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Economic Development in Mason County

People. Place. Prosperity.

In 2022 the Chamber Alliance of Mason County contracted with The Right Place, a nonprofit organization driving economic development in West Michigan. Mason County joined six other counties—Lake, Oceana, Mecosta, Newaygo, Montcalm and Ionia—in partnership with The Right Place, which is headquartered in Kent County. Kristi Lucas-Zimmerman was hired as Economic Development Director for Mason County in April 2022, and works on both business development and community development. Kristi meets with an advisory board on a bi-monthly basis comprised of members from the business, education, nonprofit and municipal sectors. While she is employed directly by The Right Place, Kristi spends most of her time in Mason County and has an office at the Chamber Alliance building in downtown Ludington.

Her work of economic development falls essentially into three categories: PEOPLE, PLACE and PROSPERITY.

PEOPLE = supporting education and training for emerging talent and local employers;

PLACE = supporting or facilitating initiatives to improve the lives of residents, such as housing development and multiuse trails initiatives;

PROSPERITY = supporting existing companies, helping with business expansions, and attracting new companies to Mason County.

To discuss needs or opportunities for your business or organization, or for Mason County as a whole, contact Kristi at (616) 970-8978 or at

2024-2026 Economic Development Strategic Plan

Goals identified through 2026:

  • Create a collective vision of economic development for Mason County
  • Bolster housing options across the economic spectrum
  • Support and cultivate the next generation of leaders in Mason County
  • Build a narrative for Mason County: “Live Where You Play“
  • Create a collective vision of utilities, infrastructure, including county-wide broadband as an essential utility, and coordinate development in a cohesive, efficient and cost-effective manner

Economic Development Committee Members

Amy Taranko, West Shore Educational Service District
Brandy Miller, Chamber Alliance of Mason County
Crystal Young, West Shore Community College
Janet Andersen, County of Mason
Jason Anderson, Metalworks
Kathy Maclean, business consultant
Kelly Smith, Pere Marquette Charter Township
Mary Jo Pung, Greenridge Realty
Mitch Foster, City of Ludington
Monica Jewell, Pennies from Heaven Foundation
Eric Gustad, Consumers Energy

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