Category Archives: Chamber News

Get your art on at the Lakeshore Art Festival!

MUSKEGON, MICH. – The Lakeshore Art Festival gets underway July 7 and 8 in downtown Muskegon.

The festival features nearly 300 fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, children’s activities, specialty food items, street performers and multiple interactive art stations.

Carla Flanders joined us from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to tell us more about the event, which has been recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the “200 Best” in the country and by ArtFairCalendar.com as “Favorite Small Town Art Fair.”

June 2017 E-news

June 2017 E-news

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 its fifth year, a record number of 68 nominations were submitted for young professionals that live or work in Muskegon County.  “We were not surprised by this increase in nominations, as the young professional community is growing and thriving along the Muskegon Lakeshore,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “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.”

 

A selection committee, consisting of young professionals that were among the 2016 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:

 

  • Bryan Lambert, Brightway Insurance
  • Arisha Coffee, Community enCompass
  • Jason Bertoia, Every Woman’s Place
  • Heather Halter, Family Financial Credit Union
  • Lauren Meldrum, HealthWest
  • Walter Christophersen, IBEW Local 275
  • Michael Ramsey, Mercy Health
  • Corey Davis, Muskegon Area Transit System
  • David Fredrick, Muskegon Family Care
  • Tim Lopez, Muskegon Rescue Mission
  • Jared Passchier, Norton Shores Police Department
  • Brian Leibrandt, Parmenter O’Toole
  • Spencer Boertman, Steak ‘N Egger
  • La Tonya Beene, United Way of the Lakeshore
  • Ami Gongalski, West Michigan Law

 

These 15 finalists will be recognized at a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce member event later this month. 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.

“Watch Muskegon” campaign unveils progress report

As Muskegon officials are trying to change the public’s perception of the city, a progress report on the effectiveness of the ‘Watch Muskegon’ campaign were released Friday. Acknowledging there is “still a lot of work to do,” Muskegon Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen says she has never been more encouraged by the direction the city is heading.

 

“The most exciting thing that is happening is the fact that there is so much happening,” Larsen said. “As a matter of fact, there’s a total investment in Muskegon County right now in excess of $1 billion. And I have never seen that in my career. To get up into the B’s, that is something,” she said.

 

The results of the mid-campaign found that residents who already live in Muskegon County and nearby are more likely to live and work in Muskegon. However, outside of the area, West Michiganders still have reservations about living or working in Muskegon due to concerns about safety and urban challenges.

 

“We’re an old community, and we went through some hard times. But that was 25 years ago, and I think a lot of people still think of Muskegon that way,” Larsen said. “Which is why we started the Watch Muskegon campaign, to change people’s way of thinking about the city.”

 

Chris Burnaw is a co-chair of the Mercy Health Seaway run and Lake Michigan half marathon June 24th. After 30 years in Muskegon, the finish line of the race has been moved to Downtown Muskegon this year to showcase the city’s progress.

 

“I think it’s the energy,” Bernaw said. “I’ve been here for 17 years, and just to see the change and the progress and the energy and the excitement downtown,” she said. “You know, it seems every time we turn around these days, there is something new going in. Everybody says ‘Muskegon, why go there?’ There a thousand reasons to come to Muskegon.”

 

Larsen said this summer the Muskegon Lake will undergo a huge transformation as the vacant Windward Pointe paper mill will be demolished in an effort to return the lake to its natural beauty.

Watch Muskegon Campaign Making an Impact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2017

 

Watch Muskegon Campaign Making an Impact

 

MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon’s image as a great place to live, work, and play has improved according to an independent research firm. The Watch Muskegon mid-campaign results were presented to the community during the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Business for Breakfast event.  Avenue ISR, an independent research firm, conducted a perception survey to determine the effectiveness of the Watch Muskegon Campaign in improving the perception of Muskegon County. Survey results indicated that the Watch Muskegon Campaign has made a positive impact on the image of Muskegon, both locally and throughout West Michigan.

 

The survey revealed that within the Muskegon community 95% of respondents were familiar with the Watch Muskegon Campaign and that 38% of respondents throughout West Michigan recall seeing or hearing the campaign messaging. In addition, residents of Muskegon County and its surrounding counties are more likely to see Muskegon as a place to live, work, and play compared to before the campaign launched.

 

“We are thrilled to see that the campaign is moving the needle and positively affecting the overall perception of Muskegon County both locally and regionally,” says Carla Flanders, Director of Watch Muskegon. The survey also identified some of Muskegon County’s greatest assets which are its natural amenities, cultural amenities and diversity.

 

During the presentation, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s President, Cindy Larsen, adds that there is still room for further improvement. “We need to get to the point where Muskegon’s image is cemented. Ongoing funding is needed, as well as help from the general public. For the next stage of this campaign, we are challenging you to take 100 photos of Muskegon and post them on social media using the hashtag #ThisIsMuskegon during the month of July for the chance to win big,” says Larsen.

 

The Watch Muskegon Campaign is in its last year of the initial campaign. However, due to the commitment of its stakeholders, the campaign is expected to continue for another 3 years. For more information, visit watchmuskegon.com.

May 2017 E-news

May 2017 E-news. 

Muskegon Art Festival Awarded for Sustainability Efforts

CONTACT: CARLA FLANDERS
MUSKEGON LAKESHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PHONE: 231-724-3176
FAX: 231-728-7251
cflanders@muskegon.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017

 

Local Art Festival Awarded for Sustainability Efforts

 

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN – The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to increase the quality of exhibitors attending and has made great strides toward zero waste event management. Because of their work in implementing a sustainable special event in the Muskegon community, Lakeshore Art Festival has just been awarded the 2017 Sustainability Champion Award.

 

“We are very thankful to be recognized as the Sustainability Champion for special projects award,” says Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director. “It has been our goal to provide a sustainable model that supports local business, protects the environment, and educates our youth. We feel our efforts not only improve the festival but the community as a whole in creating an overall positive experience.”

 

The festival has grown from focusing on recycling plastic bottles to an all-encompassing recycling and composting program that includes a “Green Team” educational initiative. Since the inception of the program, the festival has recycled over 3,457 pounds. This equates to 15 cubic yards of landfill space saved which is enough volume to fill 3,109 1-gallon jugs of water. The Lakeshore Art Festival is one of the only festivals in Muskegon County to take a waste reduction program to these heights. This was all made possible by a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. More information on the Lakeshore Art Festival’s sustainability efforts can be found at http://www.lakeshoreartfestival.org/.

 

Lakeshore Art Festival was recognized along with three other Sustainability Champions on Thursday, April 20th at the 2017 Sustainability Champion Awards Ceremony. This event featured stories of people and businesses in the Muskegon community who have been making a positive difference in their sustainability efforts.

 

Recipients of the Sustainability Champion Award were presented with a unique trophy made primarily from recycled tires. In addition, recipients of this award also received a free booth exhibitor space at the Earth Fair Expo which took place at Montague High School Saturday, April 22nd.

 

The Lakeshore Art Festival is an annual event that features a unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food, and fun in beautiful Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Previously, The Lakeshore Art Festival has been recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the “200 Best” in the country and by ArtFairCalendar.com as “Favorite Small Town Art Fair.”

 

Local Art Festival Awarded for Sustainability Efforts

CONTACT: CARLA FLANDERS
MUSKEGON LAKESHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PHONE: 231-724-3176
FAX: 231-728-7251
cflanders@muskegon.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017

Local Art Festival Awarded for Sustainability Efforts

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN – The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to increase the quality of exhibitors attending and has made great strides toward zero waste event management. Because of their work in implementing a sustainable special event in the Muskegon community, Lakeshore Art Festival has just been awarded the 2017 Sustainability Champion Award.

“We are very thankful to be recognized as the Sustainability Champion for special projects award,” says Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director. “It has been our goal to provide a sustainable model that supports local business, protects the environment, and educates our youth. We feel our efforts not only improve the festival but the community as a whole in creating an overall positive experience.”

The festival has grown from focusing on recycling plastic bottles to an all-encompassing recycling and composting program that includes a “Green Team” educational initiative. Since the inception of the program, the festival has recycled over 3,457 pounds. This equates to 15 cubic yards of landfill space saved which is enough volume to fill 3,109 1-gallon jugs of water. The Lakeshore Art Festival is one of the only festivals in Muskegon County to take a waste reduction program to these heights. This was all made possible by a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. More information on the Lakeshore Art Festival’s sustainability efforts can be found at http://www.lakeshoreartfestival.org/.

Lakeshore Art Festival was recognized along with three other Sustainability Champions on Thursday, April 20th at the 2017 Sustainability Champion Awards Ceremony. This event featured stories of people and businesses in the Muskegon community who have been making a positive difference in their sustainability efforts.

Recipients of the Sustainability Champion Award were presented with a unique trophy made primarily from recycled tires. In addition, recipients of this award also received a free booth exhibitor space at the Earth Fair Expo which took place at Montague High School Saturday, April 22nd.

The Lakeshore Art Festival is an annual event that features a unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food, and fun in beautiful Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Previously, The Lakeshore Art Festival has been recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the “200 Best” in the country and by ArtFairCalendar.com as “Favorite Small Town Art Fair.”

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New Event to Discuss Economic Development

CONTACT: JODI KITTLE
MUSKEGON LAKESHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PHONE: 231-724-3176
FAX: 231-728-7251
jkittle@muskegon.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 20, 2017

 

New Event to Discuss Economic Development

 

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN – Muskegon County is changing its profile on many levels. Therefore, The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Muskegon Area First have organized a new event called the Muskegon County Economic Summit. This event focuses on gathering key decision makers of local government and business to discuss issues related to the Muskegon Lake port, infrastructure projects, community safety, transportation, cost of government and more.

 

“The dynamics around our local economy are changing rapidly,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “This summit is designed to get our local decision makers up to speed on topics that impact our residents.” In addition, The Economic Summit will provide networking opportunities among community leaders that otherwise, may not be possible.

 

There are nine program presenters to date:

  • Mayor Steve Gawron, City of Muskegon
  • DJ Hilson, Muskegon County
  • Sam Janson, City of North Muskegon
  • Erin Kuhn, West Michigan Shoreline Development Regional Commission
  • Mike Meyers, Norton Shores
  • Mayor Gary Nelund, Norton Shores
  • Frank Peterson, City of Muskegon
  • Sheriff Mike Poulin, Muskegon County
  • Mayor Chris Witham, City of North Muskegon

 

The 2017 Muskegon County Economic Summit will take place on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Muskegon Innovation Hub. Admission is $25 per person. You can register online at muskegon.org.

Wellness Spa wins 321 GO! retail competition, business plans move into Muskegon’s Midtown

Contact: Dave Alexander
Downtown Muskegon Now
231-215-8827
dalexander@downtownmuskegon.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 14, 2017

 

Wellness Spa wins 321 GO! retail competition, business plans move into Muskegon’s Midtown

 

Muskegon, MI – Four potential retailers for Downtown Muskegon’s emerging Midtown competed in a “pitch competition” as a Muskegon woman with a passion for expanding her wellness spa business taking the grand prize.

 

A panel of five 321 Go! judges selected Jodi McClain and her East of Eden Wellness Spa proposal for the space at 1144 Third Street being offered by building owner Brad Martell for six months of free rent. McClain and Martell will now negotiate the businesses entry into the space that once was an auto dealership showroom and office, hoping to reach a one-year lease for the space beyond the initial six months.

 

“I can’t wait to see you all in Midtown,” McClain told the 321 Go! gathering at the Muskegon Innovation Hub at Grand Valley State University April 13 that also was a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours.

 

McClain is a veteran message therapist and wants to expand her practice to a destination wellness business offering floatation and dry salt therapy along with messages. Judges found McClain’s pitch to be for a unique service not found in Muskegon from a businesswoman who is experienced and passionate with a researched business plan.

 

“I am excited and humbled to be selected as every one of the other presenters did such a great job,” McClain said. “Thanks to all who have taken a chance on me. Now let’s all get ‘salty.’”

 

McClain wins a prize package of more than $20,000 in value considering the six months’ rent from Brad and Mandy Martell along with business services from legal to marketing and accounting.

 

Also making their pitches to the judges were Sheeka Hawkins of Simply Vintage Design, a custom jewelry business; Emily Prow of the Occidental Barbershop, a men’s grooming center; and Shaun Haldki and Rebecca Holtz of SkeeTown Nutrition, a nutrition club and shake bar. The event emcee was Muskegon entrepreneur and Muskegon County Commissioner Bob Scolnik

 

The three budding businesses not winning the 321 Go! competition will be embraced by the event sponsors – GVSU Muskegon Innovation Hub, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Muskegon Now – and the Muskegon business community to find ways those business plans can progress.

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!   Come out and join us on July 6th,  and July 7th, 2018.

More Information

Join Watch Muskegon

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

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