About Us

West Michigan's Business Advantage


Founded in 2003 by business and community leaders, Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that connects businesses to the resources they need to grow in Allegan and Ottawa Counties. We accomplish this by working to:

Core Values

People who interact with Lakeshore Advantage can expect to experience our team's core values. Our core values define how we deliver services to employers, partners and each other. They are:
Yes. . . .and |  Do the right thing  |  Come to the rescue  |  Work hard, laugh often  |  Lead the standing ovation

Our Passion

Ensuring current and future generations want to live and work in our vibrant economy.

Learn more about why each of us is personally passionate about our work.

We Serve

Supporting primary employers, from start-ups to grown ups. 

*A primary employer grows our region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Our Target Market

  1. Growth minded business leaders/decision makers at current/future primary employers, who see obstacles and opportunities to grow and are willing to ask for help.
  2. Located in or considering location in Ottawa and/or Allegan Counties.
  3. Primary employers with headquarters outside region and >100 employees in region.
  4. Key service providers to our primary employers.

What Makes Us "Lakeshore Advantage"

  1. Driven by unique primary research and utilize secondary data to benchmark the competitiveness
    of our region.
  2. Serve as the first point of contact for primary employers and act as a member of their teams to tackle challenges and assist with growth opportunities.
  3. We cultivate ideas between public and private sectors to position our community for growth. 
  4. Amplify the community's messages and successes. 

Our Team

Our small but mighty team is here to assist you.

Name Phone Email Expertise
Jennifer Owens Jennifer Owens President 616.772.5226 ext. 304 jennifer.owens@lakeshoreadvantage.com Vision and strategy setting for the organization
Angela Huesman Angela Huesman Chief Operating Officer 616.772.5226 ext. 209 angela.huesman@lakeshoreadvantage.com Implements strategies, manages day to day operations
Emily Staley Emily Staley Vice President, Marketing & Communications 616.772.5226 ext. 220 emily.staley@lakeshoreadvantage.com Marketing and communications strategy
Beth Blanton Beth Blanton Vice President of Engagement 616.772.5226 ext. 205 beth.blanton@lakeshoreadvantage.com Investor relations and engagement and external events
Amanda Murray Amanda Murray Vice President of Business Solutions 616.772.5226 ext. 302 amanda.murray@lakeshoreadvantage.com Business retention and expansion team lead. Major expansion projects, commercial real estate and headquarter relationships
Haley Abbas Haley Abbas Marketing Associate 616.772.5226 ext. 217 haley.abbas@lakeshoreadvantage.com Entrepreneurial support programming, marketing support and grant writing
Amanda Chocko Amanda Chocko Director of SURGE 616.772.5226 ext. 206 amanda.chocko@lakeshoreadvantage.com Entrepreneurial support team lead
Amanda Cooper Amanda Cooper Director of Talent Initiatives 616-772-5226 ext. 202 amanda.cooper@lakeshoreadvantage.com Helps extend the best practices of talent development programs to established and emerging companies.
Katie DeGroff Katie DeGroff Administrative Assistant 616-772-5226 ext. 211 Katie.degroff@lakeshoreadvantage.com Co-leading the efforts to maintain a great workplace environment for the team.
Rebekah deVries Rebekah deVries Project Manager 616.772.5226 ext. 215 rebekah.devries@lakeshoreadvantage.com Finding creative solutions within the business services team.
Greg King Greg King Business Solutions Manager 616.772.5226 ext. 201 greg.king@lakeshoreadvantage.com Business development retention and expansion support for Allegan County primary employers
Ryan Lindberg Ryan LindbergBusiness Solutions Intern 616-772-5226 ryan.lindberg@lakeshoreadvantage.com Assisting Business Solutions team in collecting, organizing, and analyzing data.
Kelsey Sivertson Kelsey Sivertson Communications Associate 616.772.5226 ext. 203 kelsey.sivertson@lakeshoreadvantage.com Board liaison, marketing and event support

Board of Directors

Our overall strategic policy is directed by a 20-member board of directors composed primarily of private sector business leaders.

Jeff Disher

Jeff Disher

- Chair

Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks

- Vice Chair

Brooks Capital Management
Jennifer Remondino

Jennifer Remondino

- Treasurer

Warner, Norcross & Judd, LLP
Mark Schmidt

Mark Schmidt

- Secretary

Neil Boehm

Neil Boehm

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Frey Foundation
Mike Ramirez

Mike Ramirez

Okra Automation
Steve Ramus

Steve Ramus

Rob Sarro

Rob Sarro

Allegan County
Al Vanderberg

Al Vanderberg

Ottawa County
Jim VanderKolk

Jim VanderKolk

Royal Technologies
Jeweral Washington

Jeweral Washington

J-Max Transportation