Our Summer Sprint - Organizational Changes & Additions

Posted in Blog on September 06, 2018

Summer has brought many changes and opportunities for our team. We are onboarding new individuals and are increasing responsibilities of some existing team members.  
In July, we said good-bye to our Director of SURGE, Brooke Corbin. Brooke navigated entrepreneurs and developed programming specific to their needs. She moved onto a new opportunity with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Using tools in place through our Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) methodology, the leadership team reviewed our Accountability Chart to review the responsibilities of the Director of SURGE as well as capacity and interest areas of our current team. 
Since early June, we worked diligently to fill the position to lead our efforts in Allegan County.  In addition, we are preparing for the retirement of Ken Rizzio.  Thankfully Ken has agreed to stay on past his planned retirement date through October 31 to support business expansions when the bulk of them cyclically occur.  
Our team is excited to welcome these new additions:
  • Greg King joined the Lakeshore Advantage team as Business Solutions Manager for Allegan County on September 5th. Greg will be the first point of contact for Allegan County primary employers to help them overcome obstacles and with opportunities for growth.
  • We have secured a contract with Amanda Chocko as the Interim Director of SURGE beginning Sept 4th. She will take on this part-time role until the end of the year. Prior to joining us, Amanda worked for Start Garden leading their accelerator program, Seamless. 
  • Rebekah DeVries is our new part-time Administrative Assistant to help with invoicing and data management functions.

The following team members have increased their responsibilities:
  • Beth Blanton has been promoted to Vice President of Engagement. Along with all current investor engagement responsibilities, Beth has been managing the Now for the Next economic growth fund campaign.  Helping our team achieve the Now for Next campaign goal, we signed short term contracts with Amanda Cooper as our project manager and Larry Koops as our executive development consultant.
  • Amanda Murray has stepped into our leadership team as Vice President of Business Solutions. She will oversee all business retention and expansion efforts. 
  • Kelsey Sivertson has been promoted from administrative assistant to Communications Associate. In this role, she will be responsible for all board communications, web maintenance, press release and other writing and signature event support.  
  • Haley Abbas started with us as a marketing intern in May 2017. She has been promoted to Marketing Associate and will provide marketing, communications and grant writing support for entrepreneurial efforts and outreach in our region, along with social media management for our organization.  
These changes mean great opportunity to grow skills of our team members as we continue to provide economic development services to our growing region. For more about our team, click HERE

- Jennifer Owens, President, Lakeshore Advantage