Grow our region’s economy by connecting a stable skilled and supported labor force to meaningful and sustaining employment.


Drive economic growth through innovative regional workforce strategies.

What We Do:

Address immediate & future workforce needs of the Firelands region.

Build on existing economic & workforce development work.

Enable the region to develop strategies for a continuous talent pipeline.

Advisory Board

Abbey Bemis
Erie County Economic Development Corporation

Andrew Kurtz
BGSU Firelands

Eric Muehlhauser
Mylander Foundation

Sarah Ross
Norwalk Economic Development Corporation

Jeff Huber
Civista Bank

Jody Meisler-McKilips
Firelands Regional Medical Center

Larry Fletcher
Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Lee Alexakos
Cedar Fair

Mary Jane Hill
Dorn Foundation

Mathew Old
Erie County Commissioners

Ted Kastor
Janotta & Herner

Terry Boose
Huron County Commissioners

David White


Dave joined Firelands in late 2021 as the new Director of the organization, working with Regional leaders to address local workforce challenges.

He grew up in Toledo, Ohio and joined the Army in 2003. He recently retired from the Army after 18 years in the Special Operations Community. Dave is wrapping up his Executive MBA at Ohio State. 

Makenna Laser
Manager, Communications & Business Services


Makenna joined the team in 2021 as the Manager of Communications and Business Services. In this role, she works in business outreach in Erie, Huron, and Ottawa Counties. Her goal is to face workforce issues head-on, utilizing her skills in human resources, marketing, and communications.

Makenna is a graduate of Norwalk St. Paul High School. She worked for her family’s business, Dave’s Food Mart Norwalk & Avery, before taking this role. She lives in Norwalk with her husband Joshua, a concrete finisher. Together they have two dogs – June and May.

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Real people, working to help you make connections and get the information and access to resources you need. We’re building up the region in a way that benefits the entire population, and not just a single segment of it. This is what it’s all about.

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