The award recognizes leaders and the initiatives they undertake to affect positive economic change now and for the future. Lakeshore Advantage is an economic development organization that works to ensure long-term economic success for the region.
“These leaders have formed partnerships far outside their comfort zones, blazing trails, trying new things and recognizing that success is achieved through commitment, creative thinking and collaboration,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens said. “We are fortunate to have multiple visionaries in our region, which makes choosing just one award recipient a difficult task.”
Lakeshore Advantage identified six potential award candidates. Its Board of Directors then selected three finalists.
The winners of the award were Dave Koster and Tim Hemingway, Holland Board of Public Works, for the Holland Energy Park. This $240 million investment meets current and future energy needs of Holland with affordable, reliable, local power generation. The project started nearly a decade ago with full community engagement, resulting in environmental restoration and beautification of the city’s eastern gateway.
Other finalists were:
• Brian Walker, Herman Miller; Peter Haines, Ottawa Area ISD; and Dr. Bill Pink, Grand Rapids Community College/Careerline Tech Center Early College Program, who worked to design a unique early college program that integrates a corporate partner, allowing students to participate in internships and earn a professional industry certification.
• Mike Goorhouse, Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland Area, and Holly Johnson, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, for Housing Next. Housing Next is charged with unlocking cross-sector, market-driven solutions to increase affordable housing stock and help communities understand the importance of workforce housing development. Together, Goorhouse and Johnson have led their boards to commit $750,000 in operational costs for the newly launched Housing Next.