Our Story

Ya Michigan

Welcome to Ya Michigan, the fastest growing multi-media network of news, information and mobile marketing in the Middle Eastern-American communities in Michigan. Nearly 80 percent of our community members today receive information on smartphones and tablets.

 

Founder: Khalil E. Hachem, with more than 17 years of experience in mainstream media, presentations and communications, founded Ya Michigan in 2012 to provide instant news and information and link businesses and customers in the Middle Eastern-American communities in Michigan.

 

The Team: We are a team of journalists, public relation professionals and marketers, dedicated to high quality journalism, mobile marketing and community service.

 

Core Values: Inform -Mitigate - Connect

 

Mission: To keep our community informed through our multi-media platform and to educate non-Middle Eastern Americans about our community through cultural diversity training. 

 

Ya Michigan

  • Launched in December of 2012
  • Website receives more than 3 million hits a year
  • E-newsletter reaches up to 15,000 emails
  • Middle Eastern Americans trust Ya Michigan for news and information

 

Services

  • Cultural diversity training
  • Targeted email marketing
  • Popular website
  • News promotions
  • Valuable sponsorships

 

Benefits

  • Connect with an affluent community of more than 500,000 people
  • Increase sales and attract new customers
  • Avoid costly lawsuits and improve your image in the community
  • Reach and maintain a loyal-customer base
  • Maximum digital exposure of your brand
  • Attracting quality traffic to your website and landing pages

 

Our services provide you prominent exposure in our community, and our network gives you the targeted marketing you deserve to help you retain your customers, reward them with discounts and attract new ones. Thank you for your time and consideration and we look forward to working with you.

 

 

 

Biography: Khalil E. Hachem

Khalil E. Hachem is the founder and executive editor of Bizmagazine.org and Ya Michigan, a rapidly growing multi-media network, linking businesses and customers through mobile technology in Southeast Michigan. Our team provides ethnic marketing solutions to companies that want to sell to Arab- and Muslim-American customers, including cultural diversity training, advertising and cooking lessons.

 

Education: Khalil is a graduate of the University of South Florida, with studies in political science, political theory, international relations, world geography and American elections, government and foreign policy. He has a master’s degree in diplomacy and conflict resolution from Norwich University in Vermont, with studies in Islam and democracy, Islam and the United States Constitution, the economics of zakat, and economic sanctions. He is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie leadership School.

A thorough and effective communicator, Khalil has more than 17 years of journalism and public relations experience.

 

Experience: He began reporting for the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1994, capturing unusual stories from Syria and southern Lebanon that humanized the Middle Eastern conflict for the American audience. He covered courts, local government and economic development for the Beaumont Enterprise in Beaumont, Texas and joined The Ann Arbor News in 1999, effectively communicating unfamiliar information and insight to a broad audience of readers. Topics included immigration, Muslim and Arab culture, the Iraqi war and the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

 

In 2010 and after the Ann Arbor News closed, he became the communications director at the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, the largest Arab-American business organization in the country. He helped the chamber triple its media coverage, capturing a large audience through web, print and social media posts.

 

As the Arab- and Muslim-American communities continued to grow rapidly in numbers and economic strength, fostering an impressive buying power, Khalil realized the need to help American businesses sell their products in the Middle Eastern communities. He drew on his journalistic and communications experiences and created a cultural diversity program in 2013 to acquaint businesses with cultural norms, habits and diet of Arab and Muslim Americans. The program is an effective tool to increase sales, reduce liability and avoid public relations blunders. It also includes healthcare and law enforcement diversity training to enhance the safety of law enforcement individuals and the communities they serve and help healthcare practitioners connect effectively with their Arab- and Muslim-American clients.

 

While immigrants are entrepreneurs by nature, they often face linguistic challenges, such as finding business information in their own languages to help grow their businesses or establish successful operations. Immigrants have the advantage of creating communities by design through blending imported norms with adopted habits to form effective societies if they are afforded the opportunity and provided the necessary information.

 

Building on those two facts, Khalil launched Bizmgazine.org to create a digital network of business news and information, linking businesses and customers through smartphones and tablets, where 80 percent of people today receive information. He later added Ya Michigan to accommodate the community. Our network allows businesses to attract new customers and retain existing ones, helps customers find deals and coupons and provides entrepreneurs instant access to valuable tools and business information for personal and business development.

 

The magazine, launched in December of 2012, receives more than three  million hits a year, and our E-newsletter reaches more than 15,000 emails. Our online business directory includes more than 740 businesses, and we work diligently to give businesses the best online, social media and mobile visibility available.

For most, Khalil has an incredible passion for food. He learned how to cook from his grandmother reluctantly. When his father grounded him, his grandmother put him to work in the kitchen. She prepared Middle Eastern food rich with taste, nutrients and vitamins. When he immigrated to the United States, he did not speak English or know anyone. To make friends, he recalled his grandmother recipes and prepared food to share with his people he met. Over the years, he developed those wonderful recipes into simple, elegant and healthy dishes.

Over the years, Khalil has emerged as a dynamic and sought-after speaker about diversity, Islam, food and international relations. He has participated in numerous seminars and conferences, lectured at various universities and churches and is a popular master of ceremonies for various occasions in the community. He relies on personal stories, humor and thought-provoking materials to relate his message. His speaking engagements are handled through the Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau of Traverse City, Michigan. 

 


Click here to read Khalil's resume.... 

Personal Statement

My life and life’s work have been about communications. Learning to speak English, becoming an American journalist, earning an advanced degree in diplomacy and working in public relations are all about connecting with people.

 

When I was 14 years old, I started a newspaper in my hometown in southern Lebanon, writing stories on notebook papers and circulating them to friends and schoolmates. My father rejected the journalism idea and steered me toward mathematics and physics to ensure a profitable future career in engineering.

 

Fleeing the seething civil war in Lebanon, I immigrated to the United States in 1983 to attend college and major in engineering. I did not speak a word of English when I set foot in Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, but soon I fell in love with the English language, and with America's freedom of speech, and decided to become an American journalist, a plan that my college adviser considered “crazy.”

 

I refused to relent. I began working in the production department of the the St. Petersburg Times. Eight years later, the Times published my first story. I mailed a copy to my college adviser, who keeps it framed on the wall of his office to this day.

 

My tenacity stems from lessons my grandfather taught me when I was a boy. We lived on a farm near my grandfather’s home. He trekked a dirt road on foot every night to visit us, but one night he fell and hurt his forehead on an embedded large rock in the middle of the road. That night he promised to destroy the rock, and we all dismissed him as a crazy old man. But he took me there several months later, and showed me where the rock was no more. He had placed a hammer near the rock, and every night when he visited, he chipped off another piece.

 

“Persistence pays,” he told me, as he pressed his old hand firmly on my little hand. His advice continues to inspire me today. Even when I made embarrassing mistakes when I first began to speak English, I turned my embarrassment into lessons, and continued to learn. Today, I measure success not by what I don’t know or haven’t done, but by how much I grow, learn, advance and how well I do my work no matter what it is.

 

I reported for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, the Beaumont Enterprise in Texas and came to The Ann Arbor News in 1999, covering municipalities and business development in eastern Washtenaw County.

 

The Ann Arbor News closed in 2009, and a year later, I joined the American Arab Chamber of Commerce as communications director while completing my master’s degree in diplomacy and conflict resolution at Norwich University in Vermont.

 

While at the chamber, I started Journo Consultant LLC in 2010 to provide public relations services and cultural diversity training to non-Muslim and Arab Americans. Michigan includes the largest concentration of people of Middle Eastern origin outside the Middle East, about 500,000 people.

 

I have always cherished my experience at the chamber, working directly with businesses and helping them grow and prosper, but the journalism fever continued seething inside me. I also realized the great demand for ethnic marketing and the dire need of immigrant entrepreneurs to access information in their own language about lending, laws and regulations and the changing economic trends. In 2012, after I was laid off from the chamber, I added Bizmagazine.org to Journo Consultant services to digitally connect businesses and customers and reach immigrant entrepreneurs with the information they need through mobile technology.

 

Yamichigan.com of Bizmagazine.org is a monthly digital magazine, with a weekly e-newsletter, dedicated to serving the immigrant business community in Michigan and beyond.

 

I am a strong believer in diversity and the power of knowledge, both of which help empower local businesses, boost the entrepreneurial spirit and create stronger communities.

 

Thank you for reading my bio and I would be honored to work with you, serving our communities.

 

 

Best Regards

 

Khalil Hachem

Executive Director

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