Category Archives: Chamber Blog

Muskegon’s Future 15 young professionals announced!

Fifteen of the Muskegon Lakeshore’s up and coming young professionals are being recognized by the business community. These individuals contribute to the growth and success of their company/organization and are making a positive impact along the Muskegon Lakeshore.

 

“In these changing times it is very important that we usher in new leadership for this community. This award is an effort to encourage worthy individuals to step forward to engage in leadership activities going forward,” said Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce president. “In addition to being recognized, all of our Future 15 recipients will receive a $100 gift certificate towards the Muskegon in Focus Leadership program.”

 

A selection committee, consisting of young professionals that were among the 2018 Future 15 award recipients, gathered to determine who this year’s Future 15 would be. After careful review of the nominations, this year’s Future 15 emerging young leaders are the following:

  • Amanda Barnhill, Arconic
  • Bobby Fisher, Shelby State Bank
  • Brennen Gorman, Brower Vander Veen, PLC
  • Brian Olian, Reeths-Puffer Schools
  • Erica Sandford, WUVS 103.7 The Beat
  • Holly Schroeder, Manpower
  • Jacqui Robinson, Muskegon Catholic Central Schools
  • Jamie Sutton, Lamar Advertising
  • Jenni Griswold, Dockside Salon and Day Spa
  • Kiara Scott, Community enCompass
  • LaShaun Turner, City of Muskegon
  • Mikaela Taylor, Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore
  • Natasha Heykoop, Lighthouse for Veterans
  • Tacitus Bailey-Yabani, Abeshi Ghanaian Cuisine LLC and Abeshi LLC
  • Marc VanderStelt, Norton Shores Police Department

The 15 finalists will be recognized at a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce member event on Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at The Deck on Pere Marquette Beach. Additional information for the Future 15 awards is available online at www.muskegon.org or by contacting the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231-722-3751 or mlcc@muskegon.org.

Interns from across the country attend event along the lakeshore

Nearly 100 Interns from across the United States gathered on board the USS LST 393, a World War II tank landing ship, for the Interns on Deck event. While on the ship, community leaders welcomed the interns to the Muskegon Area, highlighting the advantages of living and working in the Lakeshore area. Speakers included Tom Schultz, board chair Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Amy Heisser, director of Human Resources for Arconic, and Dr. Dale Nesbary, president of Muskegon Community College.

 

The interns were then given a guided tour of the Muskegon Lakeshore aboard the Aqustar cruise ship. With a unique perspective of being on the lake, the interns were able to see and learn about all the great things Muskegon has to offer. Dave Alexander, executive director of Downtown Muskegon Now, hosted the guided tour pointing out landmarks to visit and things to do while interning in the Muskegon area.

 

“The Muskegon Lakeshore has excellent career opportunities and unique outdoor assets. Together, these make a winning combination for attracting talent to the region,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “Having a great job just minutes from boating, fishing, hiking and bike trails provides the highest quality of life possible for those interested in outdoor recreation.”

 

Workforce development and retention is just one of many key factors to building a strong business community. Hiring and utilizing interns can be a cost-effective way for companies to build lasting relationships that can pave the way for future permanent employment. By showing the interns why Muskegon is a great place to work, live and play, Interns on Deck hopes to bridge employment opportunities between community businesses and the interns.

International muralist comes to Muskegon

The Lakeshore Art Festival, in conjunction with the JCI Greater Muskegon, is bringing a one-of-a-kind masterpiece to Downtown Muskegon. Internationally known street artist, Kelsey Montague, will be installing one of her famous winged murals to usher in the festival taking place this July.

 

The mural will be permanently displayed on the east side of the Frauenthal Center building, continuing the revitalization of Downtown Muskegon. The transformation of the Muskegon Lakeshore community served as inspiration for this project. Not only will the mural be a spectacular work of art, but the butterfly wings also represent the change that has inspired growth throughout the county. The visual elements inside the butterfly wings, a Blue Heron, Black-eyed Susan, water, lighthouse, and music notes bring attention to aspects of the Muskegon Lakeshore that are beautiful, timeless, and celebrate our natural environment.

 

The mural will be available for public viewing on June 14, as a prologue to the annual Lakeshore Art Festival that will take place July 5 and 6.

 

Montague brands each mural with the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou, encouraging viewers to step into the art and share it on social media. In doing this, Montague hopes that the human experience can have a hand in creating the art itself. There are 77 of these works on display around the world, including one piece commissioned by Taylor Swift and two pieces located in Michigan (Ann Arbor and Detroit).

 

“We’ve been so impressed with her work and how intentional and interactive it is. Her pieces are inspirational, inclusive and uplifting. It’s a great message and a perfect fit for the Lakeshore Art Festival and for the Muskegon Lakeshore area,” said Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director. “We are thrilled that Kelsey’s work is going to be a part of our community and that her mural will find a permanent home among one of our most historically iconic venues. The Frauenthal Center stands as a symbol of a community that is deeply dedicated to the arts.”

 

“This project is a fantastic collaboration by community-focused organizations to enhance Muskegon,” said Brennen Gorman, JCI Greater Muskegon’s President. “Through the efforts of chapter members like Danielle Conley, who also serves on the art festival committee, we are able to bring organizations together to create something wonderful in our community.”

 

“We are inspired by this uplifting project and the community collaboration behind it,” said Eric Messing, Frauenthal Center Executive Director. “This piece highlights and celebrates the vibrant transformation happening in our area, and the Frauenthal Center is thrilled to serve as home to a work of art that will spark conversation for our community and visitors alike.”

 

A special thank you to the following for making this installation possible: Lakeshore Art Festival, JCI Greater Muskegon, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation for Muskegon County, City of Muskegon, Muskegon Downtown Development Authority, Mart Dock, Mike & Kay Olthoff, Parmenter Law, Arconic, Muskegon Lodge No. 140 Free & Accepted Masons, and the Marty & Heidi Sytsema Family Fund. Preparation for the project was provided by: Port City Construction, Redi Rental, Weber Lumber Company, Glen Selle, and Eric Higginson.

Muskegon Lakeshore launches new talent recruitment strategy

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is taking a new approach in attracting people to the Muskegon Lakeshore Area. The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has partnered with livability.com to provide a platform for nationwide talent recruitment. This program includes promotion of the community through a high-quality magazine, a digital magazine and an online presence.

 

Twenty-eight local organizations helped sponsor this project including local governments, employers and realtors. Anyone who wants to market and promote the local community to newcomers, visitors and relocating businesses can access this publication at livability.com/muskegon-lakeshore.

 

“Having a national presence online is a critical component for talent attraction these days,” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber.  “We were thrilled to see this many players come together to promote our community.”

 

The easy to share and up to date content helps promote attractions, restaurants, and amenities in the area to encourage investments, talent recruitment, and relocation to the lakeshore communities.

 

Recruiting and retaining new talent to the Muskegon Lakeshore Area is a priority for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The magazine is free to chamber members and is available at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and throughout Muskegon County at restaurants, hotels, shops and other locations.

Seeking Nominations For This Year’s ATHENA On The Lakeshore

Being your authentic self with celebration and joy is the primary characteristic of an ATHENA recipient. The prestigious ATHENA on the Lakeshore awards are presented annually by the Lakeshore Chambers, and celebrate both women and men for their professional excellence, community service and mentoring. Nominations are now being accepted for individuals living and/or working in Muskegon or North Ottawa counties.

 

 

 

An ATHENA Award nominee:

  • Is an established leader and mentor who assists women in reaching their full potential.
  • Demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession.
  • Devotes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Exhibits the spirit of regional collaboration.

 

An ATHENA Young Professional nominee:

  • Is an emerging leader who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession.
  • Serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally.
  • Is 40 years old or younger, and has a minimum of five (5) years professional experience.
  • Provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community.

 

Nominations must be submitted by June 24, 2019 using the 2019 ATHENA Award Nomination Form or the online form that can be obtained at muskegon.org or grandhavenchamber.org.

 

The award recipients will be announced and honored at the ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Luncheon on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the Spring Lake Country Club. Reservations can be made by visiting muskegon.org or by calling the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231.722.3751.

First cruise ship of the season coming to Muskegon

The Victory I cruise ship will be arriving in Muskegon this Thursday, May 23 to kick off the year’s Great Lakes cruise ship season. The 300 ft. cruise ship will be docking at Heritage Landing, arriving in Muskegon around 7 a.m. and departing at 6 p.m. This will be the fourth year that Muskegon has been a port of call for Great Lakes cruise ships.

 

The ship passengers will have the opportunity to explore the Lake Michigan shoreline throughout the day by visiting Muskegon’s historical district, the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, the LST 393.

 

“Hosting the cruise ships in Muskegon is exciting because it brings attention to our deep water harbor. The economic impact of the port has been estimated to be $300 million annually,” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “Thousands of people travel to this community by cruise ship, the high-speed Lake Express Ferry, a sailing yacht, or motor cruiser. Vessels of all sizes and shapes are here to see the beautiful vistas of Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.”

 

To find out more about the Port of Muskegon or to see the 2019 cruise ship schedule visit www.muskegon.org/cruise-ships .

Local area interns will experience unique community orientation

Interns from the Muskegon area will have an opportunity to network with other interns and learn about the local community at the Interns on Deck event hosted by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 20th.

 

“Today’s young talent is interested in an active lifestyle along with a great career. We take the interns on a cruise around Muskegon Lake. This cruise creates a lasting memory of Muskegon’s natural beauty,” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

 

The interns will first step aboard the USS LST 393 for a short presentation before taking a guided lake tour on the Aquastar Cruise Ship. Dave Alexander, executive director of Downtown Muskegon Now, will narrate the cruise highlighting the Muskegon community from the lake perspective.

 

Many companies have found that hiring and utilizing interns can be a cost-effective way to help grow their business and cultivate a knowledge-based workforce. With workforce development at the forefront of the business community’s mind, hiring interns can be one step toward bridging this gap.

 

“With a nationwide workforce shortage, this is an incentive that money can’t buy. Many understand that taking a new job in a waterfront community is living the dream,” said Larsen.

 

For more information about Interns on Deck please visit http://web.muskegon.org/events/Interns-On-Deck-8067/details or contact the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231-722-3751.

Awards Capture the Excellence of Muskegon Businesses

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognized those who are making a lasting impact on the community at the first annual “Excellence Awards” Luncheon last Friday. This year’s winners show excellence in their business sector every day.

 

“All of the winners set the bar for excellence. We are proud to celebrate all the great organizations located in Muskegon County. It speaks to the quality of the community overall,” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

 

The event was a change for The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. In the past, the Chamber recognized innovative business leaders by awarding an outstanding entrepreneur award each year since 1982.

 

“It’s not too soon to send in your ideas for next year. The Chamber keeps them on file for the 2020 program that is now in the planning stages,” added Larsen.

 

The 2019 Excellence Award Winners are:
• Retail – Sanborn’s Inc.
• Manufacturing – Geerpres, Inc.
• Non-Profit – Read Muskegon
• Service – The Station Grill
• Tourism – USS Silversides Submarine Museum
• Community Engagement – CWC Textron
• Entrepreneur – Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars

 

Muskegon’s Excellence Award Winners Announced

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce will be recognizing those who are making a lasting impact on the community at the first annual “Excellence Awards” Luncheon. This year’s winners set the standard of excellence every day in their business sector.

 

The 2019 Excellence Award Winners are:

  • Retail – Sanborn’s Inc.
  • Manufacturing – Geerpres, Inc.
  • Non-Profit – Read Muskegon
  • Service – The Station Grill
  • Tourism – USS Silversides Submarine Museum
  • Community Engagement – CWC Textron
  • Entrepreneur – Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has a long history of recognizing innovative business leaders and has awarded an outstanding entrepreneur(s) each year since 1982. This year’s Excellence Awards are expanding on the past award program and awarding winners in seven categories.

 

EXCELLENCE AWARDS LUNCHEON AT A GLANCE:
What: Excellence Awards Luncheon
When: Friday, April 26, 2019 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Holiday Inn & Conference Center Downtown Muskegon, 939 Third St., Muskegon, MI 49440

 

If you would like more information about the awards, program, or to register for the event, contact the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231.722.3751 or visit www.muskegon.org.

Hot off the press: Muskegon County and Area Map

The 2019 Muskegon County and Area Map is now available, in circulation and online at https://www.harborhouse.com/muskegon-map/ . The map is a valuable guide for locals and hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to Muskegon County.

 

This free map is more than just a cool tool to help people find their way around Muskegon. It highlights local attractions, beaches, trails, and boat launches, and it is a great way to share Muskegon and the Muskegon area to those who are not familiar with the lakeshore.

 

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce produces the full-color map. The map is available at the Chamber’s Welcome Center and throughout Muskegon County at restaurants, hotels, shops and other locations.

 

AT A GLANCE

What: 2019 Muskegon County and Area Map

Cost: Free

Distribution: The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Welcome Center located at 380 W. Western and a variety of locations across the county.

Produced by: The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce