ABOUT US

West Michigan's Business Advantage

Focus

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:

 


Our WhyMap_Ottawa-Allegan3-01.png

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

We Serve

Supporting primary employers*, from start-ups to grown ups. 
*A primary employer grows our region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Our Services

We offer traditional economic development services, including site location and business expansion assistance. 

We work with company leaders to maintain a robust business base and help them to tackle challenges to growth. Data drives our work, and we meet with plant managers and business leaders to understand and help fulfill immediate needs for them to succeed in our region. 
 
We work with entrepreneurs through SURGE, our virtual commercialization program and startup support community, to foster growth of tomorrow’s primary employers.  

Our Target Market

  1. Growth minded entrepreneurs, business leaders and decision makers at current or future primary employers who:
    • See obstacles and opportunities for growth
    • Are willing to ask for help
    • Located in or considering location in Ottawa and/or Allegan Counties 
  2. Investors that support our primary employers.

Our 10-Year Target

By 2030: We will be ranking at or above our comparative communities for Median Household Income, Average Annual Pay and Total Employment Growth, and at or above the national average for Education Attainment.

Click here for more information.

 

What Makes Us "Lakeshore Advantage"

  1. Driven by unique primary research and utilize secondary data to benchmark our region’s competitiveness
  2. Act as a member of a current or future primary employer’s team to tackle challenges and assist with growth opportunities.
  3. Cultivate ideas between public, private and non-profit sectors to position our community for growth. 
  4. Sharing the region’s business value proposition & provide thought leadership to the broader community.
 
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Our Team

Our small but mighty team is here to assist you.

Name Phone Email Expertise
For general Inquiries For general Inquiriesor if you're not sure who to contact 616-772-5226 info@lakeshoreadvantage.com
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
Amanda Cooper Amanda Cooper Vice President of Strategic Initiatives 616-772-5226 ext. 202 Amanda.cooper@lakeshoreadvantage.com Leads on projects that involve partners who support business growth in our community
Amanda Chocko Amanda Chocko Director of Entrepreneurship 616.772.5226 ext. 206 amanda.chocko@lakeshoreadvantage.com Entrepreneurial support team lead
Amanda Murray Amanda Murray Vice President of Business Solutions 616.772.5226 ext. 302 amanda.murray@lakeshoreadvantage.com Business attraction and expansion; commercial/industrial real estate relationships
Angela Huesman Angela Huesman Chief Operating Officer 616.772.5226 ext. 209 angela.huesman@lakeshoreadvantage.com Implements strategies, manages day to day operations
Beth Blanton Beth Blanton Vice President of Engagement 616.772.5226 ext. 205 beth.blanton@lakeshoreadvantage.com Investor relations and engagement and external events
Emily Staley Emily Staley Director of Marketing & Communications 616.772.5226 ext. 220 emily.staley@lakeshoreadvantage.com Marketing and communications strategy
Greg King Greg King Business Solutions Manager 616.772.5226 ext. 201 greg.king@lakeshoreadvantage.com Business retention and local tax abatements
Haley Abbas Haley Abbas Marketing Coordinator 616.772.5226 ext. 217 haley.abbas@lakeshoreadvantage.com Marketing and graphic design support
Jennifer Owens Jennifer Owens President 616.772.5226 ext. 304 jennifer.owens@lakeshoreadvantage.com Vision and strategy setting for the organization
Kelsey Sivertson Kelsey Sivertson Event Manager 616.772.5226 ext. 203 kelsey.sivertson@lakeshoreadvantage.com Event management and logistics
Rebekah deVries Rebekah deVries Project Manager 616.772.5226 ext. 215 rebekah.devries@lakeshoreadvantage.com Management, analysis, and reporting of data

Board of Directors

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

Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks

- Chair

Brooks Capital Management
Neil Boehm

Neil Boehm

- VIce Chair

Gentex
Jennifer Remondino

Jennifer Remondino

- Treasurer

Warner Norcross + Judd
Mark Schmidt

Mark Schmidt

- Secretary

BizStream
Hawk Dobbins

Hawk Dobbins

fairlife
Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Frey Foundation
Scott Lubbers

Scott Lubbers

Fifth Third Bank
 Dr. Dale Nesbary

Dr. Dale Nesbary

Muskegon Community College
Steve Ramus

Steve Ramus

Perrigo
Rob Sarro

Rob Sarro

Allegan County
Jeff Stutz

Jeff Stutz

Herman Miller
Sandra Trammell

Sandra Trammell

Holland Hospital
Al Vanderberg

Al Vanderberg

Ottawa County
Jim Vander Kolk

Jim Vander Kolk

Royal Technologies
Jeweral Washington

Jeweral Washington

J-Max Transportation