In this issue:

  • President & CEO celebrates 10 Years!
  • Welcome New Marketing & Communications Specialist
  • Leadership
  • New Members/Investors
  • Member/Investor Updates
  • Upcoming Programs & Reminders

President & CEO celebrates 10 Years!

A Decade Leading the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.

Our President and CEO, Stacie Bytwork, has hit a significant milestone leading the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stacie Bytwork has taken this chamber through an extraordinary recovery and growth period, taking our county-wide business non-profit trade organization to a sustainable future! She's an admired leader and model in the state chamber world.

Her vision includes professionalizing and elevating the Chamber and focusing on the core mission that builds a stronger business community. Some of the accomplishments of the past 10 years include creating a public-private partnership for economic development, governmental advocacy that produced results, and positioning our rural communities to receive attention and help with resources and capacity. She also created the Manistee Area Leadership Program!

Let’s congratulate Stacie on her amazing journey and wish her continued success leading the Chamber in the years ahead.

New Chamber Staff Member

Please welcome a new face to the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce team: Blade Gates, our Marketing and Communications Specialist!

Gates is a Manistee native and graduate of Manistee High School. He has a Bachelor’s in Communications from Hope College, where he was heavily involved in their music and theatre departments. At Hope, he received a Kennedy Center nomination for his performance in the theatrical production, BRIGHT STAR.

Blade is coming from a position with the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts and has worked with several local organizations, including the Arts & Culture Alliance of Manistee County, Manistee Civic Players, West Shore Community College, and Ludington Area Center for the Arts. Gates is excited to start his new position with the Chamber of Commerce and serve his hometown community.

Leadership & Professional Development

Meet the 2023/2024 Cohort

The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce kicked off the 2023/2024 Leadership Program on Friday, September 22nd with an Orientation Retreat at Portage Lake Bible Camp. We are excited to introduce this year’s Leadership Program participants!

From left to right: Tina Holden (Networks Northwest/Michigan Works!), Heather Luttrell (Networks Northwest/MI Works!), Jeff Kamaloski (Manistee Intermediate School District), Arnold Malstrom II (Myotek), Rebecca Danison (Centra Wellness Network), James Wygmans (Myotek), Lacy Crummey (Wexford-Missaukee-Manistee Great Start Collaborative), Zach Reau (Edward Jones),  Holly Eckard (Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, LLC), Abigail Hubbard (Filer Credit Union), Zebadiah Jones (Packaging Corporation of America), and Alexander Nurmikko (Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, LLC).

Thank you to all the 2023/2024 Leadership Program and Orientation Retreat sponsors, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Bob's Roofing, Filer Credit UnionMunson Healthcare Manistee Hospital, and West Shore Community College.

New Members/Investors

We encourage you to read and get to know a bit about your fellow Chamber Investors!

Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters - COVE, Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters, is a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault service provider for Mason, Manistee (Sexual Assault services), Oceana, and Lake Counties. They provide outreach services, including: legal clinic, healing arts group, individualized advocacy, and court accompaniment, and have a 24/7/365 crisis line and emergency shelter for Domestic Violence. COVE provides a safe, confidential space with free services for survivors of all demographics.

Summit Business Guides - Summit Business Guides provides concierge strategic business coaching for small to medium-sized businesses and will work with the leadership team to implement a custom business operating system tailored to their specific needs. 

La Catrina Mexican Nishinaab - Formerly known as River Street Station, this new and improved restaurant features Mexican and Native American cuisine with a full bar and drink menu.

Member/Investor Updates

MR. CHAIN - M R Products Inc., or Mr. Chain, located in Copemish, MI, is going forward with new leadership. Mr. Chain is excited to announce that their new President and CEO is Ryan Schultz. This marks the first time in the 63-year history of the company that a non-family member has been elected as CEO.

Schultz joined M R Products in 2010 as the Controller and IT Specialist and most recently has been the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

"I have been very proud of the progress we have made in recent years," said former Mr. Chain president, Maree Russo Mulvoy, "But I am even more optimistic and excited about what is to come... I wish Ryan and his team all the success going forward, and I will do whatever I can to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

WSCC - West Shore Community College (WSCC), in partnership with the Nature Club and A Few Friends for the Environment of the World (AFFEW), recently planted seven black willow saplings around the WSCC pond. The black willow trees are an addition to campus that will enhance the environment but also provide unique educational opportunities for students.

According to Julia Chambers, president of AFFEW, black willows were chosen for their significant ecological contributions. They are well-known for their deep roots and lush foliage, making them an ideal choice for areas surrounding bodies of water. The black willow saplings will also serve as an educational tool.

Manistee County Community Foundation - The Manistee County Community Foundation (MCCF) is seeking an outstanding professional to join our team as Finance and Operations Officer.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to a dynamic and impactful philanthropic organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Manistee County today and for future generations.

The Finance and Operations Officer will oversee the finance and investment-related functions of the MCCF and support its general operations.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

To have your business update featured in the Chamber of Commerce Newsletter or on social media, please email with the subject line "Member/Investor Updates."

Join Chamber staff, Ambassadors, and members of the community at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts Ballroom for a cheerful evening of hors d’oeuvres, a 50/50 raffle, and a cash bar! Enjoy the holiday music from 5:00 - 7:00 PM and kick off the Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend. Additionally, you'll get the first look at the Lakeside Club of Manistee County's Festival of Trees & Holiday Decor, designed by local enthusiasts!

Chamber UnTapped - Holiday Edition is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues while spreading some Christmas cheer! Presented by Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center and Haglund's Floor Covering. Sponsored by West Shore Bank

Click Here to Register

Get on the Map: Manistee County Community Christmas 2023!

Christmas is just around the corner!

This holiday season, why not get creative? Why not get competitive? Join us in creating a light display car route through Manistee County. Decorate your house, and yard, and get your neighbors together to decorate your block, driveway, mailbox, store windows, school, business, or even a bus! You can have as simple or as elaborate of a display as you want.

Entries will be voted on. Prizes will be awarded for both the first-place residential AND non-profit entries. The winning business will receive the traveling Manistee County Community Christmas trophy... and bragging rights!

Get on the Map TODAY!

Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.)

Women helping women reach for the stars

On October 12th, the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce and West Shore Community College teamed up and hosted the P.E.O. Chapter of Manistee with a tour of the Manistee Downtown Educational Center. This local group focuses on providing educational opportunities for female students through scholarships, grants, and loans as well as motivating women to achieve their highest aspirations.

For More Information: Click Here


Are you and your business lender ready?

Small businesses always need capital. Whatever your financial needs, it can be overwhelming to borrow the money you need.

This free event will navigate the planning and information that goes into submitting a complete and successful small business loan application. Attendees will learn what are balance sheets and profit & and loss statements, how to create cash flow projections, how to develop a complete loan application packet, and more.


Monday, November 13, 2023

11:30 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.


Manistee County Community Foundation

400 River Street

Manistee, MI

Head to to reserve a spot.

This event is presented by:

Over the age of 21? You may be eligible for tuition-free community college.

On October 3, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the expansion of the Michigan Reconnect Program, providing a path for those over the age of 21 (previously 25 and older) to obtain a postsecondary credential at a community college for free, including West Shore Community College.

To learn how to apply, read more HERE.

Get Involved!

Bring your business, non-profit, or organization into the spotlight with one of our many program sponsorship opportunities.

For more information on sponsor recognition and costs, please browse our Sponsorship Brochure or Event Sponsorship Brochure.

Community Transformers

These businesses go above and beyond to invest in the Chamber programs & events,

ultimately benefiting our community. Thank you!

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