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Don't miss the Symposium
Have you secured your spot at the inaugural Northern Lakes Economic Symposium? If you think you can wait until the last minute, think again. We are fast approaching our goal of 250 attendees so don't delay, it's almost sold out!

Ticket sales close May 4 and the event is happening May 13 at Boyne Mountain. This will be the premier economic event for networking, discussion, and celebration. Email us with any questions.
The Showcase
If you've known NLEA through the years, you've known our annual celebration by many names: SchmoozaPalooza; Annual Luncheon; and most recently the Showcase. Although the name has been modified the tradition of celebrating community leaders and collaboration has remained. The event has always recognized businesses and organizations that help fulfill the NLEA mission to help communities retain and create quality jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties.

The Showcase will be May 13 as part of the Northern Lakes Economic Symposium where we will again celebrate our leaders in the community with the:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Project of the Year Award
  • Guts & Grit Award

You can see the 2021 recipients highlighted here. Our panel of judges must review a lot of quality candidates. Who will take home the titles? Find out at the Symposium & Showcase!
Outdoor Rec Pitch Recipients
MEDC 2-2022 Pitch
Pitch contest participants, left to right: Caitlin Ludlow, Orient to Thrive; Brian “Koz” Kozminski, True North Trout; Jennifer Dowker, Nautical North Family Adventures; Tommy McDonald, 10 Pines Ranch; Stacey Hicks, Antrim Meadows Campground; and Doug Hicks, Antrim Meadows Campground
In February the MEDC, along with local partners in Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim, and Cheboygan counties, recently hosted the Northern Michigan Outdoor Industry Pitch Contest at Boyne Mountain Resorts. The contest was held in partnership with the Midwest Representatives Association’s 2022 Boyne On the Hill Demo event.

The pitch contest included five small regional outdoor businesses who competed and won prize packages of marketing support such as website design, branding, image sourcing and more. Awards were announced during a networking reception following the competition. The participants were:
Craft Beverage: Riding the Wave
mammoth distillery lineup by water
By Sam Bailey, NLEA Strategic Initiatives Manager
Locals and visitors alike are familiar with the wave of breweries, wineries, and distilleries opening and expanding in Northern Michigan. The craft beverage industry is booming with an abundance of establishments and drinks to explore, and many businesses are expanding to become event and music venues.

In the last five years, beverage manufacturing added three establishments, almost quadrupled its employment, and increased payroll by over one million dollars in Antrim County. In Emmet County, the beverage manufacturing added four new establishments and fifty-six employees while more than doubling its payroll. Additionally, both Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties added new Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing establishments.

Learn more about opportunities for our region to leverage the craft beverage industry at the Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase on Friday May 13 at Boyne Mountain.

Ben Slocum of Beards Brewery, Chad Munger of Mammoth Distilling, Matt McCann of Detroit Stillworks and Muskrat Distilling, and Dustin Stabile of Mackinaw Trail Winery will serve as a panel of experts examining what makes the region so successful in this rapidly growing industry.
Manufacturing: Digital Process Control
Utilizing Industry 4.0 technologies is the future of the manufacturing industry. It is essential for your business to stay up to date with the latest ways to improve your operations and retain your employees.

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is committed to helping organizations grow through offering Industry 4.0 classes. Manufacturers can sustain best practices with digital process control. Learn more about digital process control by clicking below or registering for an upcoming class at The Center.
Industry 4.0 Live Demo
Northwestern Michigan College will host the NMC Learning Lab Demonstration of Industry 4.0 on Wednesday, May 18 from 3:00 - 4:30.

This free, in-person event will provide local industry with the opportunity to experience the NMC Learning Lab firsthand. You will see an overview of the collaboration robot, milling operation, and the integration required to allow them to successfully work in tandem. Lessons learned from the lead integrators, NMC instructors, MMTC, and others will be shared. Lab demonstrations, training opportunities, and more will be covered.

Location: NMC Campus, Parsons Stulen, Room 151 (2600 Aero Park Drive, Traverse City)
NMC 4.0 event
Deep Dive in the Breakout Rooms
As part of the Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase there will be 4 breakout rooms allowing participants to deep dive into valuable content. Preview the topics and featured speakers in each room. *New speakers added*

1. Blue Water Economy 
  • John Austin, Michigan Economic Center, University of Michigan, Brookings Institution
  • Mark Breederland, MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant
  • Hans VanSumeren, Northwestern Michigan College's Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
  • Katie Wolf, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

2. Future of Energy in Michigan
  • Carlin Smith, Consumers Energy
  • Jessica Woycehoski, Consumers Energy

3. Business and Talent Attraction: Growing the Pie
  • Justin Horvath, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership
  • Todd Dickerson, Oscoda Township Economic Improvement
  • More speakers to be announced

4. Craft Beverage: An Innovative and Growing Industry
  • Ben Slocum, Beards Brewery
  • Chad Munger, Mammoth Distilling
  • Matt McCann, Muskrat Distilling and Detroit Stillworks
  • Dustin Stabile, Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery
Thank You Sponors!
The Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase would not be possible without support from our sponsors. Thank you to the following:
Premier Sponsor
Lake Sponsors
River Sponsors
Venue Sponsor
Momentum Sponsors
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