July has ushered in a new slate of officers for the Sault Ste. Marie Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Selected by EDC board members, officers serve two-year terms in the roles of chair, vice chair, secretary, or treasurer.
The board is comprised of community members and entrepreneurs who work together to oversee EDC operations including management of the SmartZone, Industrial Incubator, and air industrial park. They also facilitate local Brownfield projects and manage infrastructure at the local municipal airport, Sanderson Field.
Kelley Bunker, long-time board member and EDC supporter, stepped down from his position as chair to devote more time to his growing manufacturing business, Sault Machine Works. He is now vice chair of the board and is looking forward to what this new term will bring for the EDC and the Sault.
“We have a diverse background of people on the board,” he said, pointing out that members represent a range of fields from finance to medicine. “It ensures that we have a mix of good ideas and input when it comes to the activities of the EDC.”
Nominated to take his place a chair was Dr. Rachael McCoy, local chiropractor and business owner. She is both a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician and a certified animal chiropractor, as well as co-owner of Bordertown Chiropractic which she founded with her husband in 2001. She says that her own experiences of starting a business in the Sault inspired her to join the board in 2016.
“As we were not from the area, we had no knowledge of whom to contact to help us get started,” she said. “And since we had no prior business experience, we were quite lost when it came to finding a place to rent/purchase or how to find a bank to provide us a loan. I want to help make it easier for anyone to come to the area to find aid in starting or expanding their business. I feel that it is exactly the EDC’s role — to provide the help and encouragement.”
In her role as chair, McCoy hopes to bring more awareness, both nationally and internationally, to Sault Ste. Marie and all it has to offer prospective businesses. She also plans to cultivate more relationships with our sister city, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and help to make the transitions for businesses coming to the area as seamless as possible.
Taking the role of secretary is Dan Dasho, a long-time EDC member who joined the board back in 2011. He is the former CEO of Cloverland Electric Cooperative and has extensive business experience. Dasho is also closely involved with the Chippewa County EDC.
“I enjoy being involved in making the Sault business community strong and healthy,” he said.
LSSU engineering professor and Robotics Lab Director Jim Devaprasad was nominated as treasurer . Devaparasad says that he enjoys being able to represent LSSU and other educational interests as applicable to the economic development of the area.
The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that fosters economic growth in the community through its dedication to helping entrepreneurs establish and expand their businesses. Board meetings are held monthly and are open to the public. For more information on the EDC, their projects, programs, and partnerships, and how to become a board member, visit their website at saultedc.com or follow them on Facebook @SSMEDC.