Southwest Michigan First’s Catalyst University Named Event of the Year: Southwest Michigan First received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for Catalyst University 2011 in the category of Special Events from the International Economic Development Council. The honor was presented at the IEDC Annual Conference, this week in Charlotte, N.C. On Jan. 20, the bell rang for Catalyst University, Southwest Michigan First’s inaugural program designed to empower Southwest Michigan’s current and next generation of leaders to greatness. Catalyst University is based on a graduate-level model of ongoing study. Catalyst University 2012 will be held Jan. 24-25 in downtown Kalamazoo. Registration and more information can be found at www.catalyst-university.com. The current schedule of speakers includes Josh Linkner, CEO of ePrize, Author and Business Innovation Guru; Peter van Stolk, Founder of Jones Soda Co.; Donna Karlin, TED Leadership Coach and Author; Chuck Jones, senior vice president and chief design officer of Masco Corp.; Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water and CNN Hero; Joel Manby, Undercover Boss and Battle Creek Alumni; and Tererai Trent, Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite All-Time Guest and WMU Alumni. More at www.iedconline.org or www.southwestmichiganfirst.com.
Lansing Economic Area Partnership Receives Two Economic Development Awards: The International Economic Development Council recognized the Lansing Economic Area Partnership with two “Excellence in Economic Development” Awards, for their Greater Lansing Thrive brochure and Entrepreneurs’ Edge programming. The Greater Lansing Thrive Regional Overview Brochure won in the category of General Purpose Brochure; the Entrepreneurs’ Edge programming won in the category of Entrepreneurship. Lansing Economic Area Partnership (Leap, Inc.) serves as Greater Lansing’s economic and business development organization, and is comprised of a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, Leap assists entrepreneurs in starting new businesses, helps existing businesses grow, and works to attract new businesses to the region. The Excellence in Economic Awards Program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. More at www.leapinc.biz.
UM Doctor, Researcher Named President of National Neurological Association: Eva Feldman, M.D., will become president of the American Neurological Association on Sept. 27 at the organization’s 136th annual conference in San Diego, Calif. Feldman, director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute and a professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, will serve a two-year term as head of the 1,800-member ANA, which was established in 1874 by a group of physicians aiming to promote training and research in the field of neurology. Feldman previously has served as a vice president for the ANA, and she is recent past president of the Peripheral Nerve Society. At UM, she has an active clinical practice, serves as the research director of the ALS Clinic, and directs the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery, a team of 30 scientists. Feldman has been listed among the Best Doctors in America for 10 consecutive years. In her own work, Feldman focuses on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALSm also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and the neurological complications of diabetes. She is a leader in applying stem cell research to human disease; most notably she is the Principal Investigator of the first clinical trial of intraspinal transplantation of stem cells in patients with ALS. This Phase 1 trial is currently under way at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Feldman’s laboratory has begun the work of adapting this therapeutic approach for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. As director of the Taubman Institute, Feldman spearheads the program which provides unrestricted funding to Taubman Scholars — leading researchers seeking cures for conditions and diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer to obesity. The Institute also supervises the Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies and several other initiatives. For more information about the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan Medical School, visit www.taubmaninstitute.org.