MANISTEE, MI – The voice of Northern Michigan’s business community continues to strengthen with the addition of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce as a full partner in the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance.
The addition of the Manistee Area Chamber as a full Alliance partner bolsters the organization to nine regional Chambers of Commerce working collectively on local, regional, state and federal legislative and policy issues impacting the business community on behalf of more than 8,000 businesses across Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
“The Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors were completely in favor of joining the Alliance as full partner,” Manistee Area Chamber Executive Director Stacie Bytwork said. “We felt collectively that this is the right time to be at the table with the other partners and strengthen our relationship. The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce is excited for the collaboration and the positive impact this will have on our membership, community and Northern Michigan. Together we have a stronger voice.”
Other Alliance partners include the Chambers in Traverse City, Alpena, Benzie County, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Gaylord, Petoskey and the Lake Superior Community Partnership based in Marquette. Associate Alliance members include chambers in Elk Rapids, Cheboygan, Harbor Springs, Boyne City and East Jordan. The Manistee Chamber had been an associate member.
“By joining the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance it allows our director to network and keep our local chamber abreast of issues occurring at the regional, state and national level, that ultimately affect members in Manistee County,” said Kevin Hughes, Superintendent of Onekama Consolidated Schools who serves on the Manistee Chamber Board and its Government Affairs Committee. “It allows Stacie an awareness of what is happening around the region and gives her the ability to share and collaborate about specific successful programming that other chambers are implementing, allowing for her professional growth. I am convinced that this affiliation will continue to move the Manistee Area Chamber forward and add value to its membership.”
Alliance representatives meet regularly across its service area to work on legislative priorities for Northern Michigan’s business sector. The Alliance also issues legislative updates and alerts to its members, and conducts various programming including its Speaker Series welcoming newsmakers from the private and public sectors to Northern Michigan to meet with area business people.
“Joining the Alliance as a full partner is the right thing to do. It will give us a regional voice on issues facing Northern Michigan,” said Eric Gustad, Public Affairs Area Manager for Consumers Energy and a Chamber Board member. “It also gives us opportunities to network outside of the county and share ideas, struggles and successes. It is one more very big benefit we can provide for our membership.”
Alliance Government Relations Director Kent Wood said the organization is excited about Manistee’s involvement in the regional business alliance and that it will continue to strengthen the collective voice of the area business community.
“The Manistee Chamber has tremendous leadership, is becoming very active in business advocacy work, and has some exciting growth happening in the community,” Wood said. “It will be a great partner in expanding the advocacy power of the Northern Michigan business community.”
About the Alliance
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance spans 14 counties and represents more than 8,000 members of Northern Michigan’s business community. It’s composed of the Chambers of Commerce in Alpena, Benzie County, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Manistee, Gaylord, Petoskey, Traverse City, and the Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette County. Associate members include the chambers in Elk Rapids, Harbor Springs, Cheboygan, Boyne City and East Jordan.