Consumers Energy recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Spring Arbor University’s Hosmer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The gift was used to create a meeting space for the community to gather for entrepreneurial brainstorming, economic development, networking and continuing education opportunities at SAU’s downtown Jackson site.
“The Hosmer Center has established a significant presence at the Spring Arbor University downtown Jackson campus, to serve emerging and existing entrepreneurs. The Jackson campus lends itself well to this venture,” says Ron Griffith, executive director of the Hosmer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Located in the heart of downtown Jackson, the facility provides an environment and ease of access to workshops, seminars and experts in the business world.
The artwork within the renovated room was created by local artist Jane Robinson, a Michigan native and an innovative contemporary emerging artist
who works in acrylic and mixed media. An SAU alumna, Robinson’s work has been purchased by many private collectors and businesses all over the globe including: The Marriot Hotel, University of Michigan, DePaul University, Jackson Community Foundation, and Comfort Inn. Griffith notes that this space can enhance the collaborative efforts of local business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition to the Robinson’s artwork, other renovations were completed with local businesses.
“I am excited about this grant and what it will do to enhance Jackson,” says Al Hooper, Consumers Energy economic development director. “Spring Arbor University is key to making Jackson vibrant through entrepreneurship and economic growth.”
The Hosmer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be the meeting place for the Jackson’s anchor initiative program. Spearheaded by Consumers Energy Community Development Program Manager Leslie Youngdahl and Hooper, the program is being modeled after a successful program in Midtown Detroit in which institutions like corporations, hospitals and colleges to buy local, encourage local development of downtown residential space. Governor Rick Snyder is encouraging anchor institutions throughout Michigan.
“We recognize that organizations and individuals working together, sharing expertise and experiences, will result in productive results,” says Griffith. In addition to the Anchor Initiative, the Hosmer Center has worked collaboratively with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce, community economic development entities across southern Michigan, Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Junior Achievement, South Central Michigan Works, Michigan Small Business Development Center, and other institutions of higher education.
For more information about the Hosmer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, contact Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org.