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

Andy Hayes to Retire at End of Year

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2020

Boyne City, MI | March 23, 2020 – After serving 15-years at the helm of the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), Andy Hayes is retiring. He made the announcement Thursday, March 19 at the regular meeting of the NLEA’s Board of Directors. Hayes told the board he will be stepping down at the end of 2020.

Hayes became NLEA President in 2005. Since that time, the organization has grown to be a well-known and widely respected economic development organization locally, regionally, and state-wide. Currently, the NLEA serves the counties of Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan. They assist companies and communities on large and small projects that fulfill the organization’s mission of creating and retaining jobs in the region.

Hayes’ position with the NLEA was always held in partnership with Michigan State University Extension. Through that partnership, he helped to lead a state-wide MSU Extension entrepreneurship team that created the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Program, a program that has gained national exposure and currently there are seven states adopting the model.

In a letter Hayes provided to the board, he stated that serving the NLEA for the past 15-years has been incredible. “I have learned and grown so much through this opportunity to work with such an amazing board, staff, partner organizations, private sector companies and local units of government, etc. for the betterment of our area. It has been extremely fulfilling. I truly jump out of bed every morning excited to get at it.”

He went on to say though that after 42-years in organization management work, he and his wife are excited about the prospect of having a little more time to themselves. “Family and grand-kids, travel, adventures, and perhaps even other career paths await, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring,” he said in his letter.

He concluded his letter by saying, “I’ve always lived by the creed of ‘think beyond your experience and plan beyond your tenure.’ We have a great board and a super staff. It will be exciting to see the board and new President take the NLEA to even higher levels.”

Bill Scott of Great Lakes Energy is currently Chairman of the NLEA’s Board of Directors. He congratulated Hayes on his great career and said he looks forward to working with him for the remainder of 2020. “Andy has done an excellent job since becoming the NLEA President 15 years ago. He has helped the board grow the economic development services for area companies, entrepreneurs, and communities,” Scott said. “He leaves a strong organization, excellent team and many partnerships that were not in place when he started,” he added. Scott says he is confident that Hayes has left the organization in strong shape and positioned for future success.

The search process for a new NLEA President will begin immediately. The national search will be coordinated by the NLEA’s partner organization Michigan State University Extension. Follow this link to the job description.

CONTACT:  Andy Hayes, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance,, 231-582-6482

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