An economic development agency in the region is presenting awards at its annual meeting this week.
Lakeshore Advantage is naming the winner of its Visionary Award, which recognizes “leaders and the initiatives they undertake to affect positive economic change.”
Lakeshore Advantage investors chose the winner, to be presented at the organization’s annual meeting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on Friday at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, at 3330 Highland Dr.
The annual meeting is designed to be a report to investors on the organization’s work over the past year and a look forward to upcoming economic development initiatives.
Lakeshore Advantage narrowed six potential candidates to the three finalists.
“These leaders have formed partnerships far outside their comfort zones, blazing trails, trying new things and recognizing that success is achieved through commitment, creative thinking and collaboration,” said Jennifer Owens, president, Lakeshore Advantage. “We are fortunate to have multiple visionaries in our region, which makes choosing just one award recipient a difficult task.”
Careerline Tech Center Early College Program
Brian Walker, Herman Miller; Peter Haines, Ottawa Area ISD; and Bill Pink, Grand Rapids Community College
These three organizations have worked to design an early college program that integrates a corporate partner, allowing students to participate in internships and earn a professional industry certification.
Holland Energy Park
Dave Koster and Tim Hemingway, Holland Board of Public Works
This $240-million investment meets current and future energy needs of Holland with affordable, reliable, local power generation. The project started nearly a decade ago with full community engagement, resulting in environmental restoration and beautification of the eastern City of Holland gateway.
Mike Goorhouse, Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland Area; and Holly Johnson, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
Housing Next is charged with unlocking cross-sector, market-driven solutions to increase affordable housing stock and help communities understand the importance of workforce housing development. Together, Mike Goorhouse and Holly Johnson have led their boards to committing $750,000 in operational costs for the newly launched Housing Next.
“These projects are great examples of the forward-thinking mindset many leaders in our area deploy to positively affect our community, which is critical to our region’s continued growth and success,” said Scott Lubbers, community president, Fifth Third Bank. “These efforts align nicely with Fifth Third’s commitment to help create and sustain holistically healthy communities.”
Lakeshore Advantage is an economic development nonprofit that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan.
In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 26 growth projects resulting in more than $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 new jobs.