Human Resources, Lakeshore, and Nonprofits

Chamber names Agents of Change

November 18, 2015
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Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Agents of Change
The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,000 organizations in the area and produces events such as its Agents of Change celebration. Photo via

A number of Agents of Change have been honored by a chamber in the region for their impactful work in the community.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognized last week nine community leaders and initiatives during its 2015 Agents of Change celebration at the Hilt Building in downtown Muskegon.

The 8th-annual event was held in partnership with WGVU Public Media.

The winners were recognized for initiatives ranging from wellness clinics for employees and art installations, to entrepreneurial support and professional athletics.

Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, said the Muskegon area continues to transform at a fast pace.

“These dedicated individuals have passion and are dramatically changing the landscape of our community,” Larsen said.

Agents of Change

Judith Hayner

Hayner, executive director of the Muskegon Museum of Art, was recognized for the outdoor public art installation "Avian Avatars" in downtown Muskegon. The five gigantic birds stand more than 20 feet and originally displayed in New York.

Chris Baker and Bryan Betten

The co-owners of Betten Baker Auto Group were recognized for their investment in Muskegon’s Henry Street Corridor and their contribution to the "Watch Muskegon" image campaign. In less than a decade, the auto group has grown from one location to seven and now employs more than 250 people.

Parties in the Park Board of Directors

The board raised nearly $100,000 in about six months for a new permanent stage in Hackley Park, which was completed for the 2015 season.

Richard Thorstenson

Thorstenson, of Pioneer Resources, led the design and development of Kitchen 242, the commercial kitchen providing space for local entrepreneurs, community members and organizations. Kitchen 242 offers access to food products and an educational space to learn and teach food preparation, safety, nutrition and cooking skills.

Wes Eklund, John Essex, Mark Fazakerley and John Workman

The group was honored for the cooperative effort among Eagle Group, Fleet Engineers and Port City Group to provide access to expert medical services at on-site health and wellness clinics.

Muskegon Risers Soccer Club

Muskegon’s professional soccer team was recognized for their ability to be a unifying force for area students, professionals and families and their 2015 season, with 10 wins, three losses and average attendance of more than 1,000 fans.

Julie Greene

The CEO of Muskegon Surgery Center partnered with the Shoreline Inn and Conference Center to discharge patients to the waterfront hotel for healthy recovery and continued nursing and physical therapy services.

Pete Wolters, Sandy Wolters and Jennifer Cross

They were celebrated during the event for preserving Muskegon’s historical role in the creation of the Raggedy Ann doll, by creating, executing and installing a larger-than-life art installation of Raggedy Ann and Andy at Alcoa Celebration Square.

Troy Wasserman and Angie Nelund

The co-owners of the fifth-generation Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts renovated the interior and exterior of the family owned business to transform the traditional gift shop into a gathering place with a patio and pergola.

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