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By Brian.VanOchten | @hollandsentinel.com (616) 546-4279
HOLLAND, MI – The impact of the state’s two leading industries — automotive and agriculture — is undeniable in helping Michigan rebrand itself as “The Comeback State” under Gov. Rick Snyder.
The third-leading industry in the state, however, is a $17-billion powerhouse, and Holland is a major player.
Steve Yencich, CEO of the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association, said the Holland area's unique attributes make it "one of the most notable destinations in the state."
From the Tulip Time festival, which embodies a vacation-destination feel, to Holland State Park's access to Lake Michigan's boating and beach fun as well as nearby camping, Holland has diverse tourism offerings to appeal to broad demographics.
Midwest Real Estate News
Colliers International West Michigan shared some good news about the commercial real estate market in Western Michigan during its Forecast Breakfast held Jan. 31. Paul Isely, a professor at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Mich., told the audience that West Michigan’s economy will keep growing in 2014. That, of course, is good news, not only for the state but for the professionals who practice commercial real estate here.
After all, if the region’s economy is getting stronger, this means more demand for everything from office space to retail storefront space.
Isely’s predictions? He said that employment in Western Michigan would rise by 2.7 percent to 3.1 percent in 2014.
The industrial sector has performed well throughout the Midwest. This is no different in Western Michigan. During the breakfast forecast, Colliers officials said that the vacancy rate for industrial space fell to 6.6 percent in 2013.
Matt Abraham, principal with Colliers, said that there is actually a shortage of industrial space in the region today, something that might result in spec industrial construction. Last year, the industrial market in Western Michigan absorbed 865,000 square feet. Abraham said that industrial would have seen more absorption if more industrial space had been available in 2013.
Make 2014 the year we retire the term "staycation." Be bold with your family vacations this year. Get out there and see all that this big country has to offer!
Here are our top 10 picks for places to visit in 2014.
7. Grand Rapids, Michigan
As the country's No. 3 Fun & Recreation Destination, Grand Rapids is a hidden Midwest gem that only serious travelers know about. From concerts by Keith Urban to miles of bike trails (in and outside of the city), this 2014 destination has more to offer visitors than snow this year. While you're there, keep an eye out for the art all around you. There's a famous fish ladder and a 42-ton Alexander Calder statue that symbolizes the spirit of the city!
Routes: Michigan Services
Ottawa County, MI January 27, 2014 – Today, the Lakeshore Advantage Board of Directors accepted Randy Thelen’s resignation as President of the organization, effective February 28, 2014. The Board approved current Vice President of Business Services, Bruce Adair, as interim-President.
“Randy has been an exceptional leader,” said Elizabeth Rolinski of Johnson Controls and Board Chair of Lakeshore Advantage. “His can-do spirit and ability to bring people together will certainly be missed. Randy helped make Lakeshore Advantage what it is today—a positive, driving force in our community.”
Hired in 2004, Thelen was the first President of Lakeshore Advantage. Thelen and the organization have been recognized for supporting robust economic growth throughout the greater Holland-Zeeland area. In its 10-year history, Lakeshore Advantage has helped to create more than 10,500 new jobs and $2 billion in new investment.
“It is difficult to say goodbye to such an incredible team—the Board, staff and partners of Lakeshore Advantage are outstanding people who have provided me with tremendous support,” said Thelen. “My time at Lakeshore Advantage has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my career; and I am confident that the Lakeshore Advantage team is positioned to guide Ottawa County to future economic success.”
Scot Lindemann of JR Automation and Vice-Chair of the Lakeshore Advantage Board noted, “Thanks in large part to Randy’s leadership, Lakeshore Advantage is now one of the top economic development organizations in Michigan. We are actively seeking a new organizational leader to continue the exceptional momentum of economic growth in our community.”
Randy has accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. In his new role with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Thelen will lead the day-to-day operations of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, the Chamber’s center for economic development that covers six counties in the eastern Nebraska-southwest Iowa region.
By Jim Harger | MLive
HOLLAND, MI – Kevin Bird says his company put the plant first when it developed new TotalGrow LED-based plant lights.
“We spent two years working on the science with Michigan State, Cornell and Purdue (universities),” said Bird, one of the partners in Venntis Technologies, based at 1215 Waverly Road.
From that approach, they developed TotalGrow, an LED-based plant light that casts a pinkish glow that gives the plant the light waves from the spectrum it needs without wasting energy on light waves it cannot use.
“We came at it as scientists. We are a bunch of geeks,” Bird said. “Every photon out of our optics is in that spectrum.”
For growers such as husband and wife Steve and Kris Van Haitsma, of Mud Lake Farms, the new system allows them to produce more salad greens at a lower cost in their Hudsonville greenhouses.
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