LEAP Staff Members Receive Prestigious Economic Development Awards

LEAP Staff Recognized for Dedication to Advancing The Economic Development Profession

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) held its Annual Conference last week. The theme of this year’s meeting was “CONNECT: People. Ideas. Solutions.” which let economic developers know the connections that are needed to succeed with emerging industries, themes, and tools.

At the conference MEDA hosted a New Member and Awards Reception where four statewide awards were presented to outstanding economic developers, including the Mike Conboy Professional Development and President’s Awards. The Conboy Award is given to one MEDA member who has made substantial, long-term contributions/commitment to MEDA, specifically focusing on the advancement of the economic development profession through support of education and training, and by expanding the knowledge base of economic developers. The President’s Award is given to members that have provided a substantial contribution to the organization and its statewide economic development efforts.

This year’s Conboy Award recipient was Steven L. Willobee, who is Chief Operating Officer at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). When nominated by his peers, Steve was described as being “100% committed to making Michigan a great place to live and work.” In addition, Steve has over 16-years of experience in assisting governmental and private clients secure financial incentives and address federal, state, and local requirements associated with redevelopment projects, including seven years with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Steve has generously shared his experiences in both the public and private sectors with emerging economic development leaders to aid in their professional development.

“It’s a true honor to have received the MEDA Conboy Award,” said Willobee. “I’ve been fortunate to have had incredible mentors and opportunities to explore many different aspects of the economic development profession. I enjoy the privilege of sharing what I’ve learned with others.”

Karl Dorshimer, CEcD, EDFP, is LEAP’s Director of Business Development and received the President’s Award at Thursday’s reception. MEDA Board President and CEO Lake Superior Community Partnership Amy Clickner, presented the award to Karl for his work on MEDA’s Advocacy Committee as co-chair for the past two years, and for his role as MEDA Treasurer in 2017. In his over-20 years of MEDA membership, Karl has also served nine years on MEDA’s Education Committee, one year on its Certified Business Park’s Committee, one year as a Mentor. In addition, Karl has been recognized as a MEDA Champion for eight years.

“Economic development is widely misunderstood, yet also an important driver in shaping the way we live,” said Dorshimer. “As an economic development professional, I feel a duty to help other professionals and the general public better understand economic development practices. MEDA has a been a great avenue for engaging in the profession and I sincerely appreciate the recognition from the MEDA President.”

“MEDA is a critical organization for our profession and I thank them for their tireless advocacy work,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “LEAP cultivates some of the top economic development talent in the country to serve the people and businesses in Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties with the highest level of excellence. I’m so proud of Karl and Steve for receiving this recognition and it’s my privilege to share in their expertise and wisdom, every day, here at LEAP.”


About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.