Four Regional Businesses to be Honored at Sixth Annual Celebration of Regional Growth

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Four Regional Businesses to be Honored at Sixth Annual Celebration of Regional Growth


October 12, 2011
Contact: Ross Woodstock
Kolt Communications, Inc


Four Regional Businesses to be Honored at Sixth Annual Celebration of Regional Growth


Air Lift, Biggby Coffee, Dowding Industries and Gillespie Group to be Recognized for Their Economic Investments and Commitment to the Region.


(Lansing, MI) – Four businesses will be honored for their significant community investments at the sixth annual Celebration of Regional Growth sponsored by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC).  The organizations being recognized are: Biggby Coffee, Dowding Industries, Gillespie Group and Air Lift Company, which will receive the International Trade Award.  The Celebration of Regional Growth will take place as part of the monthly Lansing Economic Club luncheon, as follows:


Celebration of Regional Growth/Economic Club Luncheon
Thursday, November 10
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center


MEDIA NOTE: Media coverage of the Celebration of Regional Growth is encouraged. Recipients and Chamber officials will be available for interviews.


“The Celebration of Regional Growth has clearly defined itself as the showcase business and economic celebration for the Greater Lansing region,” said LRCC President and CEO, Tim Daman. “The four organizations deservedly being honored this year join an impressive list of 32 businesses that have been recognized the past five years and have combined to invest more than $1 billion in our region.”


Celebration of Regional Growth Honorees


Air Lift Company is being honored with the Celebration’s International Trade Award. Air Lift is an industry leader in the engineering of light vehicle air suspension products.  Air Lift’s products are sold throughout the world and the company’s growth in international sales, importing and exporting offer a glimpse of the potential international trade could mean to the economy of the Greater Lansing region. Air Lift, which was one of the first companies to move cargo through Port Lansing, recently  completed a major expansion of its corporate headquarters on Snow Road in Delta Township.


Biggby Coffee has become a household name in the Greater Lansing region and a growing success on the national stage.  The company founded, originally known as Beaner’s, opened its first store near the MSU campus in 1995. The company, which changed its name to Biggby Coffee in 2007, began franchising in 1999 and now has 135 stores open or under contract in seven states.  In September 2011, Biggby was named the fastest growing coffee chain in America by CNBC.  Biggby was also named a top 30 food franchise in the United States by Franchise Business Review.


Dowding Industries located in Eaton Rapids has transformed its decades-long expertise in machining technologies and repositioned itself on the cutting edge of the rapidly developing wind industry.  Dowding and its subsidiary, Astraeus have developed new technologies that will lower production time required in the manufacture of hubs for wind turbines and automate the manufacturing process for wind turbine blades.  The new era manufacturing techniques will lead to lower costs for the production of wind turbines and is making Astraeus competitive on a national scale.


Gillespie Group is being honored for the renovation of the Marshall Street Armory building on Lansing’s Eastside.  The former Armory has been sitting vacant for a number of years.  Gillespie Group president, Pat Gillespie who grew up on Lansing’s Eastside, had a vision to develop the building in a way that protected the historical integrity of the Armory.  The project was also designed to fit into the surrounding community and in a manner so the end product would be useful for multiple nonprofit organizations who will make the former Armory their new home.


A Celebration of Regional Growth is an annual event presented by the LRCC. This year’s luncheon was sponsored by PNC Bank, Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, and David & Gotting P.C. Registration information can be found at


The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the tri-county region, serving a business population of more than 14,000 companies.  LRCC is dedicated to making business in the region more profitable by providing programs that create new customers, enhance member visibility and create a prosperous economic environment.  LRCC members rely on four key areas to help them succeed: Business Advocacy, Business Expansion, Business Savings & Business Exposure.


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