LANSING — The Lansing Economic Area Partnership, the economic development organization for the state’s capital region, Tuesday announced what it called a “reconfiguration” of its New Economy Division.
Tony Willis, formerly manager of the division, was given the title director of the division. Quin Stinchfield, who has been with LEAP since January 2014, was named manager of business incubation.
“Our blossoming entrepreneurial/business startup ecosystem of the region is strong and has made major achievements over the last five years,” Willis said. “We have strong people and have created strong events, but perhaps we can elevate and institutionalize actual programming in a greater way. That will be my major goal.”
In their new roles, Willis will run the organization’s entrepreneurial system, the RING, while Stinchfield will operate the TIC and Runway incubators as well as manage their programming. She will also be in charge of continuing the expansion of incubators throughout the region.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has also announced the award of a $100,000 annual incubator grant for the next two years to LEAP, on behalf of the Lansing Regional SmartZone, which will be used by LEAP to contract a high-tech startup specialist to run the SmartZone and especially target the growth of high-tech, startup businesses in the SmartZone and region.
The MEDC has also recently announced grants of $65,000 to LEAP for programming of the state’s only fashion incubator, the Runway, as well as $70,000 for development of an “accelerator region” related to creating an industry around the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a new national laboratory for nuclear research now under construction at Michigan State University. The $730 million linear particle accelerator is expected to be completed by 2021.
Additionally, as part of LEAP’s organizational re-configuration, Karl Dorshimer has been promoted to director of the business development division while COO Steve Willobee had his duties expanded so that, in addition to continuing his leadership of business development, he will also have day-to-day management responsibility for the New Economy Division.
Finally, Lansing Mayor Bernero announced in his 2015/2016 city budget, proposing additional funding of the LEAP-Lansing Economic Development Corp. contract for services by adding one additional staff person to LEAP’s business development division to work on projects in Lansing.
For more information about LEAP, visit www.purelansing.com.