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Innovative Learning Group

514 East Fourth Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Lisa Toenniges

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?

None. I primarily utilized my personal network of mentors.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?

ILG's first new client was Hutchinson Technology, a company in Minnesota. The head of learning for Hutchinson wanted to work with an ILG employee - Valerie Brown - with whom she worked with years prior at another company. The client basically called Valerie on her cell phone, which thankfully Valerie hadn't changed, and learned Valerie was working for ILG. The client investigated ILG and contracted us for a sizeable project. The entire sales process was done virtually.

Where did you find your first employee?

I worked with our first new employee at another company and recruited her to join ILG.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?

To date we have not used interns.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?

ILG has been very fortunate that we have been able to fund our growth without any outside capital.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?

Yes, Michigan is making the necessary changes to reinvent our economy. However, making significant change happen takes time, and for me, it never happens fast enough.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?

I would make our region more customer-service focused. Every customer interaction should be seen as an opportunity to knock their socks off.

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