Local Agents of Change are Recognized

Chamber Blog |Nov 10, 2017|4 min read

NOVEMBER 10, 2017


Nine community individuals and organizations were recognized as the 2017 Agents of Change by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The Agents of Change program awards those who have made a positive contribution to the Muskegon Lakeshore.


“The Muskegon Lakeshore is quickly evolving,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “These individuals and organizations are dramatically changing the landscape of our community, and deserve recognition for their efforts.”
This year’s Agents of Change were recognized at the Tenth Annual Agents of Change Event on November 7, 2017 at The Handsome Hobo Restaurant & Bar.  This event was produced by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with WGVU Public Media.

Here are the 2017 projects, individuals and businesses recognized as 2017 Agents of Change: (see pictures attached)


City of Whitehall (Colby Street)

Reinventing the main street of a downtown is a thankless job.  The City of Whitehall worked with all the stakeholders to see this major development through to completion.  Thanks to the city, downtown Whitehall is fresh, new and re-energized!  Colby Street is once again a major destination attracting businesses and tourists to the lakeshore.


Ann Meisch

One of the most exciting projects to hit Muskegon County this year was the opening of Western Market.  These (10) small retail shops have captured the hearts of residents and visitors alike. Ann Meisch worked tirelessly to get these shops open in time for the tourism season. She is the spirit and champion for the success of these small businesses.


Dr. Dale Nesbary

Dr. Nesbary has put the word “community” back in Muskegon Community College.  He is always on the move to create the best environment for education success.  Millions of dollars have been invested in state-of-the-art programs and facilities.  Thanks to Dr. Nesbary’s leadership, Muskegon Community College has been named the best Community College in Michigan!


TJ Chappel

There is something about Muskegon Heights Club Director, TJ Chappel that inspires people to be their best.  The Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore now has a fully operational Muskegon Heights program thanks to TJ’s leadership.  TJ and his team are making a difference as they bring creative talent and enthusiasm to the community.


Hamburger Mikey

A new take on an American classic, Hamburger Mikey, has brought life to Midtown with hamburgers and fries!  The staff’s upbeat personalities and colorful environment bring people together over a good meal. They created a destination restaurant popular with young and old.


Muskegon Polish Festival

A local committee came together with a vision for a Polish Festival the entire community could enjoy.  They did it.  One of Muskegon’s newest events, the Muskegon Polish Festival is attracting more than just a Polish crowd.  Great music, dancing and food are the highlights of this special celebration.


Great Lakes Fresh Market

The team at Great Lakes Fresh Market are transforming an old grocery chain into modern attractive facilities with healthy food choices.  Great Lakes Fresh Market is bringing quality products back to the neighborhoods they serve.  Working morning, noon and night, the organization is investing, hiring, and bringing great customer service to the community.


La Colombe Coffee

A Philadelphia based firm, La Colombe Coffee, chose the location of Norton Shores to make their exciting new product, draft lattes.  They are making a serious investment in this state-of-the-art production and packaging process here in Muskegon County.  We are proud that they have brought their visionary success to this area, investing and hiring locally.


KL Outdoor

This locally owned family business has grown to become the largest Manufacturer of Kayaks in the world!  Through a series of reorganizations and mergers, KL Outdoor is leading the way in outdoor recreation products.  Choosing downtown Muskegon for the company headquarters is icing on the cake.  We salute the vision and determination of this hardworking team.



CONTACT: Jodi Kittle
Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce