On Tuesday night, The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) celebrated 10 Lansing professionals who have contributed to the growth of the community.
“This is our 17th year recognizing young professionals in our region,” LRCC Chief Executive Officer Tim Daman said. “I’ve been at the Chamber for 18 years, and it’s just rewarding to see that.”
The ceremony, named 10 Over the Next Ten, is a way to recognize professionals who are engaged in the Lansing community beyond the scope of their day-to-day, Daman said.
“The award is a nice recognition of the work they’ve been doing in the community and the impacts that have been felt,” LRCC Vice President of member engagement Michelle Rahl said. “Even more so, it’s a call to action for them. They’ve been recognized with this award so it’s almost as if there’s an expectation that they’re going to grow as community advocates and leaders.”
The ceremony is in partnership with professional development nonprofit, Lansing 5:01.
“The partnership really was born out of an opportunity to support young professionals in the community,” Rahl said. “As a chamber of commerce, we have a vested interest in connecting with young professionals and building that relationship.”
Founded in 2016 by director of alumni and entrepreneur engagement at the MSU Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Chris Sell, the nonprofit focuses on talent attraction and retention in Lansing.
“We’re all about showcasing the best of Lansing,” Sell said. “We want to see population growth. We want to see more young adults choosing to live and work in this community because we believe our region’s value proposition is really great. We have a lot of assets and we want to help share that story.”
A Lansing area native, Sell said he has witnessed Lansing develop exponentially throughout the years.
“I kept thinking of why the Lansing that I thought of growing up was not the Lansing that I was witnessing now and how to better share that story with anyone that would listen,” Sell said.
After professionals are indicted into the 10 Over the Next Ten network, there is an expectation that they will use their position to invest in the continued development of the community and other young professionals, Daman said.
“Of the 160 recipients we’ve already recognized, we are proud to report that over 90 percent of them are still in the community doing great things,” Rahl said. “It’s truly a reflection of the talents of the future growing into that talent today.”
Recipient and Ingham County commissioner Myles Johnson plans to use his position as the youngest and only Black member on the board to engage the community, he said.
“This award means a lot to me, but I think it means more to my community,” Johnson said. “It means a lot to be recognized remotely for any of the work I do. I want my community to know they can believe in justice,” Johnson said.
Recipient and associate and retail advisor at Martin Commercial Properties Samantha Le said she focuses on empowering women in her field and the community.
“I want to lift and support any sort of minority group, especially women because I’m in a heavily male-dominated field,” Le said. “Just creating community spaces and third places for people to enjoy and to really be proud that they’re from Lansing is what I want to do with my next 10 years.”
Of the 33 nominees, the following ten Lansing professionals received the 10 Over the Next Ten award, along with a complimentary year-long membership to the University Club of MSU:
- Amanda Hadley, financial advisor for Full Circle FInancial Planning
- Andrew Gauthier, founder and co-owner of Groovy Donuts
- Jacqueline Rhine, sales and leasing consultant for Feldman Chevrolet of Lansing
- Mikeyy Austin, founder and director of OurSpace (517)
- Lisa Barna, founder of Blackdog Coffee in Eaton Rapids
- Kiersten Feldpausch, special gifts manager for the Greater Lansing Food Bank
- Myles Johnson, Ingham County commissioner, digital sales specialist for WILX Media
- Paul Anderson, founder of Stay Rooted Lansing
- Ryan Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Works! Association
- Samantha Le, associate, retail advisor at Martin Commercial Properties