own or working with others”
“ His (Martis Goodwin) ability to work with numerous people, superiors, peers, subordinates, to bring an activity to closure is excellent.”
“ He (Martis Goodwin) functioned extraordinarily well with my staff. His energy or aggressiveness is contained in far more subtle job skills.
-a listening ability of no mean proportions
-calm detachment reflects his objectivity
-tenacious about fact finding and able to make practical applications of complex situations in written form
-understands how to manage conflict by developing consensus”