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547 East Lansing Articles | Page: | Show All

Former Flint Mayor to lead East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation

Former interim Flint mayor Michael K. Brown has been appointed as president of Prima Civitas as the East Lansing economic development agency begins to expand statewide.

According to excerpts from the article:

Michael K. Brown, who led the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is increasing its financial commitment to the agency.

With ties to Michigan State University, Prima Civitas launched in 2006 to focus on bringing, partnerships, resources and funding to mid-Michigan communities.

“The brain drain has been a critical part of our challenge over the past few years, and we’ve got to find other ways to keep the young people in the community,” Brown said.

Under Brown’s leadership, Prima Civitas plans to expand its efforts to a more statewide approach. But Brown says a big focus of his will be working in his home town.

“The long and short of it is, bringing Mike Brown on board brings a tremendous amount of talent and leadership,” said Steven Webster, Vice President for Governmental Affairs at Michigan State University and the new CEO and chairman of Prima Civitas.

Read the entire article here.

Spartan Dance Center making jump to East Lansing's Gaslight Village

East Lansing's Spartan Dance Center, formerly located at 217 Ann St., is moving to Gaslight Village on Abbot Road. The new studio is currently under construction.

According to excerpts from the story:

After only six months of operation in downtown East Lansing, Spartan Dance Center is closing its doors and moving north.

The dance studio, formerly located at 217 Ann St., closed its doors because the building is scheduled to be torn down for redevelopment, said Tiffany Russell, owner of Spartan Dance Center. She said a new studio is under construction in Gaslight Village on Abbot Road and classes are being held in a temporary location at 3498 Lake Lansing Road., Suite 130, until the new location is finished.

Wittney Ransome, a hospitality business senior who has taken her daughter to classes at Spartan Dance Center, said the new location would be more convenient for her because of its close proximity to her home. But she said the studio might lose some business from students living closer to downtown East Lansing.

Read the entire article here.

$1.8 million endowment enables $80,000 in student grants at MSU

Michigan State University has received a $1 million endowment from the Forest Akers Trust to fund entrepreneurial grants for undergraduates across all programs.

According to excerpts from the article:

If it weren't for a $5,000 grant, Sam Goodsitt probably would have filed away his idea for a hybrid home generator.

But with the help of the grant, the 22-year-old Michigan State University student is working with professional engineers to create a prototype for the wind and solar-powered generator.

Goodsitt was the recipient of an entrepreneurship grant through a $600,000 endowment established last year by the Midland-based Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation.

MSU liked what it saw with that endowment, so it went after more money. The Forest Akers Trust answered the call with a $1 million endowment to provide students with grants of up to $5,000.

The Akers endowment is open to students in all fields, while the Gerstacker endowment is focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The combined $1.6 million should generate about $80,000 in interest earnings each year for student grants and programming.

Read the entire article here.

Two day East Lansing art expo and sale highlights local art scene

East Lansing Public Art Gallery and the City of East Lansing hosted an Art Expo in the Hannah Community Center featuring the works of Capital region residents.

According to excerpts from the article:

Yvette Robinson said the Art Expo hopefully would show community members the importance of local art in the area.

"Art is something that has been affected by the cuts in the communities all across the state," Robinson said. "This is a way to show . . . that art does play an intricate role in all the communities in and around town."

Stevie Thompson, a criminal justice junior, said she thinks it’s important to support local artists, even though she does not have a lot of experience with art herself. She said she has some handmade jewelry pieces, and appreciates the uniqueness of original, local art.

"You can introduce new styles to people," Thompson said. "If someone thinks it’s cool, they’ll ask you where you got it — you’re promoting the people that made it."

Read the entire article here.

Pitava women's clothing opens new location in downtown East Lansing

Downtown East Lansing's new Pitaya retail store brings affordable women's fashion to shoppers featuring unique, American-made Pitaya-brand items.

According to excerpts from the article:

Female students looking for a new place to shop for clothes in downtown East Lansing have another option this week with the opening of Pitaya, a clothing store hoping to fill a niche for affordable fashion in the area.

Pitaya originated in Bloomington, Ind., in 1990 and has 16 other locations across the country.

"We have an incredible selection for such a small store," Mazor said. "I think it’s a winning concept.”

Heather Pope, East Lansing’s community development specialist, said the city was notified of Pitaya’s opening last fall and said she thinks Pitaya will be a positive addition to the downtown market because it adds to the number of shopping destinations in East Lansing.

Some local businesspeople who cater to a similar student demographic said they think the proximity of Pitaya to other clothing retail stores will be good for all the downtown businesses.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing LAUNCHED Event Celebrates Successful Local Entrepreneurs

The successful second annual LAUNCHED event, held on Dec. 9. at at Dublin Square Irish Pub, celebrated the entrepreneurial successes and commitment of local innovators to growth in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

The event began in 2009 as a celebration of the first-year anniversary of the Technology Innovation Center, 325 E. Grand River Ave., said Nicholas Chilenko, a principal of Nicholas Creative and one of the organizers of the event.

At Launched!, East Lansing Mayor Vic Loomis presented an Innovator of the Year award to Good Fruit Video, a local company that creates videos for businesses to increase their Internet presence, and a Student Innovator of the Year award to Eric Jorgenson, an economics and general management senior who has been involved in many local business startups and organized the recent event Startup Weekend Lansing to promote business building.

Read the entire article here.

Popular Student Book Store Celebrates 50 Years in Downtown East Lansing

The Student Book Store (SBS) at 421 E. Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing is celebrating its golden anniversary: 50 years in business.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Howard Ballein was first hired to work at a bookstore in 1952, he was paid 70 cents per hour. When he opened Student Book Store, or SBS in 1960, books sold for about $6 and the store was 1,800 square feet.

Ballein decided to open a store in East Lansing because of the market potential for used books sales and another, less business-related draw, he said.

“I was 26, and I thought the women here were the best looking ones,” said Ballein as he sat with his wife and two sons, who all work with him, in his office overlooking the store. “I got offered the job, so I came up here.”

Now as Ballein, 76, celebrates the store’s 50th year in East Lansing, textbook prices have increased tenfold and SBS, 421 E. Grand River Ave., has expanded to 25,000 square feet of retail and 19,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Read the entire article here.

Well-traveled Entrepreneurs Open East Lansing's New Wanderer's Teahouse

After traveling and working across the globe, Eizabeth Marazita and Michael Spano have set roots in East Lansing with their business, Wanderer's Teahouse and Cafe.

According to excerpts from the article:

Marazita and Spano, who have seven part-time workers, offer 35 to 40 varieties and blends of tea. They also educate students and residents about tea, herbal medicine and cultural traditions.

The couple is trying to carve a local niche in a giant business. U.S. tea sales came in at about $8.5 billion in 2009, according to Specialty Coffee Retailer, a trade publication for the retail coffee and tea sector. Citing market researcher Packaged Foods, Specialty Coffee said tea sales climbed 32 percent from 2005 to 2009.

As the East Lansing shop's name suggests, Marazita, 49, and Spano, 42, are well-traveled. Their personal stories are as intricate and compelling as the paintings, tapestries, trinkets and books that fill the cozy teahouse.

Read entire article here.

$2.83 Million Effort Officially Secures 120 Acres For Lake Lansing Park

Lake Lansing Park has officially acquired 120 acres of land that has been used as part of the park for many years, saving the land from being developed.

According to excerpts from the article:

The newly acquired 120 acres added to Lake Lansing Park-North's south side have been used by joggers, cross country skiers and trail enthusiasts for years but weren't officially part of the park.

Volunteers spent more than two years raising funds, writing grants and working through other paperwork to buy the land for $2.83 million so it could be protected for years to come.

The addition means the park has grown from 449 acres to 569 acres.

The new land is home to more than 500 species of plants and a mix of swamps, forest, wetlands and wet meadows, making it the most diverse environmental area in Meridian Township, according to Ingham County Parks officials.

Read the entire article here.

National Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour Hits Capital Area High Schools

Thanks to sponsorship from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) Inc., and area students, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour made its way to Lansing last Wednesday.

According to excerpts from the article:

Author and entrepreneur Arel Moodie spoke to about 450 high school students from 14 Lansing-area high schools as part of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour's stop in Lansing. The tour then moved on to East Lansing.

"Entrepreneurs solve problems for people in the form of a business," Moodie said.

Moodie, 26, started his first company in college and is now part owner of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education Corp., the New York company that presents the nationwide tour.

LEAP's president and CEO, Denyse Ferguson, hopes broadening the program gets the entrepreneurial gears turning in high school students' minds.

"Expanding our reach to these students enables us to tap into our youth at an even earlier stage of their lives and introduce them to an entrepreneurial mind-set," Ferguson said.

"The kids totally responded to it, they all wanted to talk to Arel (Moodie) and hear more. I think part of the lesson is to get them that young. College is great, but if you can start with some of those freshman, it's fantastic."

Read the entire article here.

Fast Company Magazine Notes MSU's Role In Global Bio-Fuel Summit

Working to breed a more robust version of a potential bio-fuel plant called Jatropha,  researchers from Michigan State University are among those excited about the upcoming Jatropha World Summit in Rotterdam.

According to excerpts from the article:

Could a homely succulent save the planet? Maybe. Oil squeezed from the Jatropha curcas plant helped fuel a train from Delhi to Mumbai and a 90-minute Boeing jet ride in Houston last year.

"The plant's toxicity, getting more harvest out of it, that'll all be worked out," says David Skole, professor of forestry at Michigan State University, as biofuels investment in (frost-free) Africa and Asia soars. Helping lead the charge: GM and the U.S. Department of Energy, which partnered this spring to test the plant in India.

Read the entire article here.

Growing Leo's Family To Include New Spirits and Grub Restaurant in Okemos

There will be a new Leo's location in town! The owners of Leo's Lodge and Leo's Outpost in Lansing, are opening Leo's Spirits and Grub on Okemos Rd. and W. Grand River in Okemos.

According to excerpts from the article: 

Leo's is hiring 40 to 50 new employees for the restaurant, adding to 20 existing employees, she said. The menu will feature Sicilian deep-dish pizza, sandwiches, smelt and perch and the Houghton-Hancock burger.

Leo's Lodge opened in 1996 at 2525 E. Jolly Road in Lansing and the Outpost opened in 2002 at 600 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing.

The company received a permit to complete a $46,000 interior remodel of the Okemos restaurant, according to Meridian Township documents.

Read the entire article here.

USA Today Highlights MSU Study on Worker Productivity in Green Buildings

A group of researchers working with Michigan State University garnered national headlines for their study of people's productivity in a conventional office settings compared to being housed in a LEED-certified green office building.

According to excerpts from the article:

A group of researchers working with Michigan State University surveyed two groups of employees before and after moving from conventional office buildings to LEED-certified buildings in the same Michigan area. After moving to the new building, employees said they thought they called out sick less and were more productive.

The biggest boost comes in perceived productivity. The study's authors extrapolated that employees could each work about 39 more hours a year in the new building because of different working conditions such as better light, air quality and ventilation.

Read the entire article here.

Why The Capital Region Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

According to Doug Stites, of Capital Area Michigan Works!, entrepreneurship is possible for nearly everyone, and the Capital region is emerging as a great place for people to start a new business, take risks and seek out their passion or innovative idea. 

According to excerpts from the article.

Entrepreneur Magazine named East Lansing one of the top 10 college towns to start a business, CNN Money named Greater Lansing one of the 50 most business-friendly cities.


And most recently, well-known financial news organization Kiplinger's named Lansing one of the top 10 cities in the country for young adults.

Incubator space such as the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, NEO Center and the Hatch is making it easier for individuals with great ideas and solid business plans to put it in action without needing much capital to start.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Ranked Among Top 100 Universities By U.S. News and World Report

Michigan State University, in 79th place, is still among the top 100 universities in the nation, according to the latest rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

According to excerpts from the article:

MSU was tied for 79th with American University, Baylor, Miami of Ohio, the State University of New York of Environmental Science and Forestry and the University of Alabama.

The 100 rankings — which were led not surprisingly by Harvard, Princeton and Yale — are considered a key factor in attracting both students and research dollars.

Read the entire article here.

547 East Lansing Articles | Page: | Show All
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