Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

2015 Annual Luncheon

The 2015 NLEA Annual Luncheon was jump out of your chair exciting!

700 people gathered on May 20, 2015 to celebrate the economic development partnerships that thrive throughout the NLEA region. Local and state government officials, community and business leaders, area entrepreneurs, chamber members, educational leaders and everyone involved in the economic vitality of our region were present for networking and celebration. Our keynote speaker, Chris Holman, “Michigan’s Entrepreneur” shared his insight from over 40 years of entrepreneurial experience including his business news site and broadcasting company, Michigan Business Network. Exciting awards and special recognitions were presented to deserving community members and business leaders.

NLEA Outgoing Board Member Recognitions

Patrick Cudney with Andy Hayes Steve Weber, Jim Kowal, Gene Dawson, Tom Nathe with Sue Eno


Maniac of the Year Award – Bill McDonough

2015 Maniac of the Year – Bill McDonough

Being labeled a “maniac” is considered a badge of honor in the NLEA world.  As we all know, there are many definitions of the term “maniac”.  The one we choose for this recognition is: “a person who has a great craving or enthusiasm for something”.  Although a fun play on words, this award is really quite serious as we all know that to be successful at the highest level you really have to be a “maniac”!

This year’s Maniac of the Year Award went to, Bill McDonough of Beaver Island.  His passion and enthusiasm for his community, county and state is evident in all the projects and people he touches every day.


Project of the Year

The Industrial Arts Institute, “Northern Michigan’s Premier Welding School”

The 2015 Economic Development Project of the Year is an innovative solution to the critical lack of skilled trades’ talent in northern Michigan and beyond. To address the lack of people with welding skills, a world class welding school, the Industrial Arts Institute in Onaway was created by an insightful group led by Tom Moran and the Moran Iron Works Board of Directors.


Keynote Speaker, Chris Holman – Michigan’s Entrepreneur

Welcome from NLEA President, Andy Hayes


Watch the Entire Event

A special “thank you” to the Boyne City High School Visual Imaging Class for the live-streaming!

A Big Thank You to our Lunch Sponsors


Special Thanks To Our Event Photographers

Chris and Alan Leese

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Core Partners

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