LSCP completes succession transition, selecting innovative leader with broad economic, rural, and
housing development experience to carry region’s economic growth priorities forward.
Marquette, Mich., The Lake Superior Community Partnership yesterday was pleased to announce Sarah Lucas will become the next chief executive officer of the region’s leading economic
development organization and one of the Upper Peninsula’s most influential voices for business and job creation. Already a Marquette area resident and a native Michigander, Lucas was appointed by the LSCP’s board of directors in February, completing a leadership succession process that commenced last summer.
Lucas, whose 20-year career in economic development, small and rural community development, and housing, was selected to lead the LSCP’s continued efforts to drive Marquette County’s economic growth, from a pool of exceptional candidates produced during an extensive nationwide search.
French: “I am confident that with Sarah at the helm, Marquette County and the whole region will prosper.”
“Sarah Lucas is the right person to help the LSCP forge our next era of economic growth,” said LSCP Board Chair and Vice President of Business Development and Communications for Upper Peninsula Power Company, Brett French in making today’s announcement. “She is a proven leader and a valued partner in addressing housing needs and stimulating economic growth throughout northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Marquette County holds tremendous promise for business development, capital investment and quality job creation and the LSCP leads that charge. I’m confident that with Sarah at the helm, Marquette County and the whole region will continue to prosper.”
Previously, Lucas served as the Community Development Director for Networks Northwest, a 10-county regional planning agency in Northwest Lower Michigan where she worked with local governments, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and regional economic development organizations, leading a variety of cross-sector economic development initiatives.
Lucas: “I am honored to be chosen to lead the LSCP right when our community and region need our best efforts...”
"I am honored to be chosen to lead the LSCP right when our community and region need our best efforts in recovering from the pandemic’s severe economic blow,” Lucas said. “Our community, its businesses and families are reeling from economic conditions that require the LSCP’s focus, speed and agility to get investment and job creation back into motion ASAP. With Marquette County as the U.P.’s economic hub and the LSCP as its voice for economic growth, we must take a leadership role and I am both excited and confident we are prepared to do just that.”
Lucas continued, “Throughout my career, I've worked closely with small communities and rural areas to address their unique economic development challenges. I understand how valuable cross-sector partnerships and organizations like the LSCP are in developing solutions and advocating for economic development and investment opportunity.”
Most recently, Lucas led the formation of Housing North, a regional organization devoted to addressing housing needs. In fewer than two years, Housing North has become recognized statewide for its expertise and influence in addressing Michigan’s housing deficits. She has provided expertise to the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) to lead a regional economic development planning initiative for “building back stronger” in the region’s post-pandemic economy.
Lucas has served on regional and statewide boards, including the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, Homestretch Housing, the Opportunity Resource Fund, and the Michigan Association of Planning, where she currently serves as Board President.
French: “Amy’s contributions to the economic well-being of our community will be everlasting.”
Lucas will succeed Amy Clickner, who has led the LSCP from its inception nearly 25 years ago. Under Clickner’s leadership, the LSCP earned recognition for being among the best local economic development organizations nationally as the LSCP intensified efforts to grow investment in the U.P.’s natural resource sector, including mining, forestry, and tourism. The Marquette County region also has seen healthcare, higher education, small business, and entrepreneurial industries seize opportunities to put down roots here. As a result, Regional Wealth Indicators continue their positive trajectory.
“Nearly 24 years ago, the founders of the LSCP took a chance on a young girl from Negaunee with their brand-new organization, and I will be forever grateful for all of the opportunities that decision has provided me and my family,” said Amy Clickner, LSCP CEO. “As the LSCP continues its mission of improving prosperity and quality of life for people of our area, I have the utmost confidence in Sarah Lucas. Her experience, professionalism, passion for our work and life in the U.P. make her ideally suited to take the reins.”
The LSCP, Marquette County and the entirety of the U.P. has benefited from Clickner’s long and passionate commitment to improving the quality of life of the region through economic development. “Amy’s contributions to the economic well-being of our community will be everlasting,” French reflected.
March 11 Annual Celebration planned to fête successes and future
Beginning at 4 pm on March 11, the LSCP will host its Annual Celebration to be presented virtually as COVID-19 precautionary measures continue. This year’s event will introduce new LSCP CEO Lucas, honor Clickner’s contributions, and bestow Distinguished Community Service awards. An online silent auction will open in advance of the event. In true LSCP fashion, networking will be an integral part of the event.
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About the Lake Superior Community Partnership:
The Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) is Marquette County’s leading resource for economic development, providing a wide variety of affordable and effective development services. The LSCP helps its partners make the connections that matter – between businesses, organizations, leaders and legislators, and provides a powerful legislative voice for programs and policies that strengthen the regional economy. More information on the Lake Superior Community Partnership can be found at www.marquette.org.