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

2024 Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase

The 2024 Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase is fast approaching; the May 17th event will focus on will focus on innovation—or the act of introducing new products, methods, and ways of thinking—to build on Northern Michigan’s economic success. Symposium attendees will engage with local, state, and national experts who have fostered innovation through new practices and policies. Between the mainstage and breakout sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to examine innovation through global, community, industry cluster, and business lenses.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry generated $12.4 billion in GDP, 118,993 jobs, and $5.6 billion in compensation in 2022. This industry represents more than just tourism; it’s businesses researching, designing, and refining the next generation of outdoor products and technology. In this session, Brad Garmon—Executive Director of the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation—will provide an overview of the industry in Michigan before delving into discussion about regional strengths and opportunities with local businesses. You’ll have the chance to hear directly from the businesses in our area advancing the outdoor recreation industry, like Jason Thelen the founder of Little Bay Boards in Petoskey, Jeff Thompson the Co-Founder and Product Engineer at Shaggy’s Skis, and Rob Bellmore the Vice President of Advance Tackle Inc., a partner of Gibbs Fishing.

In January, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) released the Michigan Roadmap to Rural Prosperity, a first-ever report that focuses on the challenges rural communities face and strategies to collectively build long-term prosperity in rural areas across the state. In this session, the Director of the ORP Sarah Lucas will dive into the Roadmap, opportunities in the state’s proposed budget, and how the ORP aims to support transformative projects and strategies in our region.

Current state and local demographic trends indicate that attracting the right talent to meet the needs of your organization will remain a challenge in the coming years. What can your organization do to get ahead of this challenge? In this session, Avazeh Attari, Director of Higher Education Partnerships for  Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will highlight resources for attracting talent while Amanda Haworth, Director of Human Resource for Manthei Group, will share how they are successfully addressing talent needs. Additional speakers highlighting talent resources will be announced soon.

The Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Annual Showcase is a forum for community and business leaders committed to the economic vitality of our region. It is an opportunity to tackle complex challenges, make strategic connections, and celebrate the many successes of our communities and businesses in Northern Michigan. We look forward to seeing you on Friday, May 17th at Boyne Mountain Resort.

Register for the Symposium here.

Sponsorship information can be found here.

Core Partners

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