October 20, 2022 

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

WSCC Manistee Center

Classrooms A & B

400 River Street, Manistee MI, 49660

In this issue:

The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a bipartisan Candidate Forum for the contested County Commissioner and City Council seats, to explore the candidate’s stance on policies and issues that impact the business community.

We have confirmation that Chairman Jeff Dontz, Commissioner Karen Goodman, Commissioner Eric Gustad, Commissioner Richard Schmidt, Commissioner Margaret Batzer, ​​Councilmember Erin Pontiac, Councilmember James Grabowski, Councilmember Cindy Lundberg, Megan Scott, Chris Shilts, Robert Barker, Howard Gimpel, Glenn Zaring, Seth Pratt, Janice McCraner, and Shirley Madden plan to attend the Meet & Greet and Candidate Forum respectively.

Candidates and officeholders including Mayor Lynda Beaton, Mayor Pro-Tem Jermaine Sullivan, and Councilmember Dave Bachman were unable to attend. Commissioner Nikki Koons did not respond to the Candidate Forum invitation. 

This event is complimentary with limited seating. Please RSVP for the Manistee County & City Council Candidate Forum online at or click the link below.


Special thanks to NuVu Fuels, Manistee, for sponsoring the food and beverages during the Meet & Greet and Candidate Forum. For those who cannot attend in person, the Forum will be streamed live on our Facebook page during the event. The recording will also be made available.

Follow the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook for more updates!

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

Zupin Crane, LLC - Whether you're working on a one-day repair project or a long-term construction site, Zupin Crane, LLC has the heavy-duty tools and experienced operators you need. Their high-capacity truck cranes come with all the rigging needed to do the job properly. They have cranes with capacities as high as 200 tons on hand, and can also obtain other cranes and equipment as needed. "Don't Strain...Call Zupin Crane!" 

Xpert Fulfillment - Founded in 2007, Xpert Fulfillment Service is an order fulfillment company, logistics provider, and multi-warehouse distribution center that efficiently handles all aspects of inventory and order management for established e-commerce websites. They currently operate several warehouses with over 100,000 square feet of storage. Xpert Fulfillment Services is happy to work with established eCommerce companies, or allow them to take your online business to the next level! They offer complete inventory management and product fulfillment, plus professional marketing advice, print and web design services, phone representatives, direct sales, and global distributor channels.

Lakeshore Financial Group, LLC - We are an independent financial advisor specializing in custom plans providing wealth preservation and management, and income planning for retirement. We believe in getting to know you and what is most important to you. Working together, we help you develop a plan to accomplish your goals and needs. Our core values of Advocacy, Guidance, and Service can give you confidence, knowing that you have the right plan and strategies in place. 

Alissa Saylor Photography - Alissa Saylor Photography specializes in intimate family and newborn photography both on-location and in the lifestyle studio. The studio has a chic beauty lounge offering makeup services for photoshoots as well as weddings and other events and a stunning client wardrobe accessible to all ASP clients for their shoots. Throughout the year Alissa Saylor Photography hosts various events, workshops, and photography education courses.

Fricano's Manistee River - Scenic views overlooking the Manistee River set the tone at Fricano's, home of the famous thin-crust pies. This authentic Italian family recipe -- a perfectly baked 12-inch thin crust with any of five fresh toppings -- was named Michigan’s no. 1 pizza by the Pure Michigan Travel & Tourism website. In addition to pizza, we offer salads, appetizers, sandwiches, chicken & fish dinners, and dessert!


Manistee County 18th Annual Regional Summit

Our President & CEO, Stacie Bytwork had the honor to present at the Manistee County Eighteenth Regional Summit on behalf of the area business community on the current housing crisis in Manistee County. This is a multifaceted issue that is impacting businesses, schools, and our community.  

Lack of housing results in:

  • Businesses struggling to attract and retain talent
  • Difficulty remaining competitive with other growing communities.
  • Inability to address blighted properties

In the 2019 Northwest Michigan Target Analysis, conducted by Housing North, there was enough market support and demand for 925 new housing units in Manistee County through 2025. Specifically, 582 rentals and 323 owner units are needed. 

We appreciate the opportunity to present, and engage with our collaborative partners in finding solutions for housing! The recent grand opening of Hillcrest Village Apartments is indicative of the forward momentum in our community as we work to meet the housing need.

A huge thank you to Manistee County Regional Summit planning committee and to all the government officials, businesses, organizations, and community members who attended.  

Hillcrest Village Apartments         

Grand Opening

Hillcrest Village Apartments celebrated its Grand Opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 6th, after eight years of hard work on behalf of Hollander Development Corporation within our community.

Speaking during the ceremony was Matt Hollander (President, Hollander Development Corporation, pictured right), Stacie Bytwork (President & CEO, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce), Kelly Lively (Northern Michigan Regional Director at U.S. Senator Gary Peters), Jennifer Rekasi (Vice President, Huntington National Bank), and Brittney Drake (Executive Assistant, Little River Holdings LLC-A Tribal Economic Development Corporation).

This 45-unit housing development is proof of advocacy in action as we at the Chamber work to meet the housing needs in Manistee County. Stop by Hillcrest Village Apartments located at 164 Short Street in Manistee today or call (231) 299-2278 for availability!


Natural Resources Day

The 2022/2023 Leadership Cohort took the day on October 12th to explore the many natural resources in Manistee County.

The class visited the US Coast Guard Station, Tippy Dam, and the Little Manistee River weir, an egg-take and salmon harvest facility operated by the DNR. We want to thank our power hour sponsor and presenter Dave Cox, superintendent of the Manistee Intermediate School District. 

Thank you to all the 2022/2023 Leadership Program sponsors, including West Shore Community CollegeFiler Credit UnionMunson Healthcare Manistee Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MichiganBlarney Castle Oil & Propane, and Republic Services. 

Commemorating the Culture and History of Manistee County

The Manistee County Visitor’s Bureau and its partners celebrated the opening of the Origins Walk at First Street Beach, which will stand as a monument to art, culture, and the history of the area.

Jay Sam (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians) opened the ceremony with a prayer and blessing, followed by a welcome from Sammie Lukaskiewicz (Manistee County Visitors Bureau, pictured left). Also speaking at the event was Ogema Larry Romanelli (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, pictured bottom right), Mark Fedder (Manistee County Historical Museum), Brandon Jensen (Rightside Design Group), Brandon Fewins (USDA), and Dave Lorenz (Michigan Economic Development Corporation, pictured bottom middle). 

Thank you to everyone who came out despite the weather, and commemorated this beautiful and meaningful addition to our community. 

Save the Date - December 1st

Join the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce for an evening of great food, drinks, and good company at Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, on December 1st, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. More details to come, be sure to follow our Facebook page for updates!

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