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5 Surprisingly Fun Facts About Michigan

Did you know Michigan’s state flower is the Apple Blossom? Or that our state game mammal is the white-tailed deer?

From our picturesque Petoskey stones to the magnificent Mighty Mac, Michiganders take pride in the many things that make our state so unique. But aside from these well-known state symbols, the Great Lakes state has a few other distinctions you may not have known about.

Here are five surprisingly fun facts with tips from the Healthier Michigan team to help you explore more.

  1. Michigan has more miles of freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation. About 3,000 miles, to be exact. One of the most breathtaking views is along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The area is open year-round, but you’ll want to check for possible road closures if you plan to visit during winter months.
  2. Michigan has the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States. The De Zwaan Windmill in Holland, Mich. is not only a historic attraction, it’s also a functioning machine that produces healthy whole wheat flour for the local community and beyond.
  3. Michigan is home to one of only four ice luge tracks in the nation. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex offers visitors access to acres of ice, trails and woods for those brave enough to bare the cold temperatures.
  4. Michigan is home to one of 30 certified International Dark Sky Parks in the world. The Headlands in Mackinaw City was designated an official dark sky park in 2011. Visitors can explore 600 acres of old-growth forest and more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline, all undiluted by light pollution.
  5. Michigan is the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. With our variety of seasons, rich farming regions and proximity to the Great Lakes, Michigan grows and distributes hundreds of different crops each year. We’re the top producer of tart cherries in the country, among other accolades.

Next time you’re with friends and family, use these facts to help inspire others to be proud of our great state.

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to subscribe to get A Healthier Michigan blog content delivered to your inbox.

Photo credit: nvenechuk

Sources: [1.] Michigan Department of Natural Resources. [2.] City of Holland, Windmill Island Gardens. [3.] Pure Michigan. [4.] International Dark Sky Association. [5.] USDA Farm Service Agency

About the author: Angela Hernandez Loyd

My goals are to use diet and exercise to reduce the risk of potential health problems down the line, maximize energy and find greater happiness by living well.

This article was originally published on, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.
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Sales tax on the difference: trade-in value increases in 2016

Beginning January 1, 2016, owners trading in a motor vehicle when purchasing a new or used vehicle from a Michigan dealership will receive a sales tax credit for the vehicle’s trade-in value up to a maximum of $3,000.  This is a $500 increase from the present maximum of $2,500.

Dealers are reminded that a revised RD-108T will be required for 2016 purchases.  This form is currently being updated by the Department of State and will be published when finalized.  The state will also prepare a handout with information about the revision.

Additional details about this topic will be provided to dealers in the coming weeks.

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Motor Vehicle Industry Executive MBA Program

Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School offers a Motor Vehicle Industry Executive program that dealership employees may be interested in learning more about. This Executive MBA program, which is enrolling now and begins in January, was designed with the career demands of emerging and established industry leaders at all levels of the motor vehicle industry network in mind.

The online component is coupled with six, one week, on-site residencies over the 30 month duration of the program. This industry-specific Executive MBA program consists of a blend of interactive online and collaborative classroom learning environments, which will enable participants to incorporate education into their busy professional schedule.

More information is available here. You may also contact Rachelle Butts at (734) 320-8805 or

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MADA Annual Meeting – Registration is Open

The MADA Annual Meeting is a great opportunity for dealers and their staff to hear from nationally recognized speakers who specialize in your industry and the topics you need to know about. Data and cyber security…credit reports, identity verification and ID proofing…critical business decisions to help you prepare for 2016.  These issues are making headlines and dealerships must be knowledgeable. There is no cost for dealers to attend so register today and get expert insight to help you succeed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Crowne Plaza Lansing West
Dealership only workshop at 9 a.m.
General sessions begin at 10 a.m.

Get more information and register online here or call MADA at (800) 292-1923.

Close up of runner’s feet running in autumn leaves training exercise

Physical Activity Tips for Fall

The arrival of fall brings cool Michigan temperatures, but don’t let the shift in the seasons get in the way of your physical activity!

It’s widely recommended that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intense physical activity each week, and perform muscle strengthening exercises 2 days each week.

Remember, physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Research shows regular physical activity can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.

If you’re just getting started, break your activity up in to 10-minute intervals throughout the day. This could include taking a brisk walk on your lunch break or doing jumping jacks while watching television.

Whether you decide to be active outside or want to keep your exercise indoors, try these tips to move more and stay motivated this fall:

  • Dress for the weather. Wear supportive shoes with thick, flexible soles that will cushion your feet. Wear layers of clothing that will allow you to move, and keep you comfortable and warm.
  • Make it social. Try to schedule walking dates with family and friends, or organize a walking group with neighbors or coworkers. When you involve others in your activities, you are more likely to stick to your program.
  • Participate in fall activities. Go on a walk with your kids or grandchildren and find as many different colored leaves as you can. Cider mills and corn mazes are also great activities to add extra steps in to your day.
  • Chores count. Standard household chores like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and vacuuming can help tone muscles you might not usually use. You can also turn up the music and dance while you’re cleaning house.
  • Take advantage of free community classes. Many community and recreational centers host free exercise classes, like the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Enhance Fitness. Contact your local community or recreational center to learn what is offered in your neighborhood.
  • Purchase low-cost exercise props. You don’t need a gym membership to use exercise equipment. Free weights, jump ropes, medicine balls and resistance bands are inexpensive and can be purchased at stores like Meijer, Wal-Mart, Target and even some dollar stores.

Remember, being physically active is about what works best for you. Making lifestyle changes is never easy, but being active can bring big rewards towards a healthier life!

About the author: Mary Hiller is a communications coordinator for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. She hopes to provide Michigan residents with resources that will help them live a healthy life. Mary enjoys doing yoga, trying new restaurants, and the (sunny) Michigan outdoors.

This article was originally published on, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

NADA/ATD Convention: Housing & Registration Opens Oct. 5

The NADA Convention & Expo is the world’s largest international gathering place for franchised new-vehicle dealers. The convention offers dealers a rare chance to meet face-to-face with executives of major auto manufacturers and features hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest equipment, services and technologies and dozens of workshops with the industry’s best trainers. The 2016 NADA Convention & Expo will take place Thursday, March 31st through Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Beginning October 5, 2015, attendees’s will be able to access real time housing availability through your convention registration booking.  NADA recommends you book early to secure a room in your top choice.

Get more information online:

Northwood University Gala image, wood you believe

Northwood Auto Show Gala

The Northwood University Auto Show Gala is an annual tradition that has raised $250,000 in scholarship funds and celebrates the Northwood University International Auto Show and Homecoming weekend on the Midland, Michigan campus. The event hosts a sellout crowd of Northwood friends, alumni and community partners, includes a live auction and features the Simone Vitale Band for a night you’ll never forget. Proceeds from the event benefit the Northwood University Town & Campus Endowed Scholarship and Alumni Legacy Student Scholarship funds.

5th Annual Auto Show Gala
Midland Country Club
Friday, October 2, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Get more information at or view a few of the fantastic live auction travel packages here.

Credit Reports & ID Verification

In the highly competitive auto market today, it is more important than ever to understand consumer credit, have the tools to verify a customer’s identity and ensure you have a clear understanding of a consumer’s financial picture. Discover what you can learn about customers from their consumer report and how to interpret the credit information that is available. Add December 2nd to your calendar and make plans to attend the MADA Annual meeting where Jenn Reid with Equifax will provide valuable information about credit reports.  Click here for more about the Annual Meeting.
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Introducing the 2016 NADA Keynote Speakers

The National Automobile Dealers Association announced its keynote speakers for the 2016 NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas.

The speakers are:

  • Friday, April 1: Jeff Foxworthy, comedian and entertainer; and 2015 NADA Chairman Bill Fox;
  • Saturday, April 2: Heading into a presidential election, Mike Allen, Politico’s chief White House correspondent, will moderate a panel session with Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee; and incoming NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson;
  • Sunday, April 3: Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, will provide an inspirational address.

The NADA convention, which runs Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 3, includes dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, hundreds of educational workshop sessions for dealers and their managers, several hundred exhibitors on the expo floor and numerous networking events.

Explaining the private exchange

Employees have different health care needs, and deciding what’s affordable can be a hard decision.

To help answer your questions on how to reduce health care costs while providing your employees with the coverage they deserve, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is hosting two free seminars about private exchange solutions for small to mid-sized businesses.

To register or learn more about the seminars, please visit:



Date: August 25, 2015

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET

Location: Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown


Date: September 17, 2015

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET

Location:  MSU Management Education Center in Troy