2023 Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase

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2023 Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase

Join in the local economic and community development discussion with regional and state leaders.

By Northern Lakes Economic Alliance

When and where

Date and time

Monday, May 22 · 8am - 3:30pm EDT


Boyne Mountain Resort 1 Boyne Mountain Road Boyne Falls, MI 49713

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

The annual Northern Lakes Economic Symposium & Showcase is a forum for local and state government officials, community and business leaders, area entrepreneurs, chamber members, educational leaders and everyone involved in the economic vitality of our region to share knowledge of the economic drivers of the region, network, and celebrate.

Join the Northern Lakes Economics Alliance as we examine talent attraction and retention through global, community, industry cluster, and business lenses. Businesses and communities across the region and country are confronting the challenge of attracting talent. Discussions will offer answers to the question, what can the businesses and communities of Northern Lower Michigan do to attract the workforce needed to help our region thrive?

Symposium attendees will hear from state officials and experts with a deep understanding of how to attract and retain talent. Through keynote speakers and breakout sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to examine talent challenges through global, community, industry cluster, and business lenses.


8:00am - Doors Open: Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking

9:00am - Program begins with keynote speakers:

11:00am - First Breakout Session

Choice of:

1. Talent Attraction and Retention in the Craft Beverage Industry - Michigan's boom in the craft beverage sector is especially pronounced in Northern Lower Michigan. How are businesses managing the talent required for market growth and facility expansions? What role does the transition from informal training to formal training education play in the industry's talent equation?

2. Connecting with Talent as a Family-Owned Business - In an increasingly competitive labor market, employers must differentiate themselves from the competition. Learn the unique strengths that family-owned businesses have in attracting and retaining talent.

  • Dr. Ana Gonzalez - Professor, Grand Valley State University and Director, Family Owned Business Institute

3. Building Desirable Communities to Attract Talent - Talent is mobile. Increasingly, individuals are choosing the community they want to live in first and considering jobs second. Learn how your community can leverage MEDC programs to become a more desirable place to live, work, and play.

  • Michele Wildman - Executive Vice President for Economic Development Incentives, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

4. TBA -

12:00pm - Lunch and NLEA Showcase Awards

1:15pm - Second Breakout Session

Choice of:

1. Developing a Regional Talent Engagement Strategy - While it is important to discuss what content to use for talent attraction, it is paramount to discuss how the work of talent attraction will be done. It will require a coordinated, regional effort between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This breakout session will examine how to develop a regional talent attraction strategy by working across silos.

2. One Question With…Rehmann Advisors on Discovering Your Greatest Advantage - Whether you are facing a talent shortage or looking to fulfill a talent specialty, it is important to understand that your organization doesn’t need to compete within the current labor market. Why? There are solutions available that can fill your talent gaps and bring additional benefits to the table. In this panel discussion, learn from Rehmann advisors and discover your organization’s greatest advantage .

3. Engaging with an Aging Workforce - In the NLEA service area, the share of the population older than 60 increased 9.1% since 2010 to 34.4% in 2021. As a result, the labor pool for local businesses is both shrinking and getting older. This session will examine how employers can manage the ramifications of an aging population--significant retirements, knowledge transfer--to maintain the sustainability of their business.

  • Dr. Peter Berg - Director, Michigan State University's School of Human Resources and Labor Relations

4. Talent and Housing - Talent challenges are inseparable from housing challenges. This session will cover recent state policy changes to support housing and new tools available to communities and developers.

  • Yarrow Brown - Executive Director, Housing North
  • Jessica Lovay - Community Development and Grants Specialist, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance
  • Emily Doerr - Executive Director, Michigan State Land Bank Authority

2:20pm - Closing Program

3:30pm - Adjourn

Sponsorship Opportunities:

The Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase offers a unique venue for individuals and organizations to reach an audience of community leaders from across the region. The levels of sponsorship offer varying degrees of recognition for you and your organization throughout the entire program. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here and contact Sam Bailey at sam@northernlakes.net. 

Special thank you to our premier event sponsor Consumers Energy, our location sponsor Boyne Mountain Resort, and our platinum sponsor Rehmann.

About the organizer

$90 – $720