Michigan Celebrates Small Business chooses managing partner for annual gala

Jennifer Deamud, Michigan Celebrates Small Business board chair and executive director of Manufacturing Growth Alliance Courtesy MCSB

Michigan Celebrates Small Business picked a new organization to manage its annual awards gala.

The 20-year-old MCSB, a business resource organization, said last week that it selected Benton Harbor-based Kinexus Group as managing partner of its annual MCSB awards gala to recognize small business and second-stage companies.

Kinexus Group is a nonprofit that pinpoints challenges and issues that keep Michigan from thriving and addresses gaps in workforce, community and business development. The organization — which is the parent organization of the Michigan Works! office overseeing Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, as well as of other workforce and economic development groups, including the year-old Manufacturing Growth Alliance (MGA) — is committed to “inspiring positive economic change, one person, one business, one community at a time.”

“MCSB remains at the forefront of championing small business and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan, which is why Kinexus Group is a natural fit as managing partner for the awards gala,” said Jennifer Deamud, Michigan Celebrates board chair and executive director of MGA. “Kinexus Group brings a variety of resources, additional partners and opportunities to help small businesses across Michigan grow.”

“We are honored to be the managing partner for Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala because we truly believe that small business is the heart and lifeblood of Michigan,” Kinexus Group President and CEO Todd Gustafson said. “We know that it will take an intentionally collaborative effort by all the private and public sector small business organizations in Michigan to help this sector survive, prosper and grow in the months and years to come. We’re thankful to work alongside some of the most talented and supportive partners in the state to do just that.”

MCSB exists to raise the profile of small businesses in Michigan, build a network of entrepreneurial companies and tell the stories of successful, growing Michigan entrepreneurs. It is driven by nearly 100 small business support organizations from across the state. Central among those are the statewide organizations that founded the awards gala in 2004:

  • Edward Lowe Foundation
  • Michigan Business Network
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Michigan Small Business Development Center
  • Small Business Association of Michigan
  • S. Small Business Administration — Michigan District Office

The six founding partners created the annual awards gala and launched it in 2005. Nearly 1,000 companies have been honored at MCSB over the years, which includes 800 second-stage companies recognized by a Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award.

Nominations for the 2021 MCSB awards open next week and can be submitted at the MCSB website, michigancelebrates.org.

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