There might be only one way to top having a former president of the United States be the guest of honor in your home, and that is to be the guest of honor at a special event yourself.
When Royal Oak businessman Michael "Chet" Chetcuti entertains Bill Clinton in his award-winning home on Fourth Street this Friday, he may want to take some notes on the 42nd president's keynote delivery. Chetcuti may be able to incorporate some of Clinton's famous oratory skills when he accepts the Business Person of the Year award from the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 23 at the Emagine Theatre.
(Read Bill Clinton Comes to Royal Oak Friday.)
Chetcuti will be honored at the 65th Annual Community Awards for his focus on business and service organizations in Royal Oak. He opened both Pizzeria Biga and Cloverleaf Fine Wine & Craft Beer and earned two Business Beautification Awards for his efforts. He also received a Residential Beautification Award for renovations to his unique home, which was featured in the 2012 Royal Oak Woman’s Club Home and Garden Tour.
Chetcuti also has been involved with a variety of special events, including Step Inside the Box, Royal Oak Time Capsule and Woodward Tribute fundraising efforts. Chetcuti can also found on the campaign trail and in TV ads, working along side U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow trying to stop counterfeit part production in China.
"Michael is one of the most dymanic businessmen in the community," said City Commissioner Jim Rasor. "It's really a gift to have him and (his partner) Kyle Evans in our community."
For all his various roles - entreprenuer, activist, fundraiser, chef (yes, he can cook, too)—Chetcuti prefers two titles the best: "car guy" and "front man" for the or the garage/punk rock band, the Chet Offensive.
"Chet's benevolent, and he's a lot of fun," said Mayor Jim Ellison, who points out Chetcuti and Evans park vintage cars in their living room. "He's also a great businessman who knows how to get things done. We're lucky to have him in our community."
"We're huge believers in Mayor Ellison," Chetcuti said. "When he asks us to step in, we do it. I don't know how to put this, but you don't have to be treated like second-class citizens just because you are gay. The mayor treats us with respect and we appreciate that."
Chetcuti says he plans to stay in Royal Oak a long time.
"We like the location. Royal Oak is central to everything. Our businesses here are thriving. It's the place to be."
If you go
What: 65th Annual Community Awards
When: Oct. 23 from 6-9 p.m.
Where: Emagine Theatre
Tickets: The $45 ticket price includes a sumptuous buffet dinner, the awards ceremony and complimentary valet parking. Reservations may be made by contacting the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce at 248-547-4000 or via email to AndreaC@RoyalOakChamber.com.
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