Latest economic news around the region with special recap of the first ever Northern Lakes Economic Symposium.
Plus Core Partner Updates!
Congratulations Showcase awardees!
The Showcase portion of the Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase was focused on the exciting happenings of the past year. Awards highlighted individuals and organizations involved in work and projects that further economic
and community improvement in the region. The 2022 awardees are as follows:

  • Tom Teske - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Industrial Magnetics Inc. - Project of the Year Award
  • Community of Mancelona - Guts and Grit Award [accepted by Mike Allison (Village President) and Joanie Moore (Chamber Director)].

Tom Teske of EJ received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-standing commitment to our region, represented by a 45-year career with EJ where he rose to the position of Vice President and Regional Manager of the Americas and his 25 years of volunteering with the East Jordan Downtown Development Authority, Rotary, and Northern Michigan Ski Academy.

Industrial Magnetics Inc. of Boyne City received the Project of the Year Award for its recent $3.5 million dollar expansion which is anticipated to create 46 new jobs and retain 68 existing jobs. When businesses invest in our region, that investment ripples out into the community through construction wages, new hires, utilities’ revenue, better work environments, workforce attraction, and more.

The Community of Mancelona received the Guts and Grit Award for their impressive downtown revival, advancement of the housing conversation, and unique economic development opportunities. For their efforts in Mancelona,
both Village President Mike Allison and Mancelona Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Joanie Moore received special recognition.
NLEA Lifetime Achievement Tim Teske
Lifetime Achievement: Tom Teske, Dave Emmel, Dawn LaVanway
NLEA Project of the Year
Project of the Year: IMI Magnetics. Pictured Bill Scott, Casey House IMI Director of Operations, and Dave Emmel
Guts & Grit: Dave Emmel, Mike Allison (Village President), Joanie Moore (Chamber Director), Pete Garwood
All NLEA Symposium Photo credit:
Joanie Moore

Keep scrolling for more photos from the gallery!
Recap: The Symposium
On Friday, May 13, the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance welcomed approximately 250 attendees to the first annual Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase at Boyne Mountain Resort! The event is a forum for 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 to gather and share knowledge, network, and
celebrate the region. Through a combination of keynote addresses and breakout sessions, attendees delved into topics integral to community and economic development in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties.

This year, the event’s theme was the blue water economy and attendees heard keynote addresses from John Austin of the Michigan Economic Center and Brad Garmon of Michigan’s Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.

Breakout sessions consisted of productive discussions with experts on the Blue Water Economy, Craft Beverage Industry, Future of Energy, and Business and Talent Attraction from the academic, business, and nonprofit sectors.

The NLEA is proud to have put on an event that feeds economic and community
development in the region. Keynote speaker John Austin shared his thoughts on the event:
John Austin
"Clearly the northern Michigan community is organized and engaged around how best to map an economically vibrant future, building on its unique natural assets and location astride our Great Lakes. The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance is well positioned to build on the region's already robust 'blue economy’ and as a truly special place to live, work, play, run a business, and raise a
Industry 4.0 Grants
Michigan boasts the fifth-largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the country, with more than 13,000 workers employed in industries related to Industry 4.0 and automation – the most in the nation.

Small manufacturers across Northwest Michigan are eligible for grants of up to $25,000 to implement Industry 4.0 technologies. The funding is part of the $3 million Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant program unveiled this month by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The grants will be reimbursement-based and cover up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible technologies, including additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and automation, and more.

At least four grants will be available to manufacturers in Northwest Michigan, to be administered locally by Networks Northwest. The total allocation for the region is $117,647. Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are allocated.
2021 Annual Report Available NOW
The 2021 Annual Activities Report for the year of 2021 was released at the Northern Lakes Economic Symposium, check it out to see all the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance accomplished last year.
Symposium Gallery
Check out the gallery of photos taken at the first annual Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase. We hope to see you there next year !
Brad Garmon at NLEA Symposium
Brad Garmon discussed Michigan strength in the outdoor recreation industry
John Austin at NLEA Symposium
John Austin addressed the audience on 'Blue Economy"
Sam Bailey at NLEA Symposium
NLEA's Sam Bailey shared regional economic data
Breakout attraction at NLEA Symposium
Breakout session with panel on Business and Talent Attraction
Breakout craft beverage at NLEA Symposium
Breakout session with panel on the Craft Beverage Industry
Networking at NLEA Symposium
Networking and discussion among the 250 participants
Thank You Once AGAIN Sponsors!
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
Happy Memorial Day
Our office is closed in honor of the holiday Friday May 27 and Monday, May 30. Have a safe, happy weekend!

We resume normal business hours Tuesday, May 31.
Core Partner Corner
Find out what our Core Partners are up to!