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LEAP Announces Re-Configuration of New Economy Division

Tuesday, March 24, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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March 24, 2015

Sara Parkinson

(517) 702-3387 x 209 

LEAP Announces Re-Configuration of New Economy Division

Tony Willis named Director, Quin Stinchfield Manager, MEDC grants to LEAP, other re-structuring unveiled

LANSING, MI - LEAP announced today that Tony Willis was moved from Manager to Director of LEAP’s re-configured New Economy Division. Quin Stinchfield will be the Manager of Business Incubation. Congratulations to both for their leadership and vision, they’ll make quite a team. LEAP is determined to take the region’s entrepreneurial and business startup initiatives to a new, national level of prominence and success, thus LEAP will be introducing an aggressive series of new programs designed to increase likelihood of startup businesses and entrepreneurial culture growing throughout the Lansing region.

“Our blossoming entrepreneurial/business startup eco system of the region is strong and has made major achievements over the last five years. 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,” said Tony Willis.

Mr. Willis will run the region’s entrepreneurial system, the RING, while Ms. Stinchfield will operate the TIC and Runway incubators as well as manage their programming and continue the exciting expansion of incubators throughout the region.

The MEDC 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.

“As usual, we are thankful to the MEDC for its innovations and support of economic development in the Lansing region. For the last three years, the LEAP/MEDC partnership has been and is once again one of the state’s leading producers of projects, jobs, and creation of startup businesses,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP.

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 at Michigan State University.

Additionally, as part of LEAP’s organizational re-configuration, Karl Dorshimer has been promoted to the 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, Mr. Willobee will have a more hands on, day-to-day management relationship to the New Economy Division.

Finally, last night, Lansing Mayor Bernero announced in his 2015/2016 city budget, proposing additional funding of the LEAP/Lansing Economic Development Corporation contract for services by adding one additional staff person to LEAP’s Business Development division to work on City of Lansing projects. Mayor Bernero feels that the time is ripe to accelerate and take advantage of the city’s economic development efforts during the current upswing in the economy.


The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit

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