June 12, 2012

Our Neighbors: Opening a business helped him open up to the community

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — If one word could describe Laurel native Michael Sliter, it would undoubtedly be the word ‘busy.’

Sliter is often seen in public places — taking pictures and videos for his latest project for London, selling T-shirts and lining up this year’s entertainment for Thursday Night Live, and serving as the chairperson for the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador Club.

In his “free time,” Sliter and fellow band members from The Seas are writing new material after finishing their debut CD.

“The CD is called ‘A Separation’ and can be bought from our website,” Sliter said. “Right now, we’re writing new material.”

Between that and his paying duties, Sliter is involved in other business related activities, promoting the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce in the Ambassador’s Club. Chamber Ambassadors are just that — the heart and soul of Chamber functions that include helping plan the annual banquet, conducting “Ambassador Patrols” in which members visit area businesses to inspire participation in Chamber activities, originating the Chamber Softball Tournament last year and planning the second annual event for this August.

“I also do some other volunteer work for the Chamber besides the Ambassador’s Club,” Sliter said. “I’m a native of London and Laurel County and am fortunate enough to have started a business here. Volunteering is a way that I can give back to the community.”

Sliter also serves as a board member of London Downtown and is currently the chairperson for Thursday Night Live. For the last six months, Sliter has been actively seeking and booking acts for the free downtown event that brings in a wide variety of musical entertainment during the summer months. His interest in live entertainment extends beyond the limits of his own musical group.

“When I was growing up, there was no venue for anything like live artist performances,” he said. “We’ve come a long way and Thursday Night Live is a big step forward in that direction, but we still don’t have a stable place for live artistic functions. That’s something I’d like to see happen here.”

Being involved in the community has been beneficial to Sliter on a personal level.

“Some time ago I was content just to be alone. But once I opened a business, I had to be out talking to people and dealing with people,” he said. “Starting my own business and being involved with the community has really brought me out of my shell, and I enjoy people.”