Lakeshore hub names Innovator of the Year


Julie Raynor. Courtesy GVSU/Adam Bird

A camp dedicated to improving the lives and speaking skills of children with speech disorders has been named Lakeshore Innovator of the Year.

Holton-based Camp Shout Out won the first-ever Lakeshore Innovator of the Year award last month from Grand Valley State University's Muskegon Innovation Hub.

The organization was recognized for its “innovative approach” to speech-language pathology, helping children ages 8-18 who stutter, while also providing hands-on training for language pathologists and graduate students, according to Muskegon Innovation Hub.

More than 100 children attend each week-long session.

The camp was founded by Julie Raynor and Kristin Chmela.

"Camp Shout Out is a place that's all about positive communication and interaction," Raynor said. "Our camp is a place where young people can feel confident to say what they want to say, even if they stutter sometimes."

The winner was selected from a group of finalists: Smart Vision Lights; John Bilsky, a certified master water specialist; Rick Smith of HyVida Brands; and a group of students and teachers from the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center.

"These awards really show us the amount and quality of innovation happening along the lakeshore, and we're happy to celebrate the success of this area, not only with Camp Shout Out, but all of our finalists for the award," said Kevin Ricco, director, Muskegon Innovation Hub.

The Muskegon Innovation Hub is a business innovation center that provides business incubation, co-working space, funding assistance, events and programming.

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