BRYAN MARKS, the owner of the Great Lakes family of businesses in Vernon, was surprised during the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership (SEDP) annual meeting on Wednesday, June 26 as the winner of the Project of the Year. Marks’ property, located at the intersection of M-71 and Bennington Road, was hit by a tornado on March 14, resulting in the complete loss of Great Lakes Fabricating & Machining, which opened in December 2015. The burgeoning entrepreneur immediately announced that the building would be rebuilt “bigger and better than we were before.”

   The meeting was held at the Elite VR Arcade in Owosso, with the program being broadcast on the arcade’s giant floor-to-ceiling simulator screen. The announcement of the Project of the Year was made at the end of the SEDP’s year in review video. Marks was serving as the event’s emcee, so everyone in attendance for the meeting was able to witness his surprise. The award was presented by Jim Tedder of ITC, the award’s sponsor, and Marks also received proclamations from representatives of Congressman John Moolenaar, Senator Gary Peters and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

   SEDP President and CEO Justin Horvath also addressed the assembled group of business leaders and community organizers, highlighting Shiawassee County’s resurgent economy, which added almost 400 new jobs in the past year, and announcing the SEDP’s upcoming addition of a RESD liaison, beginning in July, who will work to further address the SEDP’s focus on developing and retaining talent locally to supply the county’s workforce.

   Brooks Williamson, the manager of Elite VR, showed off the arcade’s new bar and kitchen and gave everyone a chance to test the sports/shooting simulators. In addition to its unique and cutting edge gaming options, Elite VR is equipped to host large or small birthday parties and corporate events.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Project of the Year Winner was last modified: July 1st, 2019 by Karen Elford