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New Community House president brings acclaimed lectures to Birmingham

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 31, 2012

BIRMINGHAM — Until recently, Camille Jayne was living in California, jumping from one high-powered company to another and earning a reputation for being one of the most influential female CEOs on the West Coast. All the while, though, she had something other than business on her mind. She wanted to get back home to Michigan.

“I always wanted to come back home. I never would’ve left Michigan if not for the fact that I couldn’t get a job here,” said Jayne. “I never intended to ultimately end up anywhere else besides Michigan.”

Originally from southeast Michigan, Jayne has been involved with a number of local initiatives, including a stint on the board of governors for Cranbrook Schools and executive roles at Comerica Bank and Ameritech. That’s why, when the opportunity to become president and CEO of The Community House came her way, she jumped at the chance.

“When I came back to Michigan, I tried to decide if I was going to get back into the corporate world or nonprofits. I have a lot of experience with both. And then this came available, and my heart just wanted to help,” Jayne said of the position.

Indeed she does have experience in the corporate world. After earning her master’s degree in fine arts from Stanford University and an MBA in marketing from the University of Michigan, Jayne eventually headed west, where she became chair and CEO of Universal Electronics Inc., a publicly traded electronics company in Orange County, Calif. From there she left her mark on other companies, such as Pillsbury and Proctor & Gamble.

With all of the success Jayne has had in the business world, she wanted to share her secrets with others who need help in any industry. With that, she founded two consulting companies: The Jayne Group, which advises on business management, and Matters at Hand, a company designed to help clients with personal wealth management. She also created an eight-part business lecture series with the intent of passing her know-how on to the masses. The series was a success, and her lectures in California were almost always filled to capacity.

According to Jayne, it only made sense to bring the popular lecture series back to Michigan with her, and she could think of no better place to host the sessions than The Community House. Starting Feb. 8, the Bulletproof Your Success Business Lecture Series will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. The workshops will be easy to follow and packed with useful information for anyone who wants to be the best at what they do, she said.

“It’s about how to become personally more effective in any field. A lot of companies in this economy have lost funding for training, so instead they can come to to places like this, where I’ve taken the best of the best of the training I’ve received over the years and compiled it all and put it together,” she said. “If you take all the lectures, you’ll get a very good overview of the things I know work.”

The first edition of the series is titled “Are you building your business, or just paying for a lot of free lunches?” Participants will learn how to turn networking opportunities into relationships, and in turn, successful results. Each workshop is two hours, offers the option of lunch, and provides students with an intensive learning session that’s anything but boring, according to Jayne.

“Participants should bring pencils and paper, and come willing to learn. They’ll meet others, network and be able to take back things they can use immediately. These are really proven tools. They’ll be informed and entertained.”

Gwen Schultz, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel in Birmingham, plans to attend several of the lectures. She’s taken business courses before, but she’s excited to see what Jayne has in store for this series.

“I picked the ones that were interesting to me. Camille is a dynamic person, and I don’t think she’d select anything that wasn’t of high interest,” said Schultz. “I sat on the board of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, and we had similar programs, and I always came home with something, whether it was marketing or a new way to think. It was helpful. But I think Camille’s will have a different twist.”

From real estate agents to managers to blue-collar workers, Jayne expects to see a range of professions at the seminars because she designed them to be useful to anyone, she said.

“Last time I checked, there were a lot of people working in Michigan. For those not leaving, you have to just get better. That’s what we’ll do. This isn’t about running a business; it’s about anybody who works. How you can get better every day.”

The cost of each lecture is $35, with an extra $10 for lunch. For more information on the Bulletproof Your Success business lecture series, visit