Step into the world of entrepreneurship with Mi Entrepreneur, an initiative designed to celebrate and support the entrepreneurial community of Michigan! Entrepreneurship represents the pursuit of innovation, calculated risks, and the creation of something new in the face of challenges.

As a bank built for business, we have the pleasure of working with some incredible individuals who embody this spirit right here in Michigan.

Throughout the year, we will be showcasing a variety of Michigan entrepreneurs and sharing their advice on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. From overcoming obstacles to seizing opportunities, we hope to inspire and empower you to pursue your own entrepreneurial goals.

Stay tuned for more updates, so you can join us in celebrating the innovative and inspiring business owners who are shaping the future of Michigan.

Pat and Paddy Lynch

The story of Pat Lynch and his son Paddy Lynch showcases the commitment and values necessary to thrive in the funeral service profession and achieve lasting success as an entrepreneur.

Despite initial uncertainty about his career path after college, Pat’s immersion in funeral services revealed a passion for building relationships and assisting others during their most vulnerable moments. In 1972 Pat joined his father, becoming a second-generation funeral director. Shortly afterward, the family decided to expand independently and establish Lynch & Sons. This marked the beginning of a tradition in funeral services and entrepreneurship that would span generations. Today, Lynch & Sons is one of the largest family-owned and operated funeral firms in the country, overseeing multiple locations throughout southeastern Michigan.

Like his father, Paddy was also initially uncertain about his career path after college. However, after witnessing profound suffering during a mission trip to Haiti and spending time around the family business, Paddy’s desire to make a difference in the lives of those suffering was solidified and he became a third-generation funeral director.

In addition to his work with Lynch & Sons, Paddy’s entrepreneurial spirit extends to his involvement in various historical restoration projects around Detroit, as well as revitalizing the Schvitz Health Club and more recently Dutch Girl Donuts.

When it comes to aspiring entrepreneurs, Pat and Paddy have valuable advice to share. Pat emphasizes the importance of hard work, noting, “You have to be prepared to work harder than you ever thought you could work.” Paddy echoes his father’s sentiment and adds another crucial element: love. He believes that without genuine love for your work, the challenges of starting a business can quickly become overwhelming. Together, their advice highlights the need for both relentless effort and deep passion to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

Greg Kevane

Greg Kevane’s journey from being a customer to becoming an investor to owning multiple Goldfish Swim School franchises truly embodies the essence of entrepreneurship. As a former sales executive, Greg spent nearly two decades honing his skills in sales, teamwork, and competitiveness. Although he loved his job, Greg and his wife Meg had a desire for something different. They wanted an opportunity to dive into entrepreneurship and explore the areas of a business that go beyond sales and service.

Greg’s entrepreneurial journey with Goldfish Swim Schools began as a customer when his oldest child took swimming lessons at the original Birmingham location. It then evolved through friendship with the Franchisor and investing in various locations around the country.

Recognizing the need for such facilities in his hometown of Philadelphia, Greg and his wife seized the opportunity to bring the Goldfish Swim School brand to that area. With five locations established and plans for more, Greg’s journey showcases the attributes at are essential for success in entrepreneurship.

Reflecting on his experience, Greg emphasizes three crucial attributes for aspiring entrepreneurs: courage, conviction, and passion. As he aptly puts it, “You need courage, conviction, and passion to be successful.” For Greg, entrepreneurial success requires having the courage to jump ship and pursue one’s dreams, the conviction to stay the course, and the unwavering passion to fuel each day’s endeavors.

Kendall Wrigley

Kendall Wrigley’s journey to becoming the co-owner of Court4, a world-class racquet facility in Detroit, showcases her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to her community.

Upon returning to her hometown of Grosse Pointe, after more than a decade in New York, she wanted to establish a local business that would not only thrive but also contribute to the place she grew up in and loved so much. After rediscovering her love for tennis and recognizing there was a need for a better indoor tennis facility in the area, Kendall knew that she had all the pieces of the puzzle. Despite some initial challenges, Kendall and her business partners successfully opened the doors to Court4 in September 2021.

For Kendall, the most important part of starting a new business is finding the right people. These not only include finding people needed to make the business successful but more importantly include finding the people you trust completely. You need people who are truly invested in the health of the business above everything else, who will support you during the lows and who will celebrate with you during the highs.

Kendall wanted to start her own business so she could enjoy it and finding the right people made that happen.

Todd Gildersleeve

Todd Gildersleeve’s early fascination with small businesses ignited a journey that transformed him into a successful entrepreneur. But like many success stories, he didn’t begin as one. Todd honed his business skills while working for a large national accounting firm, gaining valuable experience that would shape his entrepreneurial path. Along the way, he ventured into various industries, each offering unique insights and lessons.

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs resonates deeply: “Don’t give up your day job!” Instead, consider a more gradual approach. You can immerse yourself in a similar field, or even embark on your own venture, but do so in your spare hours during evenings and weekends. This way, you can build your business while maintaining financial stability. Today, Todd spends his time growing Bakehouse 46, a successful multi-store café and bakery.

Dr. Molly O’Shea

Dr. Molly O’Shea, a Michigan-based entrepreneur, heads multiple successful ventures, notably the Birmingham Pediatrics Wellness Center. Departing from a group practice, she embarked on a mission to revolutionize healthcare for young patients. However, the hurdle she faced was finding a compatible bank to collaborate with. Most banks she approached showed little interest in funding a new business lacking historical financial information.

Yet, her perseverance paid off as she and her co-founder, Cinzia Filipovski, were able to connect with a supportive and trustworthy banker who shared their vision and believed in the venture’s potential. For Dr. O’Shea, having a reliable banker who placed trust in her was crucial for launching and expanding her business.

Steve Futrell

Steve Futrell’s experience as a successful technology, real estate, and finance entrepreneur taught him the importance of cultivating relationships.

He believes the secret to success is most new business comes from the growth of your existing customers. It isn’t always about the next sale, it’s about the relationship. Make sure you stay connected to your customers!