By Jim Newell
Pam Belding joined the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority in February as the new administrative coordinator, replacing Janet Hartman.
Belding will assist Executive Director Molly LaLone with planning DDA events, communications and regular administrative tasks.
Hartman, who has been with the DDA for 12 years, and her family are relocating to Genesee County for her husband’s work.
Belding has previously volunteered for eight years with the Ortonville DDA on the promotions committee, helping to publicize and organize events. It was while serving on the promotions committee that she first met LaLone, who was the Ortonville DDA director before coming to Lake Orion last year.
“There’s always something fun going on in Lake Orion. One of the reasons Molly hired me is that I’m not shy at all,” Belding said, describing herself as approachable, enthusiastic and energetic. “I believe we become the stimulus we need when we speak well and often about the people in our community.”
Belding, originally from Madera, Calif., in the Fresno area, first moved to Michigan in 1996 and Ortonville in 2004, where she still lives with her husband, Blake, and teenage son, Garrett.
“California doesn’t have the history and it doesn’t have the seasons,” Belding said, citing the Henry Ford Museum as a historical example. “The season changes, it’s just shocking the first time you experience it.”
In 2008, Belding and her family moved to Tatui, Brazil for a year while her husband, a project engineer with Guardian Industries, helped build a glass factory.
“The people are phenomenal; so good-hearted, so generous,” Belding said.
She started out teaching English classes in Brazil, but said the language classes quickly morphed into cooking classes: “Because cooking is more fun and you can still learn English when cooking together.”
While in Brazil, Belding also began delving into another one of her passions – writing. She began using boating terminology as an analogy for life’s lessons while writing essays and eventually her first book, You’re The Boat: Charting a Course Toward a Life Worth Looking Forward To.
Since 2008, Pam and Blake have also written a blog, www.currentinspiration.com, brimming with inspirational messages, anecdotes and advice.
“You know, your attitude is a lot like the rudder on a ship. As long as you keep it adjusted appropriately, you can get where you need to go, but if it gets stuck, then you’ll just go in circles frustrating yourself and everyone else around you,” Belding said.