The Economic Development Corporation Michigan City team is welcoming new leadership and a new member to its Board of Directors.

Linda Simmons, director of marketing for Visit Michigan City-LaPorte, has taken on the helm as board chair and Seth Spencer, founder and CEO of SERA Solutions, has joined the board as a new member.

“We are honored to have such strong leaders serve on our board, especially as we enter a new year and move forward from 2020,” said EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse. “While Linda is now serving as chair, she has continuously been an integral part of our board.

“As a young entrepreneur, Seth brings a fresh perspective and unique insight to discussions on what we hope to accomplish in 2021.”

Simmons takes on the role of chair from Stephanie Oberlie, president & COO at Harbour Trust & Investment Management Company. Oberlie is now past chair of the board.

“I have served over three years on the EDCMC board representing the tourism industry and marketing and promoting our destination to create economic growth from visitor expenditures,” Simmons said. “The importance of the EDCMC to the Michigan City community is spelled out in our mission, vision and objectives. Our position is to provide economic growth and quality of life for all of our citizens in Michigan City.

“The city’s largest event each year is our Great Lakes Grand Prix Powerboat racing on Lake Michigan, which had an economic impact of $13.2 million. Our growth depends on how successful we are in marketing our area. Tourism works hand-in-hand with economic development.”

Spencer joins the board after the retirement of Rick Dekker, CEO of DEKKER Vacuum Technologies, who served for about five years. Spencer has an extensive entrepreneurial background after starting a competitive gaming tournament website at the age of 14. Today, he leads his digital marketing agency as well as volunteers with area youth.

“The EDCMC serves a unique and vital role in our community by ensuring Michigan City remains a place where businesses and residents can prosper and grow. It is often the first place a business looks to for assistance when looking to open or expand,” he said. “Having started and grown a business from the ground up, I understand the obstacles that local entrepreneurs face. I look forward to sharing my experiences, identifying potential solutions to obstacles as well as shine a light on the existing programs and services that work.

“My goal is to bring innovative ideas and solutions to the table that allows the EDCMC to have a real and lasting impact on our community.”

Brenda Temple, general manager of Blue Chip Hotel, Casino & Spa, was elected as Vice Chair for the board and Dennis Kuhn, executive vice president at Horizon Bank, was elected Treasurer.

Other Board members include: Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry; John Beutner, manager at Captain Ed’s; Katie Eaton, president of Michigan City Chamber of Commerce; John Hendricks, leader, gas field engineering at NIPSCO; Dean Mazzoni, president and CEO of Franciscan Health-Michigan City; Brian Tylisz, vice-president, sales of Sullair – A Hitachi Group Company; Barbara Eason Watkins, superintendent at Michigan City Area Schools; Bill Hackney, publisher of the Herald-Dispatch; Angie Nelson-Deuitch, City Council at Large, Michigan City Common Council; and Tim Haas, president of Hass & Associates.

The EDCMC Board of Directors aims to uphold the mission and objectives of the organization. The members bring one-of-a-kind backgrounds and experiences to best guide the EDCMC team on policy decisions, strategy and resources.