It’s hard to believe that this will be my last Mining Journal column as the CEO of the LSCP.
I’ve learned so much from this community that I’ll be taking with me into my new role in the Office of Rural Development. In that vein, I’d like to note a few highlights that I’m especially grateful to have learned about and been a part of.
First, I’ve truly loved getting to know the region’s communities and the passionate leaders and community members that are moving them forward. A region is more than the sum of its parts, and the prosperity of Marquette County will depend on the vitality of all communities within it. I’ve been so impressed by the work, excitement, and motivation in the cities and townships here – and am especially inspired by the vision and action towards positive change that I’ve seen in Ishpeming and Negaunee, whose success will be pivotal to the region’s long-term economic potential.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Sawyer International to the region’s economy and quality of life – the connections that it offers to the rest of the world are vital to attracting new business and residents. Investments in Sawyer will pay off immediately and in the long term, and improvements there should remain a top priority for the region. I’m excited about the focus that the airport has received, and think that the community engagement and support that we’ve seen thus far will pave the way for big, positive changes.
The region is at a critical juncture in the evolution of its outdoor recreation economy. With growing recognition, the region has the chance to create a deliberate, coordinated approach to building an outdoor recreation economy that provides opportunities for new business and attracts new residents and visitors. Combined with the discussions that are beginning around sustainable tourism, there’s a real opportunity to integrate recreation assets within and between communities, and to leverage recreation for sustainable economic growth that benefits our region’s residents.
You may have heard last week that the LSCP Board of Directors has named the incoming CEO of our organization. Christopher Germain, who is currently employed as a Senior Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) Planner for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will start his role as CEO at the beginning of June 2022.
As an RRC Planner, Christopher works with communities to align their vision and plans with streamlined development processes and practices to create vibrant communities with increasing quality of life to grow and attract more investment. To ensure continuity and continued momentum on all of the LSCP’s strategic priorities during the transition time between CEOs, Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (DAEDA), will serve as Interim CEO, while also continuing to serve in her current
position. With such an experienced staff working alongside him, I know Christopher will do an excellent job in this new role.
I’m honored to have been a part of these and so many other opportunities that come with the LSCP’s central role in the region’s economy. I know that the LSCP will continue to support these positive changes, with the leadership and expertise of our staff and board. Their support, vision, and dedication to the community have been the highlight of my time with the organization, and I’m confident that I’m leaving the organization in good hands. I’m so grateful to them, and you, and I look forward to working with the LSCP, the region, and all of you in my new role.