2021 Entrepreneurial Awards

Mary Gajda

Mary Gajda is the managing editor for 517 Magazine and has an extensive background in radio and television. She enjoys creative writing, photography and spending time with family — and she will never say no to an evening of karaoke.

Articles by Mary Gajda


Craft Idea: Decoupage Easter Eggs

Decoupage Easter Eggs What You Need: Mod Podge Brush Decorative paper napkins of your choice Eggs — hard boiled or craft eggs   What t…

Cool Pets: Holland Lop Rabbit

The Holland Lop rabbit is a miniature breed that lives roughly 7-10 years with good care. At around 2-4 pounds, these little guys are calm and gentle but als…

A Conversation with Elaine Hardy, East Lansing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administrator

Elaine Hardy is the City of East Lansing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administrator. 517 Magazine’s Mary Gajda spoke with her about her passion for the …

EVE Helps Survivors Understand They Are In Control

Empowering those whose power was stolen is the foundation of the work of Sam Stiles. As an assault survivor herself, Stiles finds immense purpose in her r…

Best Of 517: Air Frying

We asked our readers to name their tops when it comes to cooking without the oil.   Favorite Brands Air fryers come in all shapes, sizes and br…

Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients: 6 medium or 3 large potatoes ½ cup of sour cream ¼ cup of butter Approximately 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped into bits …

Harris Nature Center Foundation Hosts Virtual ‘Painting Nature’ Fundraiser April 24

  The Harris Nature Center Foundation is inviting artists of all ages and skill levels to a virtual fundraiser, Painting Nature: Tyco the Turtle. Reg…

Answers Begin to Emerge about the Future of the Lansing Mall

Malls across the nation have been in distress for years as more consumers turned to online retail options. The Lansing Mall is no stranger to that struggle. …

After a Brief Pause, For Crepe Sake Makes its Comeback

In 2014, For Crepe Sake opening in the Lansing City Market before moving to downtown Lansing. After having closed its Lansing location in 2020, the locally o…

Shyft Group Looks to Hire in Charlotte

In January, the Shyft Group announced it would be hiring for its Charlotte campus as the company continues to receive new vehicle orders and ramps toward pro…

MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit Winners Announced

The creative talents blossoming from today’s young minds were honored recently in the 14th annual MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit. The exhibit was held from Ja…

Women’s History Month: Women in the Workforce and the Gender Pay Gap

March is Women’s History Month. From politics to business and even sports, there are women excelling in 2021. Consider Kamala Harris, the first female vice p…

International Women’s Day: Choose to Challenge 2021

Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, and the theme for this year’s celebration is Choose to Challenge. Challenge yourself with these questions: …

Michigan is Top 20 for Tiny Homes and Tips for Keeping them Clutter-Free

According to social data, the Mitten State ranks in the top 20 for tiny homes. Michigan ranks at No. 11, behind states like California, New York, Colorado an…

27th Annual Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Award Nominations Open

Recognizing and celebrating entrepreneurs should never take a year off. Last year, the 26th annual Entrepreneurial Awards adapted to COVID-19 by pivoting its…

Vaccine Rollout Gives Hope to Seniors Helping Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors provides senior care and in-home services throughout the nation. The uniqueness of the program stems from how local seniors willing t…

What Homebuyers want in Real Estate

The coronavirus pandemic has a lot of people looking at their homes with fresh eyes. Was their home big enough to handle one or more home offices? What about…

Best Of 517: Best of Global Cuisine

We asked our readers for their favorite spots in the 517 for international foods.   Thai Village Thai Village on Washington Square in downtown…

Recipe: Yummy Oven-Fried Pickles

Ingredients: Dill pickle slices ½ cup flour ½ teaspoon salt 2 eggs ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ cup panko or s…

Craft Idea: Marbled Nail-Polish Mug

What You Need: Nail polish Plain white mug Disposable plastic bowl or tub Toothpick Parchment paper Dishwasher-safe Mod Podge What to …

Cool Pets: Gaga for Guinea Pigs

March is a Adopt a Guinea Pig Month. Guinea pigs are small and gentle but do require time out of their cage each day, along with regular grooming. Consider a…

Grab the Family and Embrace the Season with Winterfest

Let’s get ready to bundle! Grab those gloves, dust off the hat and lace up your boots. It’s time to bundle up and embrace the season for big fun during La…

32% of Small Businesses Face Major Cash Crunch

A recent poll of business owners shows that 32% of small businesses only have one month or less of cash reserves. Also significant is that 47% of minority-ow…

Kiwanis of Delta Township Offer Winter Golfing Event with a Tennis Twist

Golfers were able to get a grip on the pandemic over the summer when they could play outside on lush greens with fresh air and social distancing. With the co…

Who Runs the World? Girls!

Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program that inspires girls from third through eighth grades to participate in physical activity and gain co…

Super Tasty BLT-and-Blue-Cheese Lettuce Wraps

I’m lazy in the kitchen. I don’t like to follow exact recipes, and I add ingredients for taste without measuring. That means there is only so much I can get …

Dr. Susan Maples: How Dental Facilities Battle COVID-19

Holt-based Dr. Susan Maples is an erudite dental surgeon, never pressing pause on gaining new knowledge that helps her treat everyone from well patients to t…

Oral Health: A Window into Cardiovascular Disease

The name of one disease has probably been uttered more than any other in the past year, COVID-19. That means some other health conditions may have been sw…

What to expect from the ad world in Super Bowl LV

Super Bowl LV. It’s just a hunch, but this could be one of the most watched Super Bowls in recent years. Why? Because it’s one of the few forms of “event …

Michigan Outlines MI COVID-19 Safer Dining Program

Restaurants will be gradually reopening across Michigan as safely as possible, with a curfew and other safety restrictions in place. Part of the state’s effo…

$39M in Going PRO Talent Fund grants awarded

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030 has been given a boost th…

Red Bike Delivery Transports Meals on Two Wheels

Through rain, sleet and even some snow, Jeremy Hurt and Red Bike Delivery LCC intend on giving grocery and restaurant car delivery services to locations near…

MLK Day: Collecting Coats for Those in Need

A national nonprofit, One Warm Coat, has called on volunteers nationwide to help address a critical shortage of coats for those in need. As you consider what…

Nonprofits Get Support from Economic Club Sponsors

Nonprofit organizations have been coping with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic for months. For many, this is a critical time as the lack of funding is …

Keeping Company Culture Alive While Working from Home

COVID-19 vaccinations are underway, and the thought of having light at the end of the tunnel for the virus may give those who haven’t yet been vaccinated a f…

MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit to be Televised

The annual Michigan State University Federal Credit Union Student Art Exhibit is back for 2021, with the exhibit on display at MSUFCU headquarters in East La…

Autism Advocate Returns to Lansing after White House Internship

Lansing’s Xavier DeGroat said he feels like a new man — more confident, more knowledgeable and perhaps even a little famous. The advocate and founder of t…

Dealing with the Unexpected

For years, the commercial jingle for Kellie’s Consignments was “Expect the Unexpected,” pointing to the unique, quality finds in the store on Marsh Road in O…

Best of 517: Breakfast Foods

Best of Breakfast We asked readers: Where is your favorite place to grab breakfast in the 517? What do you love on the menu?   Soup Spoon Cafe …

Williamston Theater Provides Popcorn-To-Go Option

While some businesses are able to remain open during these pandemic times, the reduced capacities allowed for patrons sometimes aren’t worth the operational …

Resolutions: A Success Coach says Focus on the Small Changes

Ringing in the new year is often a time for reflection and resolution. We want to change and better ourselves, and the dawning of a new year has often been t…

Wharton Center Presents a Virtual Concert with a Familiar Face for New Year’s Eve

Actors and performers become familiar faces to us because we see them on the screen or stage so much. We almost feel as if we know them. We embrace them even…

Coronavirus Protocols: Pause to Save Lives Extended by MDHSS

It’s not the “12 days” we think of as we head into the holidays. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state has extended the health order originally set fo…

2020 Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards Winners

Ah, 2020. The year of twists, turns and new territory. In our case, TV land. COVID-19 obviously caused the cancellation of thousands of events across the …

Best of the Holiday

We asked our readers in a social media poll for their thoughts on the holiday food traditions they can’t live without   Casseroles From green b…

Real Talk with Brian Posey of the Ticket Machine

While some businesses are finding a way to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic, the struggle has been real for others. 517 Magazine sat down with 2019 Gre…

2020 Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards Goes Prime Time

Ah, 2020. The year of twists, turns and new territory. In our case, TV land. COVID-19 obviously caused the cancellation of thousands of events across the …

Blue Owl Owner Challenges Local Business to Step Up for Pennies for Power

According to its website, more than 4,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers participate in BWL’s Pennies for Power program, contributing almost $40,…

MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit to Return for 2021

While the novel coronavirus has stopped high schools from operating normally, it hasn’t stopped high school art students from creating. Now more than ever…

Masking Up Gains Momentum

At the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, certain groups were more likely to mask up than others, according to a Ball State University researcher. D…

Driving Change

Davies Project needs volunteer drivers, community support Imagine having a sick child who needs to get to appointments one, two or more times a week — may…

Best Of 517: Turkey Tips

In your quest for the perfect bird, you may be forgetting a few important tips.   Choose the right size turkey Whether you’re in it for the lon…

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