A Night to Celebrate Entrepreneurs
On March 7 community members, business leaders and supporters gathered for the 2019 Entrepreneurial Awards to celebrate local entrepreneurs in the Greater Lansing area. Greater Lansing Business Monthly welcomed guests with a networking cocktail hour followed by dinner in the Grand Garden room of Eagle Eye Golf Club.
Attendees laughed and socialized while enjoying one another’s company during the cocktail hour while waiting for the ceremony to begin. As guests made their way to their seats, emcees Tiffany Dowling, president and CEO of M3 Group and publisher of Greater Lansing Business Monthly, and Tony Willis, the director of new economy at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and president of Lansing PROTO, took the stage to begin the festivities everyone was patiently waiting for.
“I believe it is the responsibility of our business community to support and encourage the local businesses making strides,” said Dowling. “It’s a privilege to be surrounded by so many innovators and risk-takers, and we love to celebrate those making a positive impact.”
Nominees included business owners and CEOs from in and around the Greater Lansing area and winners were selected through a distinguished panel of judges. Each judge was presented with a binder full of business profiles, narratives and financial information to choose a winner for five broad business categories: Socially Responsible Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Leadership Award, Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovative Company.
Dr. Tami Peterson, founder and CEO of Oxford Recovery Center, a world-renowned integrative treatment facility with locations in Brighton and Troy, addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker of the evening. She told her reasoning and story of the recovery center and what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Among the speakers of the night was Jeff Jackson, chief lending officer of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, who addressed the audience as a representative for the judges’ panel. The judges all spent their independent time reviewing the nominee information before coming together to make unanimous decisions. In addition to Jackson, this year’s judges included Reuben Levinsohn of Washington Avenue Advisors, Melody Warzecha of Union Bank, Tom Hamp of AdviCoach, Kathryn Burkholder of Consumers Energy, Michael Debri of Huntington Bank, Scott Norman of Physicians Health Plan, Steve Piesko of Maner Costerisan, Bo Garcia of Lansing Community College, Jessica Stark of Transworld Business Advisors, Jennifer Marsh of First National Bank of Michigan, Jason Brunette of Martin Property Development, Don McNabb of Triterra, Debbie Petersmark of WILX and the support of Auto-Owners Insurance.
The recipients of Greater Lansing Business Monthly’s 2019 Entrepreneurial Awards are:
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Brian Posey of The Ticket Machine Inc.
- Innovative Company Award: Niowave, Inc.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: Brian Town of Michigan Creative
- Socially Responsible Entrepreneur: Kathy Valentine of The Plant Professionals
- Leadership Award: Missey Trudell of Paper Image
Every business is different, from the leadership that runs it to the unique selling propositions; however, there is one thing all businesses have in common: They continue to be the lifeblood of the economy. The Greater Lansing region is home to some amazing organizations that make a big impact, just like those honored at the annual Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards dinner.
As the evening ended, many attendees wished their congratulatory best, and award winners made their way to the stage for a group photo. It is with the support of the community that this year’s honorees will continue their success and continue to keep the local economy in Lansing thriving.
To learn more about the annual Entrepreneurial Awards or the Greater Lansing Business Monthly, visit glbmawards.com or lansingbusinessnews.com.