Category Archives: Chamber News


Muskegon, Michigan – The ATHENA on the Lakeshore committee is pleased to announce the 2018 ATHENA Award Finalists and the 2018 ATHENA Young Professional Award Finalists. Celebrating its 14th year, the ATHENA awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding lakeshore women who have demonstrated excellence in their business or profession, provided valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in their community, assisted women in reaching their full potential and exhibit the spirit of regional collaboration. This year, we celebrate nine ATHENA Finalists and four Young Professional Finalists.



2018 ATHENA Award Finalists


Zaneta Adams, William Hughes, PLLC; WINC; Lighthouse for Veterans


Mary Boyd, Mercy Health & St. Joseph Health System


Jennifer Bustard, Mona Shores Public Schools


Pam Curtis, Senior Resources of West Michigan


Kimberly Maguire, Mercy Health Muskegon


Julia Rupp, HealthWest


Brianna Scott, Brianna T. Scott & Associates


Chris Stevenson, JW’s and J-Dubs


Barbara Lee VanHorssen, Extended Grace



2018 ATHENA Young Professional Award Finalists


Sara Barco, Weiss Chiropractic


Meghan Heritage, Blue West Properties


Dena Isabell, Consumers Energy


Cece Riley, HealthWest



The ATHENA Award presentation luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at Muskegon Country Club. Reservations are required. Cost to attend is $35 per person for chamber members, $55 per person for non-members or $400 for corporate table of eight. A portion of all tickets sales supports local leadership programs. Reservations can be made by visiting or by calling the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231.722.3751.


ATHENA on the Lakeshore continues to be a unique program supporting, developing and honoring women leaders along the lakeshore. ATHENA on the Lakeshore is a program of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg. PNC Bank is the premier sponsor.



August e-News

Click here to view the full August e-News. 


Lakeshore Art Festival Moves Up in National Ranking!

Muskegon, MI – Sunshine Artist Magazine ranked Lakeshore Art Festival 11th out of 200 other craft shows throughout the nation. The magazine, known for high-quality content in the fine art and craft industry, ranks the nation’s most-profitable fine art and craft festivals based on the sales performance of its’ exhibitors each year. Lakeshore Art Festival has continued to move up in ranking each year starting at #83 in 2015, #27 in 2016 and, now at #11 for 2017.



“Our goal when reinventing the art festival was to focus on quality exhibitors that appealed to local and regional guests,” commented Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders.  “Based on survey results and national recognition, we are doing just that! Being one of Sunshine Artist Magazine’s 200 Best signifies that the artists are happy with the event and that guests are buying their unique handmade products. It’s the best of both worlds!”



Sunshine Artist Magazine also referenced Lakeshore Art Festival’s sustainable “green” practices in partnership with the DTE Energy Foundation.


In addition to winning national awards, Lakeshore Art Festival received media from all over the nation this year, ranging as far as Washington and Oregon. The coverage recognized the festival for its one-of-a-kind kayak sculpture

art made possible by Sun Dolphin.



This year also marked a record number of exhibitor applicants resulting in the extension of the festival footprint. In addition to the Kayak Sculpture Project, other new successes this year included The Door Project and the Emerging Authors Tent.



Major sponsors for the Lakeshore Art Festival include: DTE Energy Foundation, Sun Dolphin, Betten Baker, Nichols, Arconic, Eagle Alloy, ADAC Automotive, Northern Machine Tool, Staples, Chemical Bank, and Meijer.



Artist and exhibitor registration for the 2019 Lakeshore Art Festival will begin in October. Visit for more details.


About Sunshine Artist Magazine
Sunshine Artist Magazine is the art & craft show industry’s leading publication for exhibitors, promoters and patrons. Since 1972, Sunshine Artist has provided comprehensive reviews of everything from fine-art fairs to small craft shows around the country, focusing on sales, artist treatment, overall quality and all other aspects of the featured events. Each monthly issue also includes hundreds of art & craft show listings, including contacts, booth fees, application deadlines and more, as well as timely, informative features designed to help our readers maximize their art & craft show experiences. Sunshine Artist’s 200 Best, spotlighting subscribers’ most-profitable shows in the preceding year, is published annually in September.



Cindy Larsen: Muskegon Strong

Cindy Larsen has been with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce for 18 years and currently serves as its president, so you could say she knows a thing or two about what it takes to spark growth, engage residents and build up local businesses.


But there’s one thing she wants you to know most about the community she’s proud to belong to:


“Muskegon is beautiful—and the wonderful thing about beauty, is that it means something different to everyone.”


Click here to view the full West Michigan Women article. 


July e-News

Click here to view July 2018 e-News. 



Lakeshore Art Festival 2018 kicks off biggest event yet

MUSKEGON, MI – Lakeshore Art Festival 2018 is the biggest yet as the event’s footprint was expanded by two streets in downtown Muskegon.


The art-and-craft focused event welcomed about 400 vendors and crowds of shoppers on Friday, July 6, as the festival kicked off at 10 a.m. It continues through 8 p.m. Friday, and resumes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.


Click here to view the full Mlive article. 


Lakeshore Art Festival

Click here to listen to WGVU podcast. 



Lakeshore Art Festival

Click here to view the full WZZM 13 interview. 


Setting the stage for record numbers

Muskegon, MI – The award-winning Lakeshore Art Festival, taking place on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7, has expanded its’ footprint making this year’s festival the biggest yet. The festival will now add Clay Ave between Second St. and Third St. and Second St. between Clay Ave. and Western Ave. See map attached. Festival organizers are also anticipating a record number of attendees.


In addition, the Lakeshore Art Festival will feature a record number of nearly 400 fine art and craft exhibitors and several new and unique artful experiences:


Kayak Sculpture Public Art Project: As home to the world’s largest kayak manufacturer, Muskegon will feature a unique downtown art experience incorporating real kayaks. Hemisphere Design Works, formerly known as KL Outdoor, has provided nine kayaks for “invited” Michigan artists to create sculptures. They will be unveiled on July 5 and on display throughout the summer in Downtown Muskegon. This art project is making headlines across the county! Below are the artists and the name of their artwork. Also attached is a map with the kayak sculpture locations. LAF 2018 Map

• Jamey Barnard – “Barnard Wild Animal Kayak”

• Sarah DeYoung – “Michigan Waters”

• Sarah Jane Fellin – “Sun, Wind and Waves

• Robin Latsch – “Water Zen”

• Audrey Link – “Life on the Lakeshore”

• Bre McCarthy – “Splat”

• Jimmy Tomczak – “Night is Day”

• Katelyn Wollet – “Yak Yak”

• Amy Wilkinson – “The Bear Necessities”



Emerging Authors Tent: This year, a new exhibitor section will welcome 19 Michigan authors as part of the festival. These authors will showcase their original books on a variety of topics and most will be on hand for one-on-one conversation.


The Door Project: “Opening Doors to Possibilities” is this year’s community art project. Upcycled doors will be turned into works of art. The public can join in on this project during an interactive door painting on-site throughout the festival. The Door Project also includes 15 local schools that have decorated/painted refurbished doors which will be on display and for sale during the festival. All proceeds go towards funding local art organizations. This project is made possible by Shape Corporation, a grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and partnership with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Nuveen Art Center and Habitat for Humanity/ReStore.


“It has been our dream to grow this festival in a way that exposes artists to our community and our community to worldclass fine art and amazing hand crafted goods,” says Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders. “One of our goals for the festival was to make a positive impact economically and socially during the two-day event and beyond. With our community art projects, funds raised during the show benefiting local art organizations and the new kayak public art sculptures, we are beyond ecstatic in seeing this dream come true!”


In addition to the new activities and the fine art and craft exhibitors, Lakeshore Art Festival favorites will return with a Wine and Craft Beer Garden in Hackley Park, Student Art Showcase, Chalk the Walk Event, street performers, and a Children’s Lane.


For more information, times and locations visit


Celebrate art at the Lakeshore Art Festival July 6 & 7

The Lakeshore Art Festival will once again be celebrating local artists in downtown Muskegon during the holiday weekend.



There will be a unique blend of art, crafts, music, food, activities and more along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.



Click here to view the full Fox 17 article.