Category Archives: Chamber News

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. 



June e-News

Click here to view the June 2018 e-News. 


Business Friendly Ratings Announced by Chamber

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce representatives interviewed candidates running for county offices on business development and job creation. Two candidates received the highest “5” star rating. These candidates understand the economic issues facing the Muskegon Lakeshore community and will stand up for programs and services that create jobs and prosperity in Muskegon County.


Candidates were questioned about leadership, knowledge of the business community and how they plan to personally help Muskegon achieve its full economic potential. The volunteer representatives spent a combined total of nearly 50 hours conducting the interviews and rating the candidates.


A complete list of candidate ratings can be found in the Advocacy Center at “This online resource provides the community a platform to quickly compare the local candidates running for office and access other election resources,” says Viktor Anderson, co-chair of the Government Affairs Committee.


“The Chamber encourages all of Muskegon’s residents to educate themselves on the candidates’ qualifications and participate in the election process,” says Eric Ringelberg, co-chair of the Government Affairs Committee. “We hope that employers will promote the importance of voting in the August 7 primary election.”


For more information about the community, business development and the elections, please visit the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce website at


Click here to view the candidate ratings 



Public Invited to Kayak Sculpture Unveiling Event

Muskegon, MI – The Lakeshore Art Festival in conjunction with the Muskegon Museum of Art will host a public unveiling event on Thursday, July 5 to celebrate nine new sculptures in downtown Muskegon. The sculptures, which incorporate real kayaks, will be installed at various locations along W. Western Avenue and Clay Street, between 7th Street and Jefferson Street.


“We are very excited to bring this fun and unique public art initiative to our community,” said Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders. “We are not aware of any other community that has featured kayaks in this way, and we know our residents and summer visitors will be impressed by the creativity of these nine artists.” The sculptures will be on display through Labor Day weekend.


The unveiling event will begin at 4 p.m. at the Olthoff Stage at the corner of W. Western Avenue and Third Street. Attendees will receive a map showing where the kayak sculptures are located, and will be invited to participate in a “kayak crawl” to tour the sculptures from 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. The event will conclude with a reception at the Muskegon Museum of Art to honor kayak sculpture artists and Lakeshore Art Festival artists from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.


The 2018 kayak sculpture project is one of the ways Muskegon is recognizing Sun Dolphin’s decision to locate their corporate headquarters in Muskegon. Sun Dolphin, the world’s largest kayak manufacturer, donated kayaks for the sculptures and is the project’s Signature Sponsor. “Muskegon has been a great business partner to Sun Dolphin over the years, and very supportive of our growing company,” commented Sun Dolphin CEO Chuck Smith. “We are pleased to express our continued support of the community through this unique kayak art event.”


Additional sponsors include Hazekamp’s Premier Foods, Hooker DeJong, Little River Casino Resort, City of Muskegon, and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Project partners include the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Muskegon Museum of Art.


About the Lakeshore Art Festival: The Lakeshore Art Festival is always the first Friday and Saturday in July and will take place July 6 and 7, 2018. The Lakeshore Art Festival features a unique blend of 350+ fine art and craft exhibitors, street performers, specialty food booths, interactive art stations, Children’s activities and so much more in beautiful Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Local businesses interested in supporting this locally and nationally recognized festival through sponsorship can contact Carla Flanders at For more information visit



Being your authentic self with celebration and joy are the primary characteristics of an ATHENA recipient.  Nominations are now being accepted for individuals living and/or working in Muskegon or Ottawa counties who exhibit the ATHENA criteria.  These prestigious ATHENA Awards presented annually by the Lakeshore Chambers recognizes and celebrates individuals: both women and men for their professional excellence, community service and mentoring.

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
  • Acts courageously and can be a fierce advocate who gives back
  • 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 25, 2018 using the ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award nomination form or the online fillable form that can be obtained from the websites of the Lakeshore Chambers: The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.


The award finalists will be announced and honored at the ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Luncheon on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at the Muskegon Country Club, 2801 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon.  PNC Bank is the premier sponsor for the ATHENA on the Lakeshore event.


Cruise Ship and Miss Michigan Contestants Arrive!

Date: June 11, 2018
Heritage Landing Dock in Muskegon, Michigan
Please join us June 11th at the Heritage Landing Dock at the Port of Muskegon. This day kicks off the Great Lakes cruise ship season as the community welcomes the Pearl Mist Cruise Ship.


The 335 square foot vessel is part of the Pearl Seas Cruise line and arrives in Muskegon Lake around 9:00 a.m. and stays in port until 10:00 p.m. Ship passengers tour the Lake Michigan shoreline during the day, visiting history and cultural attractions.


At 3:30 pm, the 2018 Miss Michigan Pageant contestants will arrive at the Heritage Landing Dock to view the ship, sign autographs, and participate in a photoshoot. Local dignitaries will be on hand to greet both the ship and the Miss Michigan scholarship contest participants.


Media representatives are welcome to join the festivities. Please contact Kristin Knop for details at or call 231-722-3751.


Click here to view the full Port of Muskegon 2018 Schedule.



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.


“The next generation of professionals is becoming more influential in our community and it is important they are recognized for the contributions being made to the area’s economy and quality of life,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.


A selection committee, consisting of young professionals that were among the 2017 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 as follows:

  • Alison Updyke, Wildflower Studios
  • Andrew Mann, Muskegon Habitat for Humanity
  • Cherrelle Hughey, Community enCompass
  • David Manley, Core Realty Partners
  • Jake Eckholm, City of Muskegon Heights
  • JacQuaye A. Payne, Community Foundation for Muskegon County
  • Jimmy Hegedus, Great Lakes Dental Excellence
  • Jocelyn Hines, Community Foundation for Muskegon County
  • Joshua Mueller, Spectrum Health
  • Kara Zielinski, United Way on the Lakeshore
  • Kevin D. Osterhart, Concept Design Studio
  • Megan Aney, Sitting Pretty Pet Spa & Boutique
  • Philip David DeYoung, Muskegon Civic Theater
  • Rachel Stewart, Muskegon Community College
  • Travis Dodge, Longer Days


These 15 finalists will be recognized at a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce member event later in June. Additional information for the Future 15 Awards is available online at or by contacting the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231-722-3751 or


About the Chamber

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing over 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 125 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is an award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year



May 2018 e-News

Click here to view the May 2018 e-News. 


Lakeshore Art Festival – Opening Doors and a Kayak Adventure!

Muskegon, MI – The award winning Lakeshore Art Festival, held on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7, will feature nearly 400 exhibitors, several new and unique artful experiences and two more streets of activity!


To accommodate this year’s record number of exhibitors, the Lakeshore Art Festival footprint will add: Clay Ave between Second and Third Streets and Second Street between Clay Ave and Western Ave. “The Lakeshore Art Festival has been getting national attention since its inaugural year in 2013. This recognition results in record exhibitor numbers, higher quality art and increased guest attendance!” commented Lakeshore Art Festival Director Carla Flanders.


The focus of the Lakeshore Art Festival is to present one-of-a-kind art to attendees and a lasting sense of creativity to the local community. The Lakeshore Art Festival will offer the following new artful components…


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. KL Outdoor has provided eight kayaks for “invited” Michigan artists to create sculptures. They will be unveiled on July 5 and on display throughout the summer. The outdoor locations include the Farmers Market, L.C. Walker Arena, Lakeshore Museum Center, Western Market and more. This project is also supported by the Muskegon Museum of Art.


Emerging Authors Tent: This year a new exhibitor section will welcome 18 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 Door Project will include 15 local schools decorating/painting refurbished doors that will be displayed during the festival. The public can join in on this project during an interactive door painting celebration on-site. This project is made possible by 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.


Volunteer Opportunities: If you like art and people, this festival is the best place to volunteer your time and talent. The hours will fly by when you feel the energy and excitement in Downtown Muskegon. You can register to volunteer online at or by emailing


In addition to the new activities, Lakeshore Art Festival favorites will return with a Wine and Craft Beer Garden in Hackley Park, Student Art Showcase, Chalk the Walk event, live entertainment and a Children’s Lane.


Businesses interested in supporting this locally and nationally recognized festival through sponsorship can contact Carla Flanders at For more information, times and locations visit



PHONE: 231-724-3176


How a Small Art and Craft Fair Turned into the Ultimate Community Celebration

For one weekend every summer, tens of thousands of people flock to Lake Michigan’s shoreline—not for a beach getaway, but for a celebration of the arts.


This summer will be no different as the Lakeshore Art Festival returns to downtown Muskegon on July 6 and 7, 2018.


If you’re imagining a quick stroll by pop-up tents in a park, it’s time to summon your inner artist and get a bit more creative.


Click here to read the full West Michigan Woman Magazine article. 

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere! Join us on July 5, and July 6, 2019.

Learn more

Join Watch Muskegon

Muskegon has more to offer than ever before. Join the conversation, movement and Watch Us Go!

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