The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), in conjunction with MSU Extension, have announced the new President of the NLEA. David Emmel of Harbor Springs will step into that role next month succeeding Andy Hayes who will retire at the end of the year. Emmel will be just the fourth NLEA president in the organization’s 36-year history.
The NLEA is a regional public-private economic development organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties. For the past 25-years, the organization has worked in partnership with MSU Extension who played a key role in the hiring process.
Emmel brings to the job an impressive body of work in economic development, health care administration, non-profit management, and experience as an entrepreneur. Most recently he has been the Regional Director and Senior Business Consultant for the Small Business Development Center of Northeast Michigan. He also served as Adjunct Faculty at Northwood University in Midland developing curriculum and teaching entrepreneurial strategy and business modeling among other areas of study.
The Chairman of the NLEA’s Board of Directors, Bill Scott, said the hiring committee was very impressed with Emmel’s strong background in working with businesses and municipalities across northern Michigan. “With David’s leadership, we’re confident the NLEA will continue to be an integral partner in providing a strong environment for growing our region’s economy,” Scott said.
“MSU Extension is equally as excited to welcome David to the NLEA,” said Dave Ivan, Director of MSU Extension Community, Food and Environment Institute. “We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership and sharing MSU’s vast economic development resources with David to further enhance area businesses and communities,” Ivan added.
Emmel said he was humbled to be selected to lead the NLEA and said the timing is good with the recent economic disruptions that have occurred. “We can create some incredible opportunities for businesses, budding entrepreneurs and communities. I’m thrilled to be part of it and to partner with the NLEA Board and its stakeholders,” Emmel said.
Emmel is expected to begin work at the NLEA on October 1 giving him some time to work with the current president, Hayes, who has been with the organization for 15-years. “Having some time with Andy will assure a seamless transition for the organization,” said Scott. “We have a great staff in place and the organization is on solid footing, so we’re poised for great success on into the future,” Scott added.
Scott notes that over the past five years the NLEA has completed 234 successful projects which resulted in $462 million in private investment, over $17 million in grant funding, and more than $10 million in local government investment. In all the organization has assisted companies to create and retain more than 3,600 jobs in that period.